Channel Marker

Oct 16 2007   4:20PM GMT

Microsoft pushes next Navision release out a year



Posted by: badarrow
Tags:
Barbara Darrow
Direct reseller channel conflict
Enterprise applications
Microsoft
Software as a service (SaaS)

The next version of Microsoft Navision ERP (aka Dynamics NAV) has been delayed a full year, the company confirmed today.

What was to have been NAV 5.1, due late this year, has morphed into NAV 6, with a slated release date of the fourth quarter 2008. That’s calendar year quarter,

A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed the changes, first reported in a German trade publication IS Report  and in this blog last week.

Details were sparse but the spokeswoman said there will be an interim Service Pack for Nav 5.1, early next year.

Here’s part of the statement from Mogens Elsberg, Dynamics NAV general manager:

“The development effort behind the delivery of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 6.0 is significant. While bringing valuable usability and productivity gains to customer, the development work requires real architectural change. Given the strong Microsoft Dynamics NAV ISV ecosystem, we have engaged ISVs early in the development of the product. Together we have concluded that we can bring important improvement to the product by extending the release date.

By continuing our work we can improve the performance, overall quality an perhaps most importantly, maintain the ‘simplicity’ of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.”

Hmmmm. 

What remains to be seen is whether this decision has anything to do with a Microsoft-hosted ERP. While the company has forged ahead on  Microsoft-hosted CRM,  as of July executives said there was  no decision–yet–on whether Microsoft would host ERP (or accounting) software for customers. Partners already host Microsoft CRM and ERP for some accounts.

A year or so earlier, company CEO Steve Ballmer was giving partners the heads up that Microsoft would host virtually everything in its stable, if the customer demands it.

Also floating around MBS land in the past year were rumors that Axapta (Microsoft Dynamics AX) would be the basis of the converged  ERP code the company had promised. Microsoft has never acknowledged this to be the case and the fact that the rumor has stayed “out there” has hurt Great Plains (Dynamics GP) sales, several partners said.

This quandary shows the pitfalls of buying –and then having to maintain and upgrade–several code bases. Microsoft jumpstarted its business applications push in 2001 when it bought Great Plains Software, which had already bought Solomon. The following year, Microsoft snapped up Navision, of Denmark, which already fielded its eponymous ERP as well as Axapta. The latter two brands are still stronger in Europe than in the U.S. but Axapta sports the most  modern code base of the four products and thus would provide the most up-to-date underpinnings of a converged ERP product.

Stay tuned on this folks. I have a feeling there may be some news on this front soon.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston area freelancer, can be reached at badarrow@comcast.net.

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