[:(!]16% Annual Charge-No Monthly Billing??

Is anyone else outraged by the MBS Enhancement Program charge? We are being told it won’t be billed monthly anymore and has been raised to 16%. Also that if we opt to not “sign up” when we do need program changes, new users, new reports etc., we will have to pay the months we missed. This is blackmail by a huge corporation and will significantly hurt the potential of future sales. (Erik I appoligize if this is posted in the incorrect forum or if it is posted somewhere else)

FYI to all out there… In the US, Microsoft has given the ok for customers to purchase additional upgrades / maintenance at the regular 10% fee. The only issue is that all orders must be into Navision by February 28, 2003. They are allowing users to purchase as many years in advance as desired, but the payments must be in a lump sum up front.

Hi Bill, So how is that different from forcing you to do something you might not want to? Not to mention that MBS did not care about letting the NSCs know about it and break the “big” news to the clients in a more diplomatic way ? Cristi

Well… the worst thing it’s how to explain the customer that’s using as example v3.10 that he’s now having to pay a 16% and then, when they find a bug into standard navision and prompted navision about such bug, the answer is that they’re having no fix and that they’re not going to have it or not going to have it solved in a short period of time… so the customer is having to choose between paying for fixing or waiting for navision to solve the problem (if they do… that usually it’s not the case). Regards,

I am outraged as well. I love the software, but out Microsoft has succeeded in losing another customer. It’s just not affordable. 10% was even high.

To all, I am not in support of the increase myself. However, although it might not be the best way, MBS is giving people an opportunity to save if they go ahead and purchase. Many of my customers have taken advantage of this already. As far as not notifying NSCs…although we did find out just a few weeks back, we have had enough time to properly notify our customers. Is there ever enough time to notify people of an upcoming price increase? In regards to not supporting fixes for older versions of Navision, there really is no way to make the customer happy even when they pay 10%, 16%, or any amount at all. Face it, the nature of the beast is for products to be improved and these improvements will ultimately mean a new release version…it’s the only way that software vendors can operate. Otherwise, you’ll have a release version that is smaller in size than all the additional fixes that get added to it. Again, the big point that Microsoft is pushing with the 6% increase is the availability to that customer of the new .NET product when it’s released. I know…I know…promises that won’t happen for another 3-5 years, but then again…how much will that product cost at that point?

Hi Bill, You could probably argue about the “nature of the beast”. But I think there are few things that made this move more than annoying: 1. While it may be saving opportunity for some companies question is how many of our clients really have or are willing to buy ahead enough to make a difference in the current “downsizing”, costcutting, post bubble, crazy period? [:(] 2. Microsoft had the same buldozer approach as with everything else they do. Navision never did this and I am sure it was not because they would have not welcomed the extra money [;)] While they are aware (I hope) of the value of the current NSC network (since I think that’s what they were aiming for when they bought Navision) they are forcing through moves with a complete disregard to what the network with think. They knew we would not a choice and not a lot of lever given the size of Microsoft compared with Navision … So while we probably were all the time the little guy now MS really makes us feel like the little guy [}:)] 3. As for the benefits of .NET platform in the 3-5 years future: come on that’s like saying today to invest in a stock or fund because it is “guaranteed” [;)] a good return in 3-5 years from now. 4. Also remember that Navision products have evolved so much that right now it is used in such a wide range of companies: from small ones that use Sales and Receivables to some for which not even all Commerce Portal and Manufacturing is enough. So to apply the same treatment to all of them is so Microsoft and unfair … [}:)][}:)][}:)][}:)] Cristi

Bill, about fixing errors on previous versions, let me explain you that most customers are still in version 3.10 (as 3.60 has been just released a few months ago and the upgrade toolkits for advanced distribution databases just a few days ago), so it’s not as “crazy” asking for a fix on a database that it’s still mostly used… specially when we all know how dangerous can be starting using the released version of Navision just after being released… you’re always having to wait at least for a couple “improvements” (bug fixes packs) before really considering on upgrading to the next version. Not only that, but customers don’t see that “point of view” either, specially when some of then don’t need at all the new functionalities included in new versions, but what they want is continuing with the customized database they’re using and having the problems they’re getting FROM THE STANDARD solved. Usually navision answer it’s “it will solved in the next version”, without having any consideration about actual users. If my user is having a problem with the program, he needs the problem solved NOW, not when the next version is released… :frowning: Regards,

Hi, I think Microsoft get money that would go to NSC. This is not client problem this is NSC problem. Most clients have BUDGET for IT. What do you think they will do when they spend there budget. Right, they will wait until next year. So you have client with 100K license. They have BUDGET for Navision: 10% = $10000 – upgrade charges 5% = $5000 - telephone support 2 day per Month = 25 day = 25 * 8 * $150 = $30000 After they receive the notice BUDGET will in most cases be: 16% = $16000 – upgrade charges 5% = $5000 - telephone support 20 days = 20 * 8 * $150 = $24000 So, just because of this NSC lost 6000/35000 = 17% of the revenue. Now you should ask yourself what was our profit margin last year. If it was less than 17% you most likely will be in red this year. Only one good think what I can think about is that next year customers will make there budgets with 16% of upgrade charges in mind. Hopefully Microsoft will not increase it next year.

My thanks to Bill Moffett on the prepayment tip. For fear of the future, when we were shopping for business systems (approx 18 months ago) a Great Plains (I like to say Great Pains) reseller told us their upgrade fee (from Microsoft) was 21%. I don’t know if there was any dealer markup in that number. My question is - What is the upgrade fee for Great Pains? This is our crystal ball into the future.

Gentelmen, We can sit hear and complain about the increased costs and the lack of support for the product…believe me…I’ve been on all sides (Navision NTR, NSC, and customer and know the problems that you face. I’m just a bit suprised at the shock from everyone at the changes that are now coming down the pipe from Microsoft. Did we not expect some type of eventual increase. Cristi, I understand your concerns and do feel that this same type of approach would have come whether or not Microsoft had acquired Navision at all. Based on comparisons with other products, specifically Great Plains, Navision was always leaving money on the table espcecially when you compare the revenues from support and maintenace plans. As far as being unfair…I think it’s simply a part of doing business. Those smaller customer’s are having access to the same robust functionality and support network as the larger customers. Why take advantage of the larger one’s? I agree with the approach of applying the same rules and costs across the board. Funny, sounds like an income tax issue myself [:I] Apertierra, as far as solving customer problems that are a result of Navision not providing fixes for older versions, I certainly your point. Currently, I’m working on a 2.6 Adv. Dist. client that is suffering just this issue. However, while we do point issues out to Navision, we also realize that this fix will never come. From a customer service point of view, we are going to invest some time and effort to resolve the issue in the hope that it will pay off with further customer loyalty. We position ourselves to the customer as the “go to people” and try to minimize the finger pointing back to Navision…especially if we can make the fix ourselves. I know that many of us in the NSC world take this approach, but obviously we need a forum to voice these issues and www.mbsonlin.org is fantastic for this. As far as budgeting goes, we sat down with our customer base at the time of the Navision acquisition announcement and discussed potential concerns from the customers. Issues such as the ongoing support, the lifecycle of the product, and budgeting for ongoing support and maintenance were just some of the issues that were brought up. While, no one expected an increase of 6% on the maintenance, things like this were brought up and talked about as potential happenings. Bottom line, we tried to prepare and comfort our customers for just these type of happenings…and so far, the customers have been fine. Actually, we had a customer make the comment that the value they were getting from utilizing the Navision solution outweighs any 6% increase. Isn’t that what we should really be pushing?

Scott, As far as a crystal ball goes, I’d start looking at the changes going on within the Navision program. Microsoft has already made the statement that they are going to unify the entire pricing program. This seems to be top priority among the MBS folks we’ve talked with. Unfortunately, the programs are so diverse that it will take some time. I think the upgrade increase is just the beginning. In regards to granule pricing, I think Navision has definitely positioned itself as the right approach price-wise and with the use of granules, meaning smaller functional areas when compared to other systems. My understanding is that this will mean that all MBS products including Navision, Axapta, Great Plains, Solomon, Dynamics, and the like will have the same pricing for the basic functionality. This means that G/L will cost the same across all products. The key way that products will be differentiated will be on functionality. Maybe some of the products will have mfg areas and others will not. This will be one of the key differentiators across the product lines. Basically what MBS wants is for customers to buy from MBS. So no matter what product you purchase they end up getting the sale. This is seems to give Navision a huge advantage over the other product lines. The key for Navision has always been the ability to make changes quickly and efficiently within the product. This along with a reseller channel that is more consultative when compared to the other “software hockers” out there has definitely excited the other NSCs that I’ve talked to. One last thing Scott, pleae call me when you get a chance…803-419-4824. Thanks. Bill

Hi, Do you have any information when next version will be released and what new features will be added? I heard that Navision decided to release only one version per year or even less frequent, instead previous two per year. Have you heard anything about this?

Sorry Valentin, while I used to be privy to this type of information, I currently do not know any specifics on release dates or functionality to be included in the next products. Personally, I think that we will gradually see over the next few years a slow down in the amount of new functionality that gets released to Navisioners since a large amount of development resources will be, if not already have, moved to the development of this “new” product.

An important question (for me) is where will MBS put the Manufacturing functionality ? Will they move mnf out of Attain and fully exploit it in for example Axapta ? This would mean that if you want to tackle the manufacturing industry you would have to build your own vertical add on, or buy something from another NSC. Or do you think they will keep on developing ALL functionalities in ALL products ? The reason why I’m asking is that I find Attain’s manufacturing functionality very basic and that I do not see many functional changes and new things over the releases. Does that imply that Attain does not want to focus on the manufacuring industry ?

At least payroll has been already moved out from mbs support and now it’s an external company who does it… and now for that reason the nsc training on payroll that was previously free as it was coming from navision us, it’s not free anymore. Regards,

I expected a negative reaction from our customers regarding the price increase but the exact opposite has happened. Our customers have been pleased with many things about this offer. They feel that they will be getting more value from their upgrade agreements. They are excited that they can still get the agreement at 10% until March 1st. Best of all, the customers that have not kept their upgrade agreements current can now get an upgrade agreement without having to pay all fees retroactively plus a penalty for lapsing.

Common marketing strategy for luxury products : the more expensive, the better (people tend to think that way in luxury segments).

Mindi, The online support MBS is promising definitely adds a lot more to the pie than Navision traditionally did with the old upgrade/maintenance program. Please correct me if I’m wrong on this, but don’t they have to pay for the amount of months that they were not current per the traditional Navision model?

In the US, Microsoft has given the ok for customers to purchase additional upgrades / maintenance at the regular 10% fee. The only issue is that all orders must be into Navision by February 28, 2003. They are allowing users to purchase as many years in advance as desired, but the payments must be in a lump sum up front. According to Bill mentioned on the second message, customers could purchase additional upgrades. However, I check with my solution center, they told me that Microsoft does not have this special. They only allow you to renew one year each time…I am just wondering where did Bill get this information from…