Changing NSC's

We are contemplating switching solution centers as we are dissatisfied with our present support level. What is Microsoft’s policy regarding this? Are there agreements between solution centers that would prevent this? If it is possible, what steps do we have to go through to switch? I’d prefer not to discuss the details of why we are dissatisfied for now.

HI, This is relatively easy process: - You should send letter to MBS that states that you want to change NSC. If you have not already selected new NSC MBS will offer you few NSC’s from your area or with your Industry experience. - Only one condition for switching NSC. You should not have any open A/R with existing NSC. You are free to change to any NSC you feel will satisfy your needs the best. You are the client and you are paying for service. By the way this will be very good test for MBS Enhancement Program. I believe you subscribed for this program and you should receive your userid to login to Customer Source website and you can contact directly to MBS representative. You are paying 16% for this service. Use it.

Excuse me for asking, but I might be in the same situation as Milton: What is “Customer Source website”? I have never heard of it. Pelle

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Originally posted by pelle
but I might be in the same situation as Milton: What is “Customer Source website”? I have never heard of it.


Check out http://www.microsoft.com/BusinessSolutions/CustomerSource/default.mspx

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CustomerSource is a secure online Web site that provides Microsoft Business Solutions customers with around-the-clock support and a multitude of tools to improve processes and practices. Currently, it’s available to customers using Microsoft Business Solutions–Great Plains and Microsoft Business Solutions–Solomon, and will be available to all customers soon. Your Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner can offer more information about appropriate service options for your business needs.


Thanks Valentin, Don’t get me started on the Enhancement Program thing. A principle enticement was the promise that Customer Source would fill in some of the gaps that our NSC was not providing. I guess we were expecting a little bit more than:

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No documents have been found for your chosen topic. Please check back at a later time


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Please contact your local Microsoft Business Solutions partner to install this service pack.


So far the only thing I can find on Customer Source is a description of the last 24 service packs/hot fixes, and various advertisments for Microsoft support options. Milt

I’ve got the form needed to change NSC’s. If anyone would like it please send me an email and I’ll be happy to send it to you. mindie @ ics-support.com (without the spaces)

Since I had the opportunity to be a channel manager with Navision here in the US a few years ago, I got to be quite familiar with the process. As Valentin detailed, there are a few steps. 1. Notify MBS of your intentions to switch. They’ll try and point you in the direction of a reputable NSC, but if they don’t then this certainly a good forum to use for research. 2. MBS will then forward you a PDF file to fill out asking you to detail who you are, what NSC you are curently with, and finally what NSC you want to go to. You’ll then send this back to MBS where they will make the change in their system. That’s it…no caveats. You are free to go to the NSC that you feel best fits your needs. Also, as a reminder…I’d not simply limit yourself to your own geographical region. There are many reputable NSCs throughout the US that can certainly provide support to Navision customers. With the ability to perform remote support through Terminal Server, Citrix, PC Anywhere, and other packages, providing support “technically” has never been easier. For example, my organization, while based out of the Atlanta area, currently has customers in Tennessee, California, Ohio, North and South Carolina, New Jersey, and even Spain and Mexico. No advertisement here…just examples that many other NSCs I’m sure can demonstrate as well.

Hi Milton, as Valentin says, so long as you have your bills paid there are no political reasons not to change. But do look at the practial side. I am not trying to change your mind, but its always best to be prepared. Over the past (too many to mention) years, I have worked with many clients wanting to change their NSC. Over those years, I would say that 50% of them I have helped to resolve the issues with their NSC, and 50% I have helped to transition to a new NSC. (Win-Win for me I guess). I don’t work for an NSC, and I don’t sell Navision, so I can give advise without fear. An important note: It may seem strange for many of you to hear this, but when a customer leaves their NSC, the real winner is actually that NSC. “Why”, you ask? If it has come to the point where it is time to leave, then almost certainly two situations exist. 1/ The NSC has failed to deliver something that the client needs, 2/ the client owes money. Changing solution centers means that you pay the money, and they don’t have to deliver. Guess who wins here? So it is very important for you to run a balance sheet, and just see what you are loosing by changing, understand that, that is what you are loosing and move on. Before leaving the NSC, try to get as much delivered as possible don’t get that horrible feeling that it is all your fault. It is very rare that a clash between NSC and client is the blame of the client, yet in most cases, it is manipulated to apear that way. If they can not deliver the programming etc, then get them to give your users training, get a couple of people trained on report writer, for that matter get some reports written, but don’t just throw away money that you have already spent. Next is who are you moving to? There are three prime reasons that an NSC will take over an existing client 1/ There is a lot of new business that makes it financially viable. 2/ It is a start up NSC, and they need any business, and any clients. 3/ They want you as a reference site If it is 1/ then great, that means that you have not spent too much of your money, and there is enough to make you an atractive customer for the alternate NSC, then you are in a positive situation. 2/ You need to be carefull. Assuming that you are coming from a mature NSC, why were they unable to deliver. Make sure that the new NCS can deliver where the previous one could not. Unless of course the new NSC is made up of people with a number of years of Navision experience, in which case you are also good to go. (there are many disgruntled ex NSC employees starting their own NSCs these days, with these types of NSC, you get experience with out all the c&@p that some of the established companies deliver). 3/ Reference site, beware. What are they expecting of you. Also how do they expect to make money from you as a reference site? If they can’t make money, they can’t help you. 4/ There was a four? No there wasn’t! There are many reasons that companies want to work with you and help you. … simple rule can they make money = they will help you. So… what was all this about? Well its simple. We are all here for one reason … to make money!!! So you need to concider in the end, “I need help from my new NSC, how can they make money from me, and help me in the process?” Anyway, having said all this, if you need help, let us know, ultimately all if us here at NOLUG prosper (prosper=$) if clients are happy, we want you to be happy, we want to make money. If you need help, you are in the right place. Last but not least, … its great not working for an NSC, so that you (I) can “speak” honestly. But really why do I do this? Simple. I help people here, becuase every now and then, one of them uses my services to help them, and I make money, that’s what we all do. Good luck either way. Navision is a great product, (maybe the best out there). I hope that you will not blame on the product, your bad experiences with you current NSC, and I hope that all gets resolved. Please let us know how it turns out. And if you need help in the transition, feel free to call.

Hey Milton, how did it turn out?

Hey Dave… Any reason why your reply to this seems so “anti” NSC? I’m sure if you look at failed implementations that just as many issues would be due to things that clients had responsibility for. The bottom line is that the implementation is truly a partnership that both parties are responsible for. Both groups must readily understand what is involved in a successfull implementation and the expectations must be set accordingly. To say that it’s primarily due to the ineptitude of a Navision Solution Center or that they are simply trying to take advantage of the prospective client is just way too easy of a thing to say and definitely isn’t leaving the prospect with a good feeling…whichever NSC the choose to go with.

Sorry if it seemed that way. I have spent the most of my Navision career as a problem solver, so I normally get called into an implementation because it is having problems. In fact, (and it was the point I was trying to emphasize in my posting above), in most cases, it is in the customers best interests to try and resolve their issues with the NSC, rather than changing. My point was that changing may seem a good solution right now, (and there is a 50/50 chance that it is the right solution), but before making that decision, investigate all options and talk to Navision to see if they can help resolve issues. What I didn’t say and probably should have, was that in many cases, customers change NSCs only to find that it wasn’t the NSC that was the problem.

Another angle in changing NSC: Often you are promised availability of ressources (in prosperous times)and you pay for this. When the market is on the decline, the NSC “must” cut down on costs and this may impair the NSCs ability to deliver the promised ressources. As a result each time you ask for the specialist’s help you pay again and again for the education of a new specialist to help you. Then it is some times smarter and quicker (and cheaper?? if anything may be called cheap in this world) to change NSC to another provider not (yet) hit by the decline in your area of interest. Gert Lettorp

Here here Dave. Sometimes it’s important to just sit down and be honest with each other and try and work things out. The process of bringing new players to the table can potentially add to the frustration of the customer…but sometimes it’s just plain necessary. The sad fact is that many times the Navision software gets blamed for being the problem, when it’s really the overall deployment of it that is the issue. I think we all agree that Navision is a phenomenal tool and can solve a great many of the issues that organizations in the middle market have. But as has been said before…I think by Clark Kent’s dad…“With great power comes great responsibility.”

Gentlemen, I appreciate the lively discussion on this topic. We will first try one last time to mend things with our present NSC, but I’m not very optomistic. We are a bit of an anigma in that we have a relatively large in-house programming staff. We bought Navision because it was customizeable, and have made substantial modifications to it. Our biggest problem today is reconciling our changes with Navision’s changes. We prefer to do the reconcile and updates in-house, but as an end user, we don’t get any of the documentation or tools that an NSC gets to do the updates (not to mention licenses). We are totally at the mercy of our NSC for these things. Our requests for help are relatively infrequent and (as Gert so eloquently said)

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As a result each time you ask for the specialist’s help you pay again and again for the education of a new specialist to help you.


We won’t move into this change lightly. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks, Milt

Milton, Here is what I could find from Navision on Licensing: Document 16803: Customers are able to buy access to the Source Analyzer and Compare & Merge. The price has been aligned with the “Application Builder” granule of Navision Attain. Document 11862: Solution Developer: With this granule, the user can modify all existing objects, including those objects which update protected tables. This granule requires Application Builder. You would need the Solution Developer to merge Navision changes into your own. With the Solution Developer, you should also be able to buy the Compare & Merge Tool which is the tool that your NSC would (possibly) use to merge changes. From my understanding, you would still need to obtain these tools from your NSC, as only NSC Employees can access the Microsoft website to download them. I am not saying that it is the correct option for a customer to merge Navision improvements on their own, just that it is an option available with the correct tools (=$$$) Good Luck.

By the way some big clients who has relatevely large in-house programming staff opened there own solution centers.

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Originally posted by David Singleton
Hi Milton, If it has come to the point where it is time to leave, then almost certainly two situations exist. 1/ The NSC has failed to deliver something that the client needs, 2/ the client owes money. Changing solution centers means that you pay the money, and they don’t have to deliver. Guess who wins here? … Next is who are you moving to? There are three prime reasons that an NSC will take over an existing client 1/ There is a lot of new business that makes it financially viable. 2/ It is a start up NSC, and they need any business, and any clients. 3/ They want you as a reference site … 4/ There was a four? No there wasn’t! There are many reasons that companies want to work with you and help you. … simple rule can they make money = they will help you. … Last but not least, … its great not working for an NSC, so that you (I) can “speak” honestly. But really why do I do this? Simple. I help people here, becuase every now and then, one of them uses my services to help them, and I make money, that’s what we all do.


Just a few notes to your post: 1) Working for an NSC doesn’t mean you cannot speak honestly… in fact if you’re a good professional you should speak honestly to the customer (at least that’s what i think and that’s what i try). If something it’s not worthy to be done or i can figure out a way to do it using the standard i advice the customer to do it. You’re forgetting the fact that sometimes the first NSC you choose it’s not only not delivering changes, but their changes are sometimes horribly working. I was “on the other side” (the customer side) and i know that experience. Our first NSC was horrible (in fact about one year later they lost the NSC status). Their developments were mostly non-working and full of bugs (it’s when i started developing in navision and inclusively in my firsts days checking the code i discovered lots of bugs on our NSC’s one…). Also the development was really delayed over the ETD, so we finally choose changinbg the NSC we were using and it was a great decission. Our “second choice” NSC was having a better team and they were able of fixing our problems. After “changing to the dark side” (NSC) i’ve found lots of companies where the NSC they sign the initial contract with didn’t complete the developments or was unable of providing them with the services they were requiring. Something really common in this business are people offering the customer developments they don’t really know how to do or selling the program without just knowing what the customer is really needing/doing and then trying to do the actual “investigation” after the contract is signed… so at the end the customer has already payed for a service that later is low quality or not working properly… and that’s where the troubles begin. Sometimes i’ve found developments that were having reports that take hours to run while with just a couple lines of changes you could make those reports run in a few seconds. If the NSC is doing a good job and the services the customer is requiring are working in a reasonable time there’s no sense on changing to a different NSC, but sometimes the NSC you’re working with it’s not having people as experienced as needed for certain developments and when you ask for those developments you need (let’s say upgrading your database) they just answer that that cannot be done. Sometimes the databases are so highly customized that it makes the upgrade a real hell and it’s cost raise a lot, but it’s something that should be the customer decission after telling him what it will cost to do it and what are the pros and contras. But trust me when i say that sometimes changing to a different NSC can solve a lot of problems. About the reasons for an NSC to get a new customer, as you say there’s just really one: money. The more customers they get the more money they can make by upgrades, new developments and support contracts/services. If you change to a new NSC usually it’s because you need doing more developments on your database or fixing existing ones… and that’s money for the new NSC. The question is what NSC to choose… well, i should recommend that if you’re having lots of trouble with your actual one before changing to a new one you should try contacting some customers from the candidates and check their satisfaction level with the service. If the level is low… discard that NSC. In the NSC i’m working right now we’re getting a lot of customers from other NSC’s not because we’re needing references, but because we’re having good references from our actual customers (and also because of the NSC’s the customers are working with… you don’t know how much bad developments i was having to fix sometimes…). Remember that the NSC is getting profit for each customer they make just by selling the licenses, so it seems that some of the NCS’s out there sometimes just try to get the customer for getting that profit no matters if they’re not able later of fulfilling their customer needs…(and some other times there are other issues that make the customer unhappy with the actual NSC they are working with) and then is when the unhappy customers decide to change to a different NSC that provides them with the solution they need. Another different thing is if you’re just changing to a different NSC because they don’t let you their license for making an upgrade or merging objects… well, they don’t have to. You’re not supposed to do any change your license does not allow you to, so if you’re doing developments you’re supposed to buy the adequate license to do them. Regards,

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Originally posted by chrisk
Document 16803: Customers are able to buy access to the Source Analyzer and Compare & Merge. The price has been aligned with the “Application BuilderEgranule of Navision Attain.


Hello, I already own the solution devloper… Any idea what the cost of the “Source Analyzer and Compare & Merge” tools are???.. Milton, my opinion of customer source… “What a waste of Web Space on Microsoft’s Servers…” I wonder if Bill knows the crap there trying to pass off as support/help/information… It’s only a matter of time before the word gets to the correct people @ MS that the customer developer is unhappy… Larger IT shops should be able to support themselves using Microsoft/NSC when required to implement specific projects as required… I guess the question really is “If I pay MS a yearly fee for support/upgrades etc. what am i getting???”… This might sound as if I’m unhappy (partially) but I think the product is great… Robert

so milton, did you change, what was the result?

Hi David, Thanks for the interest. We have decided to give our current NSC one last chance. A significant kicker was when Microsoft/Our NSC stopped bouncing us around to different support people and finally gave our local NSC the permission to support our manufacturing module. Prior to that, payroll and financials was supported locally, but Manufacturing had to be supported elsewhere. It was very frustrating. Neither office could really do the job right. I think you are right, that in the end it is all about money. We do most of our modifications in-house, so the only involvement our NSC’s have had has been regarding bugs in the software that we don’t have access to fix. Typically, customers don’t like to pay extra to get bugs fixed, so their’s nothing more for the NSC than his cut of the license fee. Any extra payments have been small per-incident fees where we’ve needed them to user their license to compile code we’ve modified to get around a system bug, or to run the update utilities that Microsoft won’t give end users the license to use. As a carrot to our NSC we’ve decided to turn over a large part of our 2.6 to 3.7 reconcile to them. If it works out like I hope it will, they’ll get intimate exposure to our custimizations and particular needs (not to mention a significant chunk of our money), and we’ll have an NSC that finally knows us. If it doesn’t work out, then at least we haven’t burned any bridges and we can start shopping again. Milt