Dynamics NAV to SAP

Hello All:)

I am working as Nav developer currently. The firm which i am working for deciding to implement SAP. I may get a training and work on SAP. How this sounds?. Will it be useful to have NAV and SAP development experience as package?. If i work in SAP for one year as developer, is this a considerable amount of experience.?

Any one out there has gone through what i am going through?

Thanks :slight_smile:

I think that really depends on your prior experience. I had spent 12 years working with Solomon (and various other accounting products) when the company, I work for at that time, decided to drop those and pick up Navision. There was no time for learning curve. The expectation was to be billable from day one. While I did manage to be billable, in those early days, I would not have considered myself to be an experienced NAV developer/integrator. However, I did consider myself to be an experienced accounting system developer/integrator. That’s a key point. Switching to a new product, is not like starting over again for an expereinced person. There are many skills and much knowledge that is transferable.

I’m now in my 10th year of working with NAV and facing a similar situation again. Not with a different product, but with the new version of NAV. In some ways the RTC is different from what I have become used to, and it will take some ramping up.

I would recommend learning SAP. At this time is not clear what system will stay on the market after crisis ends. MBS focused on the SMB market and this market is most affected by crisis. The worst what I see is that MBS channel loosing consultants. Customers are cutting budgets and Solution Centers are shrinking. Unfortunately consultants cannot find job in NAV world and have to switch to other systems/areas. This can put MBS in very bad situation when market will pick up. MBS was not able motivate young people to learn NAV on any MBS product. I do not think MBS is doing enough to help channel survive. I think they should consider giving systems for “free” or offering huge discount for some time. Otherwise they can lose channel and this will mean loose MBS.

I do not think SAP has better time than MBS but – SAP is focused on ERP and widely considered the best (even so I can’t agree with this). They will lose much less consultants during slowdown. Plus most of the young people will conceder learning SAP vs any other system.

Microsoft is big company and MBS is still does not produce profit – you never know what there thoughts will be in next few years. They alredy started cutting people and sell off unprofitable units.

Where did you hear that from?

It is all good experience and offering 2 skills may be of interest to some companies but most organisations need and rely on specialists.

We work with our SAP team on many projects to link our commercial operations with our factories or to combine information from the different systems and we find taht SAP is feature-poor, expensive and inflexible when compared to NAV.

I think that there will be many years development and maintenance on both NAV and SAP systems; but I also think that you should pick your horse and learn to ride it to the best of your abilities.

The last time I checked MSFTs annual report, MBS was extremely profitable – by percentage. It is/was a very small portion of MSFT’s business, however. Now, MBS has been rolled into the Office Suite as far as MSFT’s financial reporting is concerned so it’s a bit more opaque now.

Anyway, you’ve inspired me to go check the numbers again. I’ll post a link.

It all depends on what you’re going for. Personally, I think it may be a very valuable combination. Some time ago, there were a lot folks looking to do Hub and Spoke implementations with SAP at as the hub. Knowing both data models would be very valuable, IMHO.

If I were learning both, I would make sure I also found a niche vertical where it may work. For instance, global companies (the most likely to have a large SAP hub) with the need for many small databases. Obviously, the retail sector comes to mind…

That would depend on what your company is going to use SAP for, as they will use a SAP reseller to do the implementation what training would you need is it just administration, also is this a replacement for Navision, or for group management consolidation and will just import data from Navision?

I worked on an interface from Navision to SAP just by exporting transactional data in packets for SAP to upload, I created all the Navision side while there were possibly 5-10 SAP guys to deal with the code and go live implementation, some of the data did not match due to table structures and field sizes etc:, so there was a need for some mapping, an example is SAP could not deal with this Document Number ‘2009INV001’.

If you are moving Navisions inventory to SAP Distrubution, then that is likely an 18-24 month project, SAP is a lot more labour intense that navision and harder to modify, so it looks like you may have a while to choose how to proceed, how much SAP knowledge you will have after 1 year will depend on how good you are trained, and how well you learn, I know of Navision developers with over 10 years Navision, but some are still without a real good depth of knowledge of the core functions.


This would depend upon your definition of the SMB market - would it include tier 2 as defined by Gartner - I guess they disagree with you (although it is AX - but you are talking about MBS, so my argument is valid http://mediaproducts.gartner.com/reprints/microsoft/vol4/article12/article12.html

I could not disagree more, and it would seem as though MS agree with me coming from the WPC announcements for the process and requirements of becoming a partner. Firstly MS will not be in a bad situation when the market picks up (NAV maybe hitting hard times, AX is not, so I am not sure MS see this as hard times). It is not the job of MBS to motivate young people to learn NAV, anyway with resellers going out of business as you state there will be many NAV consultants available at cheaper than current prices. MBS are not responsible for the channel ultimately. The R&D budget for MBS has increased again to more billions, and who wants to consider the marketing budget - whether you feel any of this is working or not [:D] Free suoftware and huge discounts simply sends out the wrong message, cuts any MS margin and leaves all the profit with the reseller - why would they offer this. Remember they offer leasing and many other options for financing deals. They are a long long way from losing the channel - FY09 has just ended, and if you could see the figures you would understand this.

Does not produce a profit is funny - please post the link showing this. You do realise what business unit ERP is contained within at MS I presume, and you “know” this does not make a profit?? As for thoughts in the next few years MS offer roadmaps for all the MBS products for 10+ years which no other software vendor can match.

I also feel you should read this, in case you have not heard of Gartner then Ray Wang, a VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research, talks about MS and SAP.


Anyway enough from me [:D]

Thanks for every one who replied me i really appreciated. Yes SAP reseller will be involved in and its not clear yet what kind of training we are going to get and how much work will it be. The IT sector of my company is a reseller of NAV but they are more concentrating on AX now. As the company has grown alot they want to use SAP instead of NAV for them selves. As i am a NAV developer and been working since 3 years i would like to continue on NAV but not with my current employer because not much future of NAV here. If i decide to involve in SAP implementation, the employer is telling me to sign 4 years bond with them. Meaning to say, i will not be able to resign before the bond ends. As i am a UK work permit holder , i wanted to go to UK and get Navision job. So i have to choose between my current employer and going to UK. I dont have a job in UK and i would like to search as i reach there. One more thing to be noted here is that, working environment of my employer is not that professional so i am afraid if i do stay for 4 more years i may not get expertise i should get. Although i got good NAV experience thats due to my own efforts. So what i choose ? Please this is important decision for me as it is question of my career. Please help me in this regard. My current employer who is going for SAP and NAV future is low (the employer who has not good working environment (learning wise) OR go to UK and search for NAV job with a good employer???

Adam: a couple of years ago (2006 I’d say), Microsofts 10-K filings (available online at edgar) did split out MBS as a seperate revenue stream. Even then MBS was a bit of mis-mash, and included SharePoint, and a few other pieces of software that are not ERP or CRM. The revenue numbers were very small – I don’t remember exactly but somewhere around 2% of the business.

Anyway, the revenue numbers are so small, it seems virtually impossible for it to make a profit. The wouldn’t be able to handle costs assigned from corporate, let alone their own operating costs. Of course, I don’t know this for sure, and I don’t know what this really means because the numbers are for MBS as whole and not just NAV.

As of today, everything in MBS, including Dynamics products, are wrapped up in a bigger bucket that includes office. And it’s still just revenue, we don’t know costs. Since MS Office is Microsofts biggest money makes, there is essentially no visibility on how Dynamics is doing.


tough questions. going to another country without a job is a pretty risky proposition, but the way you’re stating the question, it sounds like that’s what you really want to do.

Hi Imran

The NAV market in the UK is struggling currently like many places around the world. I am not sure of the level of jobs available, I would start a remote search. Four years ago I would have said come, there were loads of opportunities, lots of work and no resources. Nowadays this is not the case, so I would look before you leap, contact recruitment agents, have telephone interviews and guage a level before making the decision.