Dear fellow Navision freelancers, We had this topic once before (a year ago), but I would really like to bring up the topic again. We are many members who work as freelancers, but depending on the country we are treated very differently by the national Navision company (NTR’s). Some NTR’s see us as a big treat to their NSC’s, other as a strength, because our mobilty offered true the NSC’s will give them a way to take action in down-resource times. I would like to hear your comment to the following questions: 1) How do you feel that your NTR thinks about your job? 2) How is your relationship to your NTR? 3) How do you feel that the NSC’s look at your work? Treat? 4) How do you find your freelance jobs? 5) What do you miss the most as a freelancer? And I’m not even talking about the problem about getting a legal development license. That’s a completly different topic. Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster
I worked earlier on a NSC here in Sweden, but I switched over to one of our former customers a while ago. Here I still work a lot with Navision. We are currently implementing a new order system for all of our subsidaries in six countries. We want to have the latest technology in order to minimize our own development work. We talked to Navision when I first start working here about the possibility to receive information from Navision directly. We also tried to get invited to Navisions technical briefing. All this ended up in nothing. We now have a good connection to our NSC and receive information that way. So my feeling about Navision (atleast here in Sweden) are that they have problems with the type of customer that we represent. That is a customer with there own developmentlicense and own staff that makes there own development in Navision. We have a lot of experience (I am on my fifth year with Navision) but our main problem is that we don’t have firsthand info from Navision about new products and so on. That is a big problem for us. Best regards Daniel EuroFlorist AB
I have exactly the same problem in France. In our case, the first and the second NSC have been in liquidation and now we are waiting for a third, fortunately that all implementations are home made. Best regards,
Jean-Marc, I don’t quite understand what you write. Are you saying that you cannot get help from a NSC? Have you tried getting help from a Navision freelancer? Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster
That’s exactly what i mean, because our application add 785 new objects. The first NSC wrote the application in 1999 and “die”. The second tell us that he had the same project, write it for 2 years (2000, 2001)and “die” last week. During this time he only want to help us for the standard but not to maintain the application because of complexity. And now we are waiting from NAVISION a serious NSC and i have never heard of a NAVISION freelancer in France.
I am working as an Attain freelancer out of Denmark. I can relate to the problems you are talking about, Erik. In my opinion freelancers does not have a high regard in the Navision World. Within other technologies/applications e.g. SAP, Microsoft and Oracle there is a much higher belief in freelancers capabilities and benefits. I believe freelancers are a benefit: * end customers can hire a Navision professional full time for e.g 6 months. This will give him a great benefit compared to the 100% consultancy situation * Solution Centers can make great applications using specialists also adding flexibility to the workforce. I do not think the NSC’s mind using freelancers but there is no tradition for doing it Denmark yet. Q: What do you miss most? A: I miss an official status in the Navision World with access to product info, technical briefing invitations and so forth. Best regards Anders Hedegaard mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes Anders, that’s exactly my experience with being a freelancer that everyone not within a normal NSC are considered more or less illegal workers. And of cause the fact that most don’t have a full solution developer license. So when working for end-user customers most freelancers cannot do everything what a NSC can, unless the customer has the full solution developer license. When you look at the rest of the Microsoft world, then it’s my hope that this will change. Within Microsoft there is a long tradition for using freelancers - I just hope that this will be the case in “our world” as well. The tradition within the Navision world has been that Navision has protected their own solution centers to the maximum - without thinking about the fact this sometimes will shoot themselves in the foot. Have the freelancer workforce give, as you write, their NSC’s that flexibilty that sometimes will make them able to win the job instead of having to say no and risk loosing the job. I just really hope that Microsoft Business Solutions will take this seriously and make it possible for non-NSC employees to get certified and get a full development license (even if we would have to pay the same % that some NSC’s must pay per service hour invoiced). If I should answer other of my own questions then I would say that what miss the most as a freelancer is co-workers. I sometime try to compensate by using this website! My freelance jobs are found via my own network (friends, old clients etc.) and NSC’s and recruitment companies. When contacting companies they are often surprised that Navision freelancers really exists - because they have never heard about it. How do you sell you self? Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster
Daniel and Jean-Marc are regarding this issue from the point of view of a Navision-Customer resp. an employee of a customer. But that’s not the point. I am a freelancer since 1997 (the only one left in Switzerland btw.) Anders: I can second your statement “Solution Centers can make great applications using specialists also adding flexibility to the workforce.” But from my experience I have to disagree your:
"end customers can hire a Navision professional "
My developer license as freelancer does not allow me to work for Navision customers directly (at least in Switzerland). I may only work for an NSC or NTR. In a way this policy is understandeable as NSC’s are doing a great effort spending many unpaid hour in aquiring customers, providing infrastructure etc. They have expenses we (freelancers who can work at home) do not have. To come back to Eriks Questions: 1) How do you feel that your NTR thinks about your job? They like me to be around. They are aware of my strong and weak sides and if a problem matches my profile they call me to put me in contact with the NSC in need. 2) How is your relationship to your NTR? Great. 3) How do you feel that the NSC’s look at your work? Treat? Depends on the NSC and the kind of job. Let’s face it: As freelancer I am more expensive than an employed developer. Therefore they are not keen in giving me easy report-writing jobs which can be done in-house. They keep the heavy-stuff for me and that’s exactly what I want. However as I am mostly charging by hours, there are not many short term specialist-jobs available. Second kind of employment is taking over whole projects to fill capacity gaps. In most cases I will also be hired for supporting the customer once the project is finished. 4) How do you find your freelance jobs? One/two years ago this was very easy as many projects were available and experienced Navision developers were rare. Now we are in recession and some NSC’s are even firing people as they cannot feed them anymore. (That’s what I heard from Germany.) So times are getting rough and it seems to get more and more difficult to get good jobs nowadays. Most jobs I got (in this order) - From NSC’s who already know me - Via NTR who sends me to an NSC in need - Job recruiting agencies. 5) What do you miss the most as a freelancer? 1) Stability. As freelancers I am only hired to fill gaps in capacity or knowledge. And as programming capacity is saturated it’s getting more and more difficult to find jobs. 2) Education. If I want to sell myselfes to an NSC as specialist, I have to have a better know-how than the average developer. With every new release I therefore have to spend many unpaied days to put my knowledge up-to-date. With best regards from Switzerland Marcus Fabian
Originally posted by Marcus Fabian: My developer license as freelancer
YOUR WHAT?? Please tell more about that, how did you get that and what program is that under? Via an NSC? Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster
Hi Eric, it is called NDP-Programm (Navision Development Partner Program). Ask your NTR for the related files, fill out the agreement and… happy developing. Regards Walter
The Navision Development Partner program was closed several years ago! Actually I think it was back in 1999. And the only purpose of the NDP program was to support the development of 3rd. part add-ons. So it must be a local program in Thailand you’re refering to. But please tell me more about it; the requirements etc. Navision has been acting more international these year than ever before (coordinated international certification of their professionals), and with the MS takeover, then I beleive in even more streamlining of their programs. Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster
Originally posted by Admin: The Navision Development Partner program was closed several years ago! Actually I think it was back in 1999. And the only purpose of the NDP program was to support the development of 3rd. part add-ons. So it must be a local program in Thailand you’re refering to.
I don’t know what they do in Thailand but here in Switzerland I am an NPC (Navision Programming Center). I’ve no idea whether or not this is official Navision policy or just is (was?) available in Switzerland. So here comes the point: Unlike an NSC a NPC (which is usually a single human being) does not need an infrastructure like a secretariate, training classrooms and the like. However what I do need is the same education/certification as any NSC developer. The main difference between NSC and NPC is: * As NPC I must not work for End-Users directly. I might only work for an NSC or NTR * The annual license fee (in some countries it’s a percentage of turnover rather than an annual fee) is much lower than for an NSC. After all my individual developer license has the same “power” as the license of an NSC. Does that answer your questions? With best regards from Switzerland Marcus Fabian
Markus, this is excatly what I am whishing in the Danish channel. I know there are many freelancers doing work on Navision solutions that do not have access to proper training and support from Navision because there is no arrangement like the NPC status you are describing. Navision has traditionally been very concearned with securing the quality of the channel. I however think Navision would benefit from having a known and worldwide view on freelancers.
Does anyone know what the Navision Service Partner concept that is used i.e. in the US is all about? Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster
The goal of the US NSP (Navision Service Partner) program was to create a formal relationship between Navision US and firms who will provide services to NSCs. We are not authorized to sell Navision software. We have access to the same training, licenses and support as though we were an NSC. There are qualification requirements placed on us (number of people, type of people, business plans, certifications) which are similar to those placed on an NSC. The requirements do allow for a smaller firm than do the NSC requirements, but so far have not allowed for individuals to qualify. We must pay the same royalties on our Navision related billings as do NSCs. Our contract with Navision is very similar to that of an NSC (both good and bad parts). Liberty Grove Software became an NSP a little over a year ago. Our business focus is to provide services and products (such as training, upgrade services, contract development, enhancments, etc) for the NSC to resell to their clients or to use internally. We are currently only serving North American NSCs. There are a small number of US NSPs at this point. Dave Studebaker email@example.com Liberty Grove Software A Navision Services Partner
Thanks David, I have an additional question to :
Originally posted by daves: We are currently only serving North American NSCs.
Is that due to your Navision agreement or simply that you haven’t done any “marketing” outside the US? Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster
There are some limitations in our agreement, but if we wanted to work those out with Navision I imagine we could. The main reason is that any work directly related to the Navision product (and that’s almost everything we do)would require working with the localized version of the product. We would have to have Developer licenses allowing that (administrative challenge) and, more importantly, we think we would have to have some understanding of languages other than English. Since we are all sadly handicapped in that we only know English (mamma mia!!), we decided for the time being to be satisfied with only serving North American clients. Dave Studebaker firstname.lastname@example.org Liberty Grove Software A Navision Services Partner
Originally posted by daves: but if we wanted to work those out with Navision I imagine we could.
I imagine you couldn’t! As I mentioned earlier, your US licence would not permit you to access nationalized Objects and therefore you’d be quite f…ed. You would need another License (the one from this particular country) or a developer/NSC in that country as partner.
more importantly, we think we would have to have some understanding of languages other than English.
Not anymore! Since v3.00 all fieldnames, objects, captions etc. are in english. Even comments within the objects are english. Nationalization will only add the national language to CaptionML. You could definitely understand and maintain Swiss Human ressources or Italian G/L (both very heavily nationalized modules). You only would require a translator in the finishing-phase for translating all Captions using the translation-tool.
we decided for the time being to be satisfied with only serving North American clients.
Well, why not? I was so far able to feed my family with only concentrating on the Swiss market. And the USA are even a little bit bigger than Switzerland With best regards from Switzerland Marcus Fabian
I hate to but in here…but after reading all of this I was wondering what the TRUE differences are between the different licenses and NSP and NTR. I am currenlty working for a company as an end user that has a developers license that allows me to create/modify code in Navision, but not all of it. We do have a NSC that we work with, however not to long ago I attended a class taught by Liberty Grove Software to teach end users programming. Unfortunatly I was the only TRUE programmer there taking this class (all else where the accountants that only use Navision). My Question is With the developers license is there more that we can have access to or is it all through our Solution center. Also does this mean that if/when I leave this company I too could become a freelancer is am I way off base here?? Thanks for your time and attention. To David Studebaker, Mike Doster…GREAT INSTRUCTOR. For Progress = 1 to 100 if Progress = 100 then Progress = 0 Else Next Progress
As usual, Marcus is pretty much right on all points. Regarding the license issue, in the couple of instances where we seriously considered working on different European versions, the local NSC would have provided us with a license during the project so that we could have accessed the national local objects. But, had we proceeded with those projects, we would have needed some such arrangement. Dave Studebaker email@example.com Liberty Grove Software A Navision Services Partner