Navision to become part of Great Plains!

Microsoft has now made an official offer to buy Navision’s stock at DKK300 per stock. The plan is to make Navision a part of Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions and Navision will be Microsofts largest development center outside the USA. Read the details on So is it now a final goodbye to Navision?? Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster

After reading about twenty eleven trade articles on the topic, I’m becoming convinced that Great Plains is about to become part of Navision. Let’s hear it for the good guys !!! Dave Studebaker Liberty Grove Software A Navision Services Partner

David, could you give some links to that articles? thank you

Take a look at both: (also see last SoftwareLink Newsletter) And make a search for Navision, then you’ll find plenty for articles that can lead you to the same conclusion as David. Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster

While what Eric and David say looks true it is fact Axapta that Microsoft is after. That is where Microsoft has been developing the .net product with Navision, which the rumour mill has been buzzing about for the last few months. So what will this mean for both Navision Attain and Great Plains Dynamics in the future? Paul Baxter

A couple of links on the Navision purchase:,3658,s=701&a=26876,00.asp,10801,71061,00.html And in response to Paul’s comments about Axapta being the real target, I may be naive, but I don’t think Axapta has sufficient market share (or market share possibilities) to be truly exciting to Microsoft. Microsoft has not gotten rich by selling a modest number of high priced products but by selling millions and millions of low priced products. I think Attain has a lot more possibility of being turned into a product to serve the large market of users from just above the QuickBooks level up to the top end of the medium size business. Another concern is whether Microsoft will be smart enough to retain and build on the best parts of the current NTR / NSC structure. Dave Studebaker Liberty Grove Software A Navision Services Partner

Hi, This is the quote from Gartner report. If you want read whole article go to and search Navision.


Although Microsoft plans an eventual merging of Navision and Great Plains products, Gartner believes that this difficult task will result in Navision solutions taking the lead in technology and functions by 2004 (0.8 probability). Through 2004, Microsoft will likely continue to sell and maintain both products.

Valentin Gvozdev Andel Jewelry Inc.

Ok this is what I have found out, and if you know differently then let me know. A company called IBM helped another company called Damgaard to write a piece of software called Axapta. Because of politics and all that, IBM helped to write a Java like application. But in the late 1990’s IBM pulled out of application development. When this happened Damgaard used Microsoft tools and code and became the most aliened product to Microsoft .net. When this was happening there was a director called Dennis Keeling, but he lost his job when Damgaard was taken over by Navision. Dennis Keeling started Business Application Software Developers Association and has been talking not too discreetly about how the new Axapta is no longer java like but .NET like. This is just the sort of thing that Microsoft wants to sell servers. They want .Net product because at the moment there is a lot of hype with out much substance. Microsoft can not do away with the partner structure for selling middle ware products such as Attain, Axapta and Dynamics, because of the amount of modification that is required. Before the Microsoft takeover it was announced by Navision that Attain should be sold only as a lightly modified product and that there is not intention of developing a new development environment. They said Axapta is the product which is to be highly modified, and Microsoft has been crowing about their major .Net partnership with Navision for months now. Paul Baxter

Obviously we see a different view of things from our spot here in the US (that’s not news, is it?). Here Attain gets more attention than Axapta by at least a 10 to 1 ratio. More Navision staff, more VARs, more trained people, more installs, more press, more everything. So the view of the relative strengths of Attain vs Axapta here are the reverse of what Paul describes. In fact, here Attain tends to be much higher modified. So even that is different. In the end, I suspect that aspects of all the primary products (Great Plains, Axapta, and Attain) shall survive in a “grand-child” product representing Microsoft Business Systems. It will of course be .Net centric. Hopefully it will be more like a version 3 product than Microsoft Version 1 products have traditionally been. And hopefully most of us will survive the transition. Dave Studebaker Liberty Grove Software A Navision Services Partner

Hi all, Very interesting comments extracts from --------------------------------------------- Microsoft and Great Plains say they will not terminate products, its likely that “some products will disappear like Solomon.” Since acquiring Solomon Software, Microsoft/Great Plains has maintained that company as a business unit and continued its products, but Solomon’s marketing has diminished and the company is not nearly as well known as it had been. “Solomon has no brand name, and now Great Plains will probably lose its [name],” Hood predicted. ---------------------------------------------

This board seems to be dominated the programmers and I’ve noticed that quite often the trees and not the forest are discussed. Here is my view which I certainly want to have feedback on. In both Europe and around the world Navison and Great Plains compete for dollars from the same customer base. Does anyone think for a moment that Microsoft will allow that to happen with the logical outcome being less total revenue from each product line? No way. Navision and Great Plains are almost mirror images of each other. Each has 85% of revenues from home markets and have struggled in the penetration of each others main markets. Why in the world would Microsoft support both products equally on each continent? It doesn’t make business sense. It would be far easier to kill Navision in North America, and Great Plains on Europe either through no marketing or swapping solutions for customers. Also, why have two distinct support frameworks for the channels especially where each product is struggling (Navision in North America and Great Plains in Europe). This makes even further sense in light of the .Net product initiative. Why would Microsoft spend more money on two competing products when .Net products will be available in a few years? I would be very worried if I was a Navision or Axapta partner in North America or a Great Plains Partner in Europe. I would be preparing to be absorbed in some fashion. Just one other comment. Microsoft adopting Navisions technology over that of Great Plains is doubtful whne you stop and remember that Great Plains has used nothing but Microsoft technology for about 9 years now. The Navision purchase was a purchase to acquire the Eurpoean market (Channel partners, customers and country specific knowledge) and nothing else. My guess is that icrosoft is not thrilled about a the technology of c/side a non-microsoft development environment.

Hi Robert1, I have to admit that it took a while to find something to answer to your rather sensible comment. I think that Microsoft will never drop (at least not directly) any of the products on either continent. You are right that resellers are competing against each other right now but under the same token you could argue that at least the number of sales will be larger. In US instead of being Great Plains and competitor packages would still be Great Plains, Navision and competitor packages. There is a good chance that at least one of the two would satisfy most requests for any customers. Maybe Microsoft will not spend more on advertising for Navision (in US or over the world) but lack of advertising did not stop Navision from still selling rather well over here … So unless they specifically ask for Navision not to be sold in US … Also from what I understood, Great Plains did a lot better here partly because of amount the advertising it got. Considering that Navision is a lot better product than Great Plains (I am a Navision programmer so I might be biased :slight_smile: ) you could consider how Navision would do in US with a stronger advertising force behind it … Plus stopping Navision/Great Plains in certain areas of the world would lead to closure of those resellers and loss of valuable skills (if they managed to sell against the current they must be doing something right). Again this is partly wishfull thinking since I work for a Navision reseller in US but at the end of the day it’s everybody’s guess what will happen and there is not guarantee that Microsoft will do the right thing (for them or us :slight_smile: ) As for dropping C/Side I do agree with you but do think that it will be something new and not one of the products. Or as some people think maybe some offshoot of Axapta since that is more advanced technologically (but that it’s an entire new subject). Anyone else care to comment further ? Cristi



The Navision purchase was a purchase to acquire the Eurpoean market (Channel partners, customers and country specific knowledge) and nothing else

I thinks this is exactly what it’s all about. Reading all the articles none mentions that Microsoft is buying Attain or Axatpa, they are buying the entrance to a strong partner network, to customers and knowledge on how to sell and implement succesfully in the eurpoean market (this is of course all valid outside of Europe aswell, but Europe is Microsoft’s main interest in this case). As Navision has already been working closely with Navision on using .NET, I guess now we can be sure that this will be the future for our business solucion. In the end, who cares if it is called Attain, Axapta, e-enterprise, Dynamics or whatever, the most important point in this would be that the new development does provide the same quality and features that made Navision strong in the last years and that this way continues in the upcoming years. And this is actually where I see the biggest thread for us that the quality of the solution does not fulfill the NSC’s expectations. In the short run it would be rather counterproductive to retire any of the existing products, because each of them have their advantages and each of them sell well in their respective market. Comments highly appreciated Saludos Nils Edited by - nilsm on 2002 May 25 16:52:16

Nils, I think you’ve got it just about right. Microsoft is a tenacious, usually-right-in-the-long-term, high profile marketing company. Although there have been exceptions, they haven’t become the most successful software company in the world by being stupid. I expect they will value the reputaion, the customer base, and the dealer channel that they are purchasing as part of Navision. The technology changes every three or four years anyway and we are in the middle of one of the major shifts (to Internet based processing). The products will converge, the names will disappear (mostly), and we will all become one big happy family (OK, I like happy endings). Dave Studebaker Liberty Grove Software A Navision Services Partner

Hi everyone, Sorry for taking so long to comment back. All of your opinions are valued and likely valid as the the future of Navision and Great Plains. One thought occured to me though as I was reading responses to my email. As Navision resellers we are all very dependent upon the consulting fees associated with the development we do on the product for new sales and upgrades right? Does this customization/development fit into the Microsoft vision? I would be interested in hearing your comments on this. My belief is that NO MS does not want all that customization/developemnt to take place because it reduces the economy of scale of the return on the money invested to develop it. Therefore MS is likely to make the software packed with functionality right? Less time for development and more time to sell for the partners. I think also that MS is unlikely to be interested in collecting any part of the consulting fees we as partners earn and pay out to Navision. I would be very interested in comments on this. Personally I am starting to think about developing a new business model that compensates for the possible loss in development dollars. If this is true what will happen to the glut of c/side developers? Robert1

Hi Everyone, It’s long time we heard from MS on the Acquisition. I think it’ll take good effort for them to chart out a Marketing Strategy for the Business Solutions division now. Regarding the fate of C/SIDE developers,I think with MS takeover,Navision’s plus point of “Unparallel customization” features shall be surely revised.Even the Training, Certification requirements may change.It’s time for developers to tighten up their belts. Any comments.

If you had been making your living the last few years doing VB5 and VB6 programming, and you were petrified with fear by having to learn a lot of new things, VB.Net would be a very scary thing. If you have been making your living the last few years doing C/SIDE development and are petrified with fear by having to learn C/SIDE.Net (or whatever is coming), then the changes coming from MS will be very scary. On the other hand, considering the number of people who have been requesting an update to C/SIDE’s capabilities, this could be very exciting. The only thing we know for sure right now is that in a little while, things will be different. Our comfortable niches will go away. Since I’ve been programming for 40 years, some of my close friends refer to me as a “dinosaur”. Well, the meteor has hit and I’m hoping to become a bird. To survive, we must evolve. Dave Studebaker Liberty Grove Software A Navision Services Partner

God help us all if they switch us to VB…

I’ve the impression that everybody is afraid of Microsoft. Once I was a Borland-believer, but after soms years, Microsoft was the biggest software house, providing stable products (don’t laugh: it is not the development environment that is unstable, it is the developer himself and his way of implementing things without proper education!) Now I’m a Microsoft believer and since 1 year, I started developing in Navision. The environment in Navision is very premature, and minimalistic. Even the editor has a lot of missing things. I hope that Microsoft will force their experience of development environments into the Navision one. You have to admit: Navision is better in business logic but Microsoft is much better in development logic. Combining them both will create a new strong product, eventually mixed with Great Plains.


Originally posted by JM De Smet: I’ve the impression that everybody is afraid of Microsoft. Once I was a Borland-believer, but after soms years, Microsoft was the biggest software house, providing stable products (don’t laugh: it is not the development environment that is unstable, it is the developer himself and his way of implementing things without proper education!)

Hello Jean-Marie, first of all: Shame on you for turning your back on Borland :frowning: Second, here we go again: you are not talking about STABLE Microsoft software, are you? I mean, follow your own explanation “it is the developer himself…”. This is especially true for Micro$oft developers. But of course everyone can draw their own conclusions here. Concerning the Navision environment I can only sustain your comments. It is by far not the best of developing tools (to be polite). And having said the above, I doubt that the influence of M$ people will change that to the better end. Regards, Thomas