Not just a product transformation – Moving from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central

It is every now and then that you see Satya Nadella's Hit Refresh book appear in our offices, slide decks, or in the stories that we tell. And while you may think that it is just a book, to us it is probably more. Much more. To us, Satya's book turned out to be our point of no return with regards to our transformation as Microsoft partner. We have used it internally when we banged the drums about our own Hit Refresh.

Written by William van Zweeden, International Partner Manager

Hit Refresh?

So, why am I telling this now? Are we not there yet already, having announced our new brand name Foodware 365 as well as the launch of Foodware 365 on Finance and Operations? Yes we are. And at the same time, those two events were only the start of a bigger journey Yes indeed, we still need to move our NAV IP onto Business Central. However, to us, Hit Refresh! also meant hitting refresh on our organisation as a whole. We have used the months behind us to truly rethink and redefine who we want to be and how we want to act as an Independent Software Vendor. And if you ask me, we are Ready To Go. Not just on Business Central, but also as an ISV.

More than a product transformation

As we started preparing ourselves for the transformation towards Business Central, we quickly concluded this was not just another product development cycle as we have known them from the past. So what's different:

  • To start off, our product itself is different. A large part of the functionality we offered was developed years ago. And although it still does the job very well, one could wonder if the functionality should still be exactly the same taking into account the world we live in today and the tools that are available to us by now.
  • The way we market the product has to be transitioned as well. As a true ISV, the world is our playground and people come to us because we know their industry specific challenges. That process needs to be catered for from a marketing and sales point of view, thoroughly.
  • Moving into a cloud first world, we need to consider our DevOps strategies as well. The constant flow of releasing software, deploying it to hundreds of installations at the same time while monitoring if nothing breaks requires different people with different competencies.
  • The way we deploy the product at our customers, worldwide, through our distribution partners, needs a refresh. That means we need to rethink our FoodFit methodology. People nowadays use their business applications in different ways, customization has shifted from the core to the edge and that really effects projects.
  • As we move into consumption model, telemetry analytics and usage monitoring become key, both looking at the billing side of things, as well as towards further development of the product.

Also an organisational transformation

Frankly, there is way more I could touch base on over here. Think about the way we communicate with our global user base. How do we gather input for our product roadmap? How do we find the balance between experiments and standard product features? R&D versus innovation, if you'd wish. And so on, and so on.

Bottom line, transitioning from the ERP world as we know it, into the Business Applications world that is yet to be fully discovered is more than a product transformation. It requires a full organisational transformation. And not just for us, but also for our VARs, and VARs worldwide, something my colleague Benny Dor already highlighted last week.

I have stretched it before, and do want to stretch it again. These are exiting times. Am I 100% sure on where we will be in 12 or 18 months from now? No. Am I convinced that we have picked the right directions? For sure. Are we ready Ready to Go and moving at full pace? Definitely!


William van Zweeden Foodware 365 Partner Manager.jpg

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