Microsoft Updates Navision Solution for SMEs

First major release since Redmond software giant acquired company in 2002

First major release since Redmond software giant acquired company in 2002

Copenhagen  October 19, 2004  Microsoft Business Solutions this week launched the latest version of its Navision solution, the first major release of the solution since Microsoft acquired the product in 2002.

According to Microsoft, Navision 4.0 was developed specifically for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) looking for a single solution integrating financial, manufacturing, distribution, customer management, supply chain, analytics and e-commerce data into one solution.

Navision 4.0 is intended for a global market of SMEs, as well as divisions, subsidiaries or branch offices of large companies that typically need to scale up the solution to approximately 100 users.
In June Microsoft Business Solutions announced its overall development strategy focused on five key pillars: to empower users, provide insight, connected, reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase adaptive processes. Microsoft said it used these pillars to guide development of Microsoft Navision 4.0 in the following ways:

  • Empowered users. Microsoft Navision 4.0's new user interface, modeled after Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, is intended to give users a familiar working environment as well as the capability to design their own personalized menu structure. Users will be able to connect to resources outside of Navision, such as files needed to conduct business. In addition, upgraded sales orders capabilities were designed to give users more control over managing information and their workload and allow them to be more responsive to customer needs and questions.

  • Insightful. In Navision 4.0, key performance indicators (KPIs) and analysis tools have been upgraded with business graphics to give users a graphical view of business analytics and enable them to navigate into information critical to strategic business management, according to the solution provider.

  • Connected. Building on Microsoft SQL Server Notification Services and integration with the overall Microsoft technology stack, Navision 4.0 introduces Business Notification, intended to help businesses stay more connected with customers, employees and suppliers. Navision also includes the extensible markup language (XML) port, which can facilitate communication with other solutions, customers, vendors and business partners.

  • TCO. Navision includes industry templates designed to enable Microsoft partners to reduce the time it takes to implement the solution. Examples of industries for which a template has been developed include furniture, manufacturing and electronics engineering.

  • Adaptive processes. For organizations that rely on manual planning and straightforward production processes, Navision 4.0 includes a manufacturing foundation. Built to support the agility and flexibility often required by smaller manufacturers, this simplified foundation provides an entry point for the full-featured manufacturing solution in Navision 4.0. The manufacturing foundation offers visibility into work in progress and support for order-by-order planning workflow, intended to help businesses manage production orders, bills of material, manual planning processes and exceptions without added complexity.
Navision 4.0 is available in Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States through Microsoft Business Solutions partners. Availability in additional countries is to follow.

A typical Navision configuration starts at an estimated retail price of $2,500 for a single-user financial solution, according to Microsoft.