This seems to be a good time of year for me to blog. When I do, I get to announce a new release of Dynamics NAV, and what could be more fun for someone in R & D? So I'm here again to tell you we shipped another version, this time Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2!
Last year, I had these philosophical thoughts to open the dialog:
"Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 was a release of courage. We made big bets. We wanted nothing short of transformation. And we accomplished our goal, shipping what is arguably the most significant release in Microsoft Dynamics NAV history.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 SP1, by contrast, is a release of precision. We listened and collaborated with you, our partners and customers. We refined. We executed predictably. And, less than 12 months after the release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, we are giving you a service pack that extends the value of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 and meets our joint goal of making Microsoft Dynamics NAV simply the most productive middle-market ERP product on the planet. In this way, it is just as big as the release it is built upon."
If Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 was a release of courage and NAV 2009 SP1 was a release of precision, NAV 2009 R2 is a release of agility. Because of architectural investments we made in NAV 2009 and based on your increasing interest in hosting and the cloud, we were able to pull features together early and ship them to you now. Getting you value earlier and more often is something we will continue in the future, based on a more frequent release cadence. (The fact that we've shipped three versions of NAV in the past three years is indicative.)
Since RTM blogs should have an element of the retrospective (in addition to evangelism), let's rewind a bit to spring of this year. At that time, several things happened. First, we had done some investigations about running the RoleTailored client over wide-area networks, which would dramatically improve the usability of a hosted solution while reducing its cost. Second, we realized that many of the features we'd already done in NAV "7" could be shipped early. Finally, by working with the CRM Integration team in Microsoft, we both agreed that we wanted to get the CRM-to-NAV Connector out early. Thus, R2 was born. It was announced soon thereafter at Directions EMEA in May. Quickly, we got the release feature set together, spun off the appropriate people, and moved forward. Several clever Program Managers managed to get in additional features, such as Win 7 light-up integration, online payments, filtering ability on subpages, and .NET Interop. (This very cool last feature is also predicated on the architectural changes from NAV 2009...)
But we had a problem.
We were due to ship NAV 2009 SP1 in several countries in Central and Eastern Europe by the end of the year. We didn't know how we could handle another version of NAV and ship NAV 2009 SP1 to those countries that still hadn't received it. In retrospect, the answer was obvious, despite it being a course through uncharted waters: let's ship it in all the countries at the same time. So, for the first time, we give you a release of NAV in 42 countries simultaneously!
As much as I'd like to tell you about all the great value in this release (and how partners clapped for Michael Nielsen when he showed them the new database indicator feature), my team does that much better than I. They've already provided for you a set of excellent blogs on the topic.
Once again, thanks to all the customers and partners who've worked with us on this release, giving us continuous feedback about what we should work on. We hope you enjoy NAV 2009 R2 as much as we enjoyed building it. Finally, thanks to all the people at Microsoft working their butts off on Microsoft Dynamics NAV to deliver this release to you. A greater group of passionate folks I have not met!
General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics NAV