So bespoke is a dirty word these days. Long term Dynamics users know that having lots of development done to their system, whether it's Dynamics NAV or Dynamics CRM means that upgrading has been difficult and everyone will disclaim responsibility for any system anomalies.
I don’t disagree that if your business is fortunate enough to be able to run with completely standard software then you’re better off sticking to that. What I don’t believe however is that you should completely compromise your process and capability just for the sake of sticking to this rule.
Going back to Navision V3/4/5, and even 2009, upgrading heavily bespoke implementations was very time-consuming and costly to the point where lots of companies still haven’t done it. The time and effort can run into hundreds of days vastly outweighing the benefits from an upgrade that largely did the same but with a few enhancements. One client memorably remarked 'I can’t justify spending that sort of money for a prettier version of the same thing.'
Now, from Dynamics NAV 2013, that’s all changed. Provided we follow the rules laid down by Microsoft we can upgrade your specific customisations just by running a few scripts and then resolving the highlighted conflicts where Microsoft have changed what you’ve had changed as well.
This was illustrated for us vividly when one client’s system that had taken over 120 days of development to upgrade from V5 to 2013 was able to be upgraded to 2015 in less than a day!
This means you can have a system which is not completely standard and truly 'fits your business' and still be able to have the annual release that Microsoft now produce implemented within weeks if not days of it coming out. Don’t get me wrong you need to make sure that every customisation is justified and not just something that someone feels is required that day. Change for change sake is still wrong but if it will provide a return on the effort and cost expended and if everyone agrees it would be beneficial then get it done.
It means your partner should be able to build that annual upgrade into your support contract as a fixed fee – smoothing your costs from prohibitive amounts every few years to just a few extra days each year. You get the benefit of Microsoft R&D quicker and a real return on your software maintenance fees.
So it’s not standard verses bespoke anymore, you can have the best of both worlds.