Why do you need both Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft CRM – Why are two products better than one?


So why do I often tell companies that they need both Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP when other Dynamics partners propose just Dynamics NAV? What’s worth the higher licence cost and higher risk of two products, as opposed to one?

Well, put simply, we know that CRM built into Dynamics NAV:

  • has not been, and is not going to be, developed – there is no roadmap for it
  • in our experience has a 80% failure rate and is hated by 99% of the sales people who use it
  • is crude and unfriendly – it needs massive partner customisation to be useable
  • has no third party support unlike Dynamics CRM which has thousands of third party ‘apps’ and ‘links’

So now that’s put the boot in, you should be very cautious before deciding the Dynamics NAV inbuilt CRM is a road to go down.

What makes Dynamics CRM so special?

Well for one, it’s built to work in the first application all your customer-facing people open every morning, which is of course is Microsoft Outlook. That means they are already in Dynamics CRM and if they send or reply to a contact whose email address is in CRM it can be set to automatically log that email.

With apps for your phone and tablet as well as the ability to use the software via the web, it’s truly as mobile as your sales people. Combine that with dashboards and workflow, that frankly we would like to see in Dynamics NAV, and you have a truly world class system which already has millions of user worldwide.

So why doesn’t every Dynamics partner promote Dynamics CRM? Well, it takes a significant investment to set up a Dynamics CRM practice – with a team of a least ten or so just to be credible.

Very few partners are Microsoft Gold Certified for both ERP and CRM. Last time I checked in the UK I could only find five. If a partner doesn’t have the expertise in Dynamics CRM, they will not want to propose it as that will bring another party to the project and that’s a risk.

Talk to either the Dynamics NAV or CRM people at Microsoft, or in the wider user community, and I’m confident you will quickly confirm Dynamics CRM is what every business needs – if you have a team of people focused on new business, account management, customer care or marketing.

Make sure you’re getting the system that’s right for you and not being restricted by what your partner is capable of delivering. Please compare CRM inbuilt into Dynamics NAV with Dynamics CRM and see which one you would want to use.  You should also look for a partner with a single helpdesk with staff who understand (and use) both.

Author: James Crowter

I’m passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I’ve worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I’ve seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I’ve also had some hard projects over that time where it’s felt more like warfare at times. Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I’ve been working with a small Danish product called Navision that’s now become Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV and I’ve also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I’ve been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It’s my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction. So colleagues & clients have asked me to start this blog to share some of the insight that both this knowledge (obviously where not restricted by NDA’s or client confidentiality) and experience can help. Specifically I want to concentrate not on the specifics of how (there are some great blogs already for that) but why. If any user helps their business make better decisions or consultant can give better advice then that will be objective achieved. I founded Technology Management in 1992 and have led from the front ever since. Helping clients use technology to grow their business is my passion through explaining technology in terms that everyone can understand. My interest in computing began at the age of eight, long before my school had the equipment to cope. Throughout school and university I developed software commercially. I hold many IT certifications, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV (for over 17 years), Microsoft Dynamics CRM (for over 10 years), as well as Microsoft Windows Server, Exchange and SQL. In October 2015, I was awarded the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a title given to a select few individuals (31 currently) across the world specifically for Dynamics NAV. After years of working with a range of distribution and manufacturing software for hundreds of organisations, I focus on understanding the business requirements of an organisation, what it will take to deliver the systems required to maximise their potential. Follow me online via my other social channels: - Twitter: @jamescrowter - LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jamescrowter Or email me directly at james[.]crowter[@]tecman.co.uk.

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