Associazione Marittima di Sabioncello

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A short story about maritime trading, steamboats and Microsoft’s Azure Services Platform in short to mid-term ERP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV perspective

Barque "Eber", AMS, 1870 This is a story of a business which failed, and it didn’t have to. It had all the capital and resources it needed to grow, it held a solid share in an expanding market. And yet, they failed.

Associazione Marittima di Sabioncello (AMS), or Maritime Society of Pelješac, was a shipping company founded in 1865 in Orebić, a small coastal town of southern Croatia. They grew to a fleet of 33 sailing ships, they shipped worldwide, their business expanded so much that eventually they built their own shipyard. Allegedly, they were one of the biggest and most prosperous maritime merchant companies in the Mediterranean.

And then an innovation came along, which ruined them.

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Why is add-on better than custom, any day?

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image Implementation is like marriage. For better or worse, you choose a piece of software, take it under your roof and commit to it for a long term, so help you God.

And as in marriage, if you want to live happily ever after with your new software, the my way or the highway attitude doesn’t help much—you must be open to compromise.

Last Monday, I argued for avoiding customizations if at all possible, an argument I stand by firmly. It’s like forcing your wife to color her hair pink. I don’t know about your wife, but mine doesn’t color her hair pink. If you like it pink, it’s probably something to think about before turning your yes in.

But NAV is NAV, isn’t it? It has what it has, and if I need it different, I have to customize it, right?

Wrong. You can compromise.

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Sure Step in action: Architecture Assessment

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Implementing a new Microsoft Dynamics solution doesn’t merely introduce a new piece of software into your environment. Yes, the software is an important part, you need to deploy it successfully, configure it as necessary, probably even customize it and change the business logic under the hood.

One component, however, is easily overlooked, and you wouldn’t believe how often it’s not addressed until late. Or too late. It’s the infrastructure.

Infrastructure is tough. It’s not just servers and desktops with some wires, switches and access points in between. Its a lot more. What kind of hardware do you need for your servers or desktops? What kind of performance do you really need? What kind of network layout is optimal for your transaction volume? Should you run the client on desktop machines, or would a remote desktop access be a preferred method? Do you virtualize your servers? What kind of failover capacities do you need? Can you retain any of your old hardware? How many users will use the system? Tomorrow? In five years? What about interfaces and integration to other systems or applications?

A couple of wrong answers, and down you go.

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