Every time I read about the ever-slipping release date of Dynamics NAV 5.1, I crawl around on the ground grumbling to myself "but I wants it, I wants it, nice smeagle, nasty fat hobitses."
I realise this is an irrational response but the nasty fat hobitses at Microsoft in charge of the NAV 5.1 release schedule* have driven me to it. Now maybe someone can explain to me why we (and by that I mean the great unwashed, average reseller or contractor) are not allowed to sign up for a beta programme for Dynamics products via the connect site - as we can with other Microsoft products. The only explanation I can think of is that maybe the package sucks so badly that the nasty fat hobitses are scared to release it.
I remember when Axapta came out (initially XAL 3.0 and then Atlanta). I was so excited by the potential of the product I could hardly contain myself. When I got my hands on the first beta releases I was amazed at how much it sucked. I guess that's the thing with any radical new technology shift for ERP products. Evolution makes better products than revolution.
I am just hoping that amongst all the hype on role-centric user interfaces, portals, web-services, .NET, Microsoft remember that users and consultants just want a stable product that allows bean-counters to produce their statutory reports and managers to get the information they need to make good decisions. In order to get there, we need good documentation, configurable and relevant help a community of resellers that know the product inside and out.
So how can Microsoft make the product stable, get good documentation and teach their resellers all about the product? Let 'em have it! Warts and all. Yes it will suck in the early stages, but let's make it a better product together.
* I am not actually suggesting that the good people at Microsoft in charge of the release schedule for Dynamics NAV 5.1 are in fact nasty, fat, or hobits.