To verticalise or not to verticalise, that is the question.

Most long-term Navision resellers (and we’ve been with NAV since 1996) will tell you that historically it didn’t really matter what the client wanted, we could pull it together in Navision. The development environment was just THAT good. Quick to develop and with such great underlying functionality already in place, nothing very much fazed the NAV reseller. So, when we were all urged to go vertical, most of us thought why? We can deliver whatever ANY client wants and at a great price.

But, I have to confess that the last couple of years have changed my view somewhat. Not because the product is any less effective; in fact it’s even better now with the introduction of the web tier. No, what’s changed is the competition. At one time we would compete with Sage, Access, Sun, Pegasus, Exchequer etc, none of whom could touch NAV as soon as the client’s requirements went beyond their “buy it. add a margin and sell it” comfort zone. And, when Microsoft bought NAV, that added to the sense of confidence an organisation could place in its long term IT purchase – it wasn’t future proof, but it was as good as you could get!

No, what’s changed that there’s been a seismic shift of the “if you can’t beat it, join it” type. And now, on any bid, we will inevitably find at least one, if not more, ‘new’ NAV resellers competing with us as well. We’re fortunate in that we have around 150 NAV sites so we know our way around the product and have plugged the inevitable functionality gaps. Our standard NAV rollout to customers starts with those gaps filled in i.e. all those little annoying things that, with a bit of NAV know how, we can eliminate from the customer’s snagging list before they even realise they exist. However, we have accepted that to win more business, going head to head with the new boys who are trying to make their mark in the NAV marketplace might not be the most efficient use of our skills.

So, we have to take to market some of our bigger, better, tried and tested vertical solutions – tool hire, builders merchants, log management, HR & payroll and professional services. See

It’s all a question of focus now and we have come round to the conclusion that it is time. Time to “get big, get vertical or get out” as they used to say.