“I want to be Denmark,” Steve Ballmer famously said, two years after his company acquired the Danish company Navision.
It was a curious stance to embrace, way back in 2004 at Microsoft’s worldwide partner conference, held that year in Toronto. But there was wisdom in Ballmer’s Danish declaration.
Specifically, the Microsoft Corporation CEO was expressing his high-flown opinion that, if Microsoft Business Solutions was as successful with Navision in other countries as it had been in this Viking motherland, this business unit would increase its revenue by a factor of 10.
“This is not rocket science anymore,” he said. “Rocket science is when you say, ‘Oh, it’s never been done before. We don’t know how to get there.’
“No. We just have to be as good as we are in Denmark in every other country.”
Fast forward six years, and find 360 leveraging Ballmer’s vision with the establishment of a NAV practice that could make Canada the first.
But exactly what is it that Denmark is doing that would compel Ballmer to give voice to such an extraordinary aspiration? Certainly the place has some clever windmill technology going on, and its pastries are always a delight. But is that the extent of it?
Not by a long shot.
Ballmer’s Denmark envy is not so much about the products on offer in that Scandinavian stronghold as it is about the people proffering them.
Certainly the conceit of working smarter, not harder, is the carrot at the end of every technological development-and-implementation stick. In Denmark—home, not uncoincidentally, to some of the world’s happiest souls—they seem to have figured out a way to grab it.
Almost from day one, Danish partners built industry solutions for NAV that ensured quick delivery without the imperative to constantly reinvent the wheel. More than that, the partners began trading these solutions inside their own circle, a munificent move that made the solutions available to all players equally. With one partner responsible for developing and maintaining the solution, more partners could focus on actually implementing it—and on creating real business value for customers.
Participating businesses welcomed the increased productivity and decreased administrative hassle this model promoted. Thanks to this generous and forward-thinking approach, the country as a whole made a pain-free transition into a digital business environment that supports mutual prosperity while releasing people from menial tasks in exchange for labours more creatively stimulating.
NAV has been in this country since 1997. That we have yet to complete the Danish transition is a function of the preponderance of Canadian companies running systems that don’t support a modern, optimized business model. It’s a scene fit for revision. There’s money to be made and savings to be exploited—but we need to move now, and put infrastructure in place to make the most of them.
Here at 360, we’re working on several solutions for just that. Take our set-to-launch and enormously effective property-management product—built in the latest version of NAV 2009—for one. Or the of-the-moment NAV-enabled solution we’re putting together for the professional services market.
What’s more, 360 is helping existing Canadian NAV customers get more from their investment—by evaluating the business impact of their current solutions and comparing them to the true potential that could be unleashed with some modification—to spectacular effect.
And if there’s still any doubt about our commitment to all things Danish, look no further than our recently installed vice-president of sales, Jens Baun, an import from the land of The Little Mermaid. Baun brings many years and many implementations to the table, to say nothing of his native gifts.
Thanks to him and our great wealth of Canadian NAV analysts and consultants, we can make good on the delivery of both genuine Danish experience and genuine Canadian smarts.
Watch the worldwide partner conference video here.