Developing a bridge between Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP and the Magento e-commerce platform.
This is a question that, as Magento developers, STAR Digital are constantly asked, and while the simple answer to 'can you integrate Magento with NAV ERP' is yes, the longer answer is - yes, but we need to know a bit more about your NAV implementation.
One of the issues is that there are a number of 'off the shelf' solutions for integration, but our experience has shown that they don't deliver any flexibility and in the main just act as a push-pull function to push orders into NAV and pull inventory. Hardly inspiring.
Factor into the equation the number of 'flavours' of NAV from the classic versions of the past through to Microsoft Dynamics NAV family based on the ubiquitous SQL server and you will soon realise that any integration probably needs to be bespoke to your requirements.
You also need to consider how 'live' your Magento/NAV integration web can actually be based on the bandwidth available between your NAV servers and your web server sitting in its data centre, or on the cloud. Running live services such as customer pricing and inventory can require a solid backbone between the two, and in our experience of B2B implementations it is often the case that BT don't offer SDSL or fast fibre connectivity to large areas of the UK at present. (Or not without substantial operational Capex on the part of the client). Even then we don't believe it is a good idea to use web services, as they allow too many public connections to your server, so its worth looking at other methods of connectivity.
So what are the steps require if you are running, or thinking of running a NAV ERP and integrating it to Magento? Well our basic checklist is below;
In a B2B environment, you will also need to think about how trade customers are engaged to perform web ordering. Because of the volumes of product involved and the pricing structures, discounts, tiers etc. You will need to think about whether your sales channel needs to maintain an offline presence for order taking and negotiation and an online presence for customer tracking and recording of orders, invoices and proof of delivery notifications.
The goal is automation, and you need to ensure that the Navision to Magento integration mimics your operational requirements in order to save you time and money. We can't stress this point enough, as it is key to developing an ROI model for the integration work.
One thing that is for sure, is that you need to make sure that any developers offering NAV ERP integration to Magento have actually completed a number of projects, that they can provide satisfactory client references, and that they are not proposing off the shelf plugins. The advantages of integrating NAV and Magento are obvious once you look at the marketing and operational automation they offer. Being able to push all of the information including your entire product catalogue from NAV into Magento automatically is a massive time saver. The key to a successful implementation is tho have NAV as the sole data source, with Magento acting as your online conduit.
At Star Digital we also completely customise the Magento platform without affecting core code to deliver the right results for our clients. From specific ordering methodology, through complex customer pricing groups to sales rep only logins for viewing customer accounts and pricing, through to very specific integrations such as automated sales presenter creation in PDF format. The list is endless.
Star Digital have completed numerous integrations between the two platforms and have developed the necessary code libraries to deliver real, effective results to suit their operations. We partner with best of breed NAV developers for companies that are looking to install NAV or upgrade existing installations.
If you are thinking of embarking on an integration between NAV and Magento please call or e-mail us to find out how we might be able to help you.
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