I wonder how many Microsoft Dynamics NAV users are aware that their product originated in Denmark as Navision and continues to be developed in that country under Microsoft ownership. A recent cycling holiday in Europe gave me an opportunity to expolore a little of the history of the product that Fenwick Software has been implementing for so long.
I’m a keen cyclist, and my wife, Sally, enjoys trundling about so we decided Denmark would be a great place for an easy cycling holiday as it’s bicycle-friendly and pretty flat. We enjoyed our time in Copenhagen and it was certainly amazing to see the number of people cycling around. Forty-five percent of Copenhagen residents commute on a daily basis and there are multi-level bicycle parks at railway stations where people leave their bicycles overnight.
Denmark is relatively flat, but unfortunately that means there isn’t much to block the wind. On the first day of our cycling trip we rode up the east coast of Zealand (one of the main islands that make up Denmark) from Copenhagen to Helsingor. There was a strong 30-45kph north-easterly blowing which made it hard going. About 30km out of Copenhagen we deviated off the bicycle track at Vedbaek to visit the Microsoft Development Centre. This rather nondescript building (which has since closed) was where Navision and subsequently Microsoft built and developed NAV into the product it has become. After Microsoft purchased Navision in 2002 they renamed the site: Microsoft Development Centre Copenhagen (MDCC) and set it up as their European base for ERP and CRM development.
The campus itself was rather sprawling, with a number of smaller buildings linked by pathways rather than one large building. It was all very low key. We wandered around and took some photos, but given our dress and general appearance we deciided it was probably not a good idea to go in and introduce ourselves. There didn’t seem to be anybody about … perhaps they were all flat out pulling together the latest and greatest release of NAV – NAV 2016!