Posted: 1/10/2014
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Nilfisk-Advance Nilfisk-Advance Asia Pacific Chooses Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Windows Azure

The global Nilfisk-Advance Group reduces hosting costs by 70 to 80 percent with a core group solution in Asia based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Windows Azure. The solution facilitates the further rollout of the solution in the group. Migration to Windows Azure took two days.


Nilfisk-Advance has approximately 5,200 employees worldwide. The group is represented with subsidiaries in 44 countries that produce and sell a wide range of cleaning equipment for buildings, streets, and airport runways. Each region—Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific—has its own enterprise resource planning (ERP) strategy. The company has always had a central ERP strategy for Europe and the United States. In 2011, it chose to implement an ERP system in Asia, where the responsibility for the ERP solution up until then was decentralized in each company.

* Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 works fine on Windows Azure and makes it easy and cost-friendly to expand our organization in Asia. *

Mikkel Jønsen
Global NAV Support

At that time, a key Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution that was live in Korea and India was hosted at another company; however, among other things, the computers froze for at least a minute whenever employees printed. This wasted a great deal of time, and the hosting partner could not remedy the problem. The leader of Global NAV Support at Nilfisk-Advance, Mikkel Jønsen, explains: “With expectations of more than 100,000 annual print jobs when our Chinese sales company has implemented Microsoft Dynamics NAV in 2013, we risked a large number of wasted hours due to the printer problem. So we had to do something about the hosting part.”


Today, Nilfisk-Advance is running Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Windows Azure as its core solution in Asia. Following ongoing discussions among Jønsen, partner Abakion, and Group IT in Denmark (which is responsible for the company’s infrastructure), Nilfisk-Advance decided to move the then-Asian, central Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution from the previous hosting partner over to the Windows Azure platform. “Once the decision was made internally, it took just two days to move our Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 solution from our previous hosting partner to Windows Azure,” notes Jønsen. “It was impressively fast and took place without any major problems.”

Rollout is in full swing across locations in Korea, India, and China. The various countries and provinces are working in slightly customized local versions of the solution. “The solution is simple to roll out when compared to having to start from scratch in every single company,” says Jønsen. “All development, data backup, and maintenance is done in one place. And that was central to our choice of Microsoft Dynamics NAV on Windows Azure.”


“The Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Windows Azure solution that we have obtained in close cooperation with Abakion is significantly more cost-friendly than the previous hosting solution, and it also solves the printing problem effectively and standardizes processes across the Asian sales offices,” Jønsen explains. “Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 is user-friendly and supports the use of a template that can be easily adapted to local requirements.”

Cuts 70 to 80 percent of the hosting costs

Up to 80 percent—that’s how much Nilfisk-Advance expects to save on hosting as a result of choosing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Windows Azure. Jønsen elaborates, “It creates infrastructure savings in that the solution only requires Internet access without the high-bandwidth requirements. In addition, we can adjust our need for users, capacity, back-up, etc., making the costs flexible in relation to the need.”

Increases productivity

The Windows Azure platform increases productivity at Nilfisk-Advance by eliminating waiting time at the printers. “We no longer have to wait a minute for each print,” says Jønsen. “And with expectations of over 100,000 prints per year, this is a real productivity gain that can be felt. This will benefit us when we roll out the solution in China during 2013, where legal requirements make it necessary to print significantly more documents than in Korea and India.”

Eliminates the need for IT staff

"The Windows Azure platform eliminates the need for internal staff resources for the Microsoft Dynamics NAV portion of our IT environment,” Jønsen adds.

Flexible costs

"We can adjust users and capacity as needed. It delivers a completely different flexibility than with an in-house IT environment.”

Business-critical data is automatically saved

Jønsen also points to the advantage that a cloud solution provides for backing up data. “Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 on Windows Azure ensures that an automatic backup is taken of critical business data,” he elaborates. “Should we need our backup, I know that our data is there, it is updated, and it is securely placed. It is independent of individuals—this is not the case when you yourself are responsible for backup.”

“Our partner Abakion should be commended and recognized for their ability to be proactive about Windows Azure and our Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 solution,” Jønsen concludes. “We have a good working relationship.”

Next Steps

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published January 2014

Solution Overview

Organization Size: 5200 employees

  • Cut hosting costs by 70 to 80 percent
  • Increase productivity
  • Eliminate the need for IT staff
  • Adjust users and capacity for flexible costs
  • Automatically save business-critical data

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013
  • Microsoft Azure

Vertical Industries
Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Aerospace