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Innovia’s Story, Part 3: Becoming Innovia and Leading on the Cloud

In part 1 of this series, I told the story of how I started ABC Computers. Then in part 2, I shared how we discovered Navision and, liking it so much, decided to focus on it for all our customers. That decision led to several opportunities down the line. From Navision, we were able to transition to Microsoft Dynamics NAV and then to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and all its cloud-powered functionality.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about that cloud opportunity, but before I do, I want to share why we decided to re-brand the company from ABC Computers to Innovia Consulting, as well as a bit about our core operating principles.

Re-Branding: Why Innovia Consulting?

Even though the ABC Computers name had renown in NAV circles for outstanding 24/7 support and service, whenever a prospect called us, they always asked if we sold software or hardware. After shifting our focus to Navision and then NAV, we no longer sold hardware, so the name was confusing to anyone who heard about us for the first time.

We had previously considered re-branding, but it never caught on. This time, we took a hard look at what we wanted this new brand to signify. We decided to focus on what made our company distinctive.

Our forte was and is that we are Business Central/NAV. There are probably 1500 different ERP systems in the world, but we focus on it exclusively so that we can excel. We have the deepest bench out there for BC/NAV consultants and developers, and we wanted our brand to capitalize on that. Just like the Mayo Clinic has the brand power to attract the best doctors, we wanted our brand to attract the best BC/NAV people because they knew they would be working with others on their level.

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We wanted to brand “that.” And Innovia Consulting was the result!

What Makes Innovia Different?

It’s not just a name, though. The way we operate backs up what we are trying to communicate. After all, there are a lot of companies that do something similar to what we do. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central/NAV is one of the most widely used ERPs on the planet. There are hundreds of partners out there, too. So what sets Innovia apart?

Succinctly, the difference is that we care. We think that if you ever stop caring, your company crumbles around you. But, you may be thinking, what do we care about? There are many answers to that question, but two specifically come to mind:

  1. Our employees.

    People are sometimes surprised when I tell them that, for us, the customer doesn’t always come first. The employees come first, and there’s a very good reason for that. If I take good care of my team, they will take great care of the customer. This perspective informs everything that we do. We treat our team well and, therefore, we keep great talent. That’s a win for both us and all our customers!
  1. Dignity.

    We want to do a great install every time. We’re proud that we can do amazing things that inspire great loyalty from our team and our customers. We want to keep up that reputation, and so we always focus on doing the right thing, every time.

When it comes to Business Central/NAV partners, we are all trained the same way. What makes us different is how we are built. And at Innovia's foundation is the commitment to never stop caring.

Building Something Together

When I think back on Innovia’s history, I recognize that about every ten years, we’ve had to remake the company. Early on it was Apple, then it was IBM with SBT, and then Navision. Today, it’s all about the cloud. 

Working with Microsoft has opened other doors for us as well. We can now do all our customers’ Microsoft licensing, not just Business Central/NAV. We can help customers get up-to-speed with Microsoft 365, the Power Platform, Azure, and more. There are so many possibilities today with the cloud, and we are excited to see our customers thrive on it.

How are we making the transition? Just like with most things, it comes down to great people. Innovia has a superb executive team in Alan, Brian, Tom, and Chad. Their strategic direction is opening doors while keeping the “founder’s mentality,” that same forward-thinking and fast-moving that prompted us to leap into Navision. By nurturing both types of leadership, we’ve been able to successfully focus on our existing NAV business while we morph into what we need to be for the next ten years.

Next Steps

I hope you've enjoyed this series as I recall Innovia's history. You can hear the audio version on "The Innovia Conversation" podcast with Steve and Jeff, and there's even a video version of my episode with them you can watch:

And if after reading this you're thinking, "Wow! That's a company I'd like to work with," we can get that conversation started right away. Just click below, fill out a short contact form, and we'll be in touch. Our team can't wait to show you what Business Central and Microsoft cloud solutions can do!

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Donavan Lane

Donavan Lane

Donavan Lane is Founder and Chairman of Innovia Consulting. For more than 35 years, he has led the business with strong core values such as integrity, teamwork, empathy, fun, and dedication. These commitments form the foundation of what makes Innovia unique and lead the company to continue exceeding customer expectations.

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