The Microsoft Dynamics product line includes several diverse ERP solutions. Each is designed for specific industries and purposes, but the two that people often have the most trouble distinguishing between are
Dynamics NAV and Dynamics AX are both highly customizable ERP solutions available in many languages and currencies and have an impressive international install base. Both solutions are agile enough to operate in one centralized location or across multiple decentralized locations, and can scale along with your business. Both offer industry-specific functionality to meet local and regional needs. NAV and AX are described equally by Microsoft as end to end comprehensive ERP solutions with the ability to manage complex supply chains and inventory.
You won’t uncover the differences by comparing them feature to feature, and you can’t realistically define them by the number of users they can handle, though many have tried. The real determining factors are at a higher level, and are based on how well the solution aligns with the goals and growth plans for the organization it will support.
Scaling: Enterprise vs. Mid-size
Complexity and Maintenance Costs
With that said, AX is much more complicated than NAV. The
Global Operations vs. Global Visibility
Both solutions support multiple languages and currencies, and can transact across borders. Dynamics NAV does an excellent job of handling decentralized global operations; however, Dynamics AX works better for managing end to end global processes. As an example, this is especially important for large manufacturing businesses because it allows them to view inventory across international locations and have visibility into each area of the organization. For complex enterprise solutions who need visibility across multiple decentralized locations in different countries, this is best achieved with Dynamics AX. Dynamics NAV is a very popular, effective ERP solution for growing international businesses that don’t have such a complicated organizational structure.
Agility and the Cloud
The word “agility” encompasses many things, but mainly refers to being flexible, adapting to changing market demands and doing so in a cost-effective manner. Both Dynamics NAV and AX will increase your business agility and provide superior business intelligence and analytics. Because many companies have difficulty reacting quickly to change, they require an ERP solution like Dynamics AX or NAV which are designed specifically for this challenge. Because of its enterprise capabilities, Dynamics AX was identified by Gartner as one of three ERP solutions in their Magic Quadrant – along with SAP and Oracle.
Though their capabilities are similar, Dynamics AX and NAV were designed for different organizational types, structures and sizes. One is not better than the other; they are simply intended to be matched with corresponding business complexities and size. Investing in an ERP system is a big decision, and the first step is having a clear vision of your company goals, strategies, and structure. As an expert on both Dynamics NAV and AX,