First released in 1987, acquired by Microsoft in 2002, now called Business Central, Dynamics NAV is one of Microsoft's most prolific software packages with over 110,000 installations worldwide. To outpace competitors like NetSuite and Acumatica, Microsoft is now investing over 1 billion dollars annually in research and product development on the platform.
What started as an on-premises application, designed for small to medium-sized businesses, now has several deployment options ranging from private to public cloud, all designed to work seamlessly with other Microsoft applications like Dynamics 365 for Sales, Office 365 and Power BI.
In keeping with providing world-class software solutions, Microsoft’s goal with the transition to Business Central is to guide companies through their own digital transformations, retaining and growing a customer base now ready for the security and availability of cloud applications.
New Recipe, Better Processes
Improving upon Dynamics NAV, Business Central offers:
- Tighter integration with other Microsoft apps, without traditional silos that hinder efficiency
- A complete view of your business using real-time data and business analytics to generate actionable insights through embedded Power BI
- Easy upgrades with a bi-annual release cadence
- Creation and automation of workflows, with Microsoft Flow, to improve efficiency
- Seamless data sharing with the Microsoft CRM platform, Dynamics 365 for Sales
How Does Business Central differ from Dynamics NAV?
Frankly, the new Dynamics 365 Business Central contains a lot of the standard functionality we get from Dynamics NAV. So, if the functionality is almost the same, why upgrade?
The new version has several key features including:
- Licensing Options: You can license Business Central as a monthly subscription or perpetual, it’s up to you whether you want the operation expense or capital.
- Hosting Options: Business Central is available as both a cloud-based SaaS solution or perpetual/hosted solution, while Dynamics NAV offers the option to use the solution on a private data center or on your own server but not pure cloud.
- Easy Upgrades: With Business Central, your environment will see automatic upgrades performed in the back ground on a bi-annual release cadence. Any third-party add-ons or customizations made to your environment are now designed so they won’t interfere with this process. Compare this to upgrades for Dynamics NAV which can take months to complete depending up on the complexity of the environment.
Transitioning from NAV to Business Central
Existing Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers may still be unclear whether they should upgrade their current ERP solution. They may be unsure about how much an upgrade will cost, who can upgrade and when they should make the change.
Microsoft is committed to delivering up-to-date solutions that help its users streamline their business processes, enhance customer interactions, and stimulate growth. However, businesses using Dynamics NAV should note that there will be no new versions released after December 31, 2018.
Seriously, Microsoft will stop the sales of NAV 2018 on April 1st 2019.
In addition, Microsoft is offering time-sensitive, discount pricing for Dynamics customers to upgrade to Business Central. Customers that qualify for this discount are those that have been running any solution from the Dynamics ERP family, before October 1, 2018.
These customers will enjoy a discount of up to 40% off. However, this discounted price ends on June 30, 2021. From that date, new and existing customers will pay full price for Microsoft Dynamics Business Central licenses.
For more information about the transition offers available to you or to schedule an upgrade consultation, contact an