What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? What happened to NAV? Microsoft has continuously evolved their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems over the years, however, with the rise of cloud computing, has greatly expanded their business offerings. This shift in cloud business systems is embracing the model of having real-time, mobile, easy to use, and powerful systems that can be enhanced with other business applications while leveraging modern cloud technology advantages. Cloud ERP provides an initial lower-cost solution that is updated much more frequently along with a quick set up time to get companies up and running with the technology solutions they require.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV, still called “Navision” by some, was the most popular ERP system for Small to Mid-Sized from 4 distinct Microsoft Business Management Systems-Dynamics AX, GP, SL, and NAV. What made Dynamics NAV so much in demand are broad business functionalities around Financial, Supply Chain, Inventory, Warehouse, Project Management, CRM, and much more. Dynamics NAV had a reputation of being easy to customize and also flexible with deployment options; either on-premise or cloud-based.
Now with the era of modern systems and digital transformation, the next generation of NAV is called Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Just like Dynamics NAV, Business Central is also available as an On-Premises or Cloud ERP system. However, most customers tend to select the cloud version of Business Central. As mentioned earlier, there is a cost-saving associated with not having to rely on your own infrastructure. In addition, Microsoft’s Cloud Azure service has advanced security levels and an extremely high up-time. You can access Business Central from any mobile device and conduct business on-the-go. Furthermore, a major advantage of cloud business technology solutions are updates that are much more frequent. You will always have the most current version of your ERP system and do not have to rely on costly updates at some future time.
Functionality-wise, most of the same expansive business capabilities are also contained in Business Central compared to Dynamics NAV; such as Supply Chain, Financial, Warehousing, Project Management, Manufacturing, etc. However, the difference now is a more, intuitive user interface, in addition to advanced business functionality that takes advantage of the power of cloud applications and integrations; for example, Microsoft PowerApps. PowerApps is a community of business applications that are easy to create to enhance Microsoft ERPs capabilities. There are hundreds of tailored business applications currently available to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. PowerApps ramps up the ability to customize a users' ERP solution quickly and scale to add business functionality as your company requires overtime.
Another area of difference is a new business intelligence tool by Microsoft that integrates with Business Central (and other systems), called Power BI. Power BI (Business Intelligence) connects your business system to other data resources to create insightful graphs and charts to give you a much better insight into your organization and to spot trends.
Furthermore, another popular integration to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the seamless integration with Microsoft Office 365. It is now possible to have just one system for both ERP and Outlook. You no longer have to toggle between different systems and can send and receive emails right from your ERP system.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, then, is the “next generation” of Microsoft Business ERP systems designed to be a modern, technology solution that uses the power of Cloud Business Solutions and can grow and scale with you over time as your business needs change while providing a lower-cost, all-in-one total business management solution.
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