Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a comprehensive enterprise management system designed for small and medium-sized businesses. This solution combines ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) capabilities with functionalities commonly found in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems into an integrated cloud-based platform. But how does it compare to its predecessor, Microsoft Dynamics NAV? Here are six reasons why it's worth upgrading to the newer system.
Always Up-to-Date Version of the System
Since April 2021, Microsoft has stopped selling Dynamics NAV to new customers. Existing users can still purchase additional NAV licenses if they maintain an annual subscription fee called the Business Ready Enhancement Plan (BREP). However, Microsoft has discontinued support for the system, meaning it no longer receives updates, fixes, or security patches.In contrast, Dynamics 365 Business Central, when hosted in the cloud, provides you with the latest ERP system version at all times. Microsoft is responsible for implementing updates and improvements, reducing the need for you to manage these aspects, as is the case with on-premises solutions.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central undergoes two major updates each year, known as waves, which occur every six months. These updates are automatically implemented, but administrators have the opportunity to test the new version well in advance, allowing them to assess its potential impact on existing extensions or third-party applications. Product lifecycle and version management are better organized and more manageable compared to Dynamics NAV.
Implementing Business Central in the cloud offers scalability and accessibility as key benefits. The cloud model, Software as a Service (SaaS), ensures that the system is available 24/7 from any internet-connected device, such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Managing the system is also significantly streamlined, and adding new licenses and granting access can be accomplished with just a few clicks. While Dynamics 365 Business Central is available as an on-premises solution, choosing the cloud option provides numerous benefits, particularly in terms of integration with other IT services.
Seamless and Hassle-Free Integration
Integrating a system on-premises with other solutions can be complex and time-consuming. In contrast, integrating Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud with third-party services is generally more straightforward. It often involves installing an additional application, with minimal configuration required. The system is built on the Dataverse platform, which is also the foundation for other Microsoft services, including the Power Platform family, such as Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI. This makes it easy to connect applications, such as Nav24 Production Panel, to the ERP system to record critical information. Additionally, native integration with Microsoft 365 and CRM, namely Dynamics 365 Sales, is a significant advantage.
Implementing Dynamics NAV typically required a substantial upfront investment, not just in terms of partner services but also in purchasing the required number of licenses. This cost factor often deterred businesses from choosing Microsoft's solution. With the introduction of Dynamics 365 Business Central, the situation has changed. Microsoft adopted a subscription-based payment model, making "BC" more cost-effective. Businesses now pay monthly for specific licenses. Business Central offers two full licenses (Essentials and Premium) and a limited license (Team Member). Additionally, Microsoft introduced the Device license, designed for a specific role-based device. Once you've purchased the necessary licenses, you pay only a monthly fee, without needing to worry about server-related costs, maintenance, or updates.
Dynamics NAV was often criticized for its user interface. The abundance of options, confusing localizations, and cluttered ribbon interface could leave users feeling overwhelmed. Microsoft listened to user feedback and significantly improved and modernized the interface in Dynamics 365 Business Central. It is now more user-friendly, intuitive, and consistent across all devices where it's available. Additionally, the interface is highly customizable, allowing individual users to tailor it to their specific needs. Users can also select from predefined roles within the system or define their own roles, ensuring that they have access only to the essential areas and functions they need for their daily work.
In summary, if your company is still using Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which is no longer supported by Microsoft, it's highly advisable to consider transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central. However, to assess the current state of your existing solution and plan the upgrade effectively, it's recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced partner who can provide guidance and present you with all the necessary steps for success. It all begins with a conversation, so we encourage you to fill out the form at the bottom of this page so that we can get in touch with you.