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Dynamics NAV (Formerly Navision) Has A New Name

Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365BC)

Following on from the Dynamics EMEA partner event that has recently finished, Microsoft have now renamed Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) to Dynamics 365 Business Central. This is a small change, but one that has arisen from a much deeper integration between the mainstream offerings from Microsoft; such as Office 365 and Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Within the announcements, there were some great new product features. Great inroads have been made to migrate customers to the new solution and take advantage of what Microsoft are calling their “Intelligent Edge”.

The Best Of The Cloud And Local

In very simple terms, the Intelligent Edge allows you to keep an ‘on premise’ version of your Dynamics NAV Business Central (aka Dynamics NAV / Navision) and (optionally) have it hold data in the cloud. What this means is you get the best of both worlds. A local version of your Dynamics 365 Business Central database – that can be customised how you like – and (optionally) a sync’d Cloud Version that you can use to connect to cloud services and solutions (like Power Apps, Flow, PowerBI, etc). Allowing your team to securely and reliably access that information wherever they are.

Migration To Dynamics 365 Business Central

I really like the potential for existing Dynamics NAV (Navision) customers being able to Upgrade and migrate their data to the latest version and onto the Cloud. Microsoft have written a partner tool that allows us to convert some customisations made in Dynamics NAV to “Extensions”. Extensions being the modern way of customising Dynamics 365 Business Central (and Dynamics NAV) that allows upgrades to happen with far greater ease and frequency. These are two essential components of any system that wants to encourage a lower cost of maintenance on the cloud. Over time they will improve this to include more and more objects.

As I’ve expressed before, having Extensions as the way to enhance your Dynamics solution is still the only real difference between the on premise option (i.e. on your server / hosted server) and the SaaS (true cloud) version of Dynamics 365 Business Central. Which is really incredible considering the difference in the way they are deployed and a credit to the long-term strategy of Microsoft and Dynamics.

It means businesses have a genuine choice in how they want to deploy their business management software. Full control, deep customisation and on their servers (or hosted), or delegated control, customisation choice and securely held on Azure.

Built Into Office 365

One of the neat features shown was the ability to edit live data in Excel for things like Items, Sales Orders, etc. Also, the ability to use their range of “power” apps to re-map paper-based forms into digital forms and have that work with the data already held in Dynamics. Giving users the choice on how they want to interact with the data in Dynamics.

I feel like Dynamics 365 Business Central has a reinvigorated role within the stack of Microsoft’s product range; Office, Dynamics and Power ranges especially. It feels like it has been a long journey, but I think the hill has been climbed and the view is great! The next part of this journey will be on faster ground!

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