Updated: Aug 9, 2021
On April 2, 2018 Microsoft released its latest business software called Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central which puts the full functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV into the cloud.
This sounds phenomenal but I'm sure it also raises some questions like: What does this mean for Dynamics NAV and what's the difference between Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central?
Here's what you need to know about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and how it relates to Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Is Microsoft Dynamics NAV going away?
No, this is an evolution and not an elimination. With over 160,000 customers, more than 2.7 million users, sold in 195 countries and no less than 3500 certified partners worldwide Dynamics NAV is the most widely used ERP system and Microsoft would be foolish to give-up that market share.
With Microsoft not getting rid of NAV what's happening to it?
Microsoft Dynamics NAV is being rebranded to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Does that mean we have to upgrade to Business Central?
No, you may keep using NAV for as long as you'd like. However, Microsoft will only release updates and functionality for 5 years after the latest version of Dynamics NAV, NAV 2018.
We are currently using NAV 2015 and planned to upgrade in 2019. Will we have to upgrade to the cloud version of NAV?
No, you will not have to upgrade to the cloud version of NAV. By 2019 Dynamics NAV will be rebranded and you will be able to upgrade to Business Central on-premise.
If we want to upgrade NAV to Business Central in the cloud can we have our own private cloud?
Yes, just as with NAV you will still have the option of purchasing a private cloud hosted on Azure as well the options to purchase the software on-premise or hosted in Microsoft's cloud.
What's the difference between Business Central and NAV?
Dynamics NAV was originally built for on-premise deployment. It can be hosted in the cloud but because it's not structured for true cloud deployment it can't offer users the same seamless experience as cloud-based software.
Business Central gives you all of Dynamics NAV's capabilities plus the benefits of a true cloud solution. This means you still get things like easy 24/7 access anywhere from any device real-time information flow but gain the ability to upgrade more quickly and easily, easy integration building through web APIs and reduced hardware costs.
Business Central delivers a comprehensive, end-to-end approach to business applications by helping you unify data and relationships, build intelligence into your decision making, and accelerate business transformation.
How will these changes affect current Dynamics NAV users?
These changes will not affect users of Dynamics NAV and all users can continue with their Dynamics NAV solution just as usual.
'Cloud first' but not 'cloud only'
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a 'cloud first' application, designed with the ongoing transformation to the cloud in mind, but it is not a 'cloud only' application as it will be available on-premise. Also, with Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central largely sharing the same code, migrating from NAV to Business Central will be painless.
Dynamics NAV Roadmap
Still have some questions? Feel free to contact us!