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Upgrading NAV To Business Central: Your Questions Answered

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

Making the decision to not upgrade or to upgrade NAV to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central should be a priority for every organization using Dynamics NAV. I say priority because we've all heard of the advanced features and functionality, better accessibility, and some other great things Business Central brings to the table, however, the one thing I feel a lot of organizations are not taking into consideration when making their decision whether or not to upgrade NAV to Business Central is that this could be the last upgrade you ever do. Yes, you read that correctly. This could be your last upgrade ever. How so? You'll have to read on to find out. That being said, let's dive in and answer the most common questions to whether or not you should upgrade NAV to Business Central.

Is Microsoft Dynamics NAV the same product as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

The answer is yes. Business Central is built on the NAV platform and is a rebranding of NAV. The look and feel may be different but the heart of Business Central is NAV.

Is moving from NAV to Business Central considered an upgrade or a reimplementation?

It depends. If you like your current environment, the data you have, the setups you have, and you want to preserve your history and enhancements then upgrading your existing NAV environment to either Business Central on premise or online makes sense. If you don't want to keep all of the old data and old enhancements you're not using you can start fresh with a reimplementation. This is definitely something where you'll want a discussion with your Microsoft Partner to discover which option is best for you.

If we choose to upgrade NAV to Business Central do we have to purchase it as a new system?

No you do not. If you are current on your enhancement plan you are entitled to run the latest version of Business Central.

Can we upgrade NAV to Business Central online?

You absolutely can. In fact, Microsoft is currently running a Bridge to the Cloud Promotion that provides you with a 60% discount on the commercial list price. That means you'll pay only $40 for a premium user instead of the standard $100.

What's the difference between on premise and online ERP software?

The difference is who's hosting the solution or where is it deployed. In the on premise solution you are responsible for hosting the software. There are different ways to host the software such as having an in-house server or on a private Azure server.

What happens to your customizations when you upgrade NAV to Business Central online?

You can still bring over your customizations but the development environment has changed. There are no more objects in Business Central online or Business Central on-premise versions after 14.0. For example, let's assume you've created a custom Sales Analysis report in NAV and want this same report in Business Central. Your Microsoft Partner will have to take this report and transition the report into an extension. This does not entail rewriting the entire report. If the report took you 10 hours to build it will not take you 10 to transition it into an extension.

Listen to this short hot take from our podcast A Shot of Business Central and A Beer for a more in depth answer.

Should I be worried about internet downtime with Business Central online?

This depends on what specifically you are doing with Business Central and it depends on where you are located. For example, If you have real-time shop floor data collection going on and the loss of internet is going to shut down your entire operation you may have cause for concern. However, a lot of organizations have a redundant internet connection which reduces your chances of disruption greatly. Also, if your organization is geographically located in an area where the internet service is not strong you may want to consider on premise.

When we upgrade NAV to Business Central do we keep all our concurrent users?

When upgrading to Business Central you'll have to switch from a concurrent licensing model to a named user licensing model. If you were an organization that used 1 license for 3 different shifts you might be a little worried reading this but don't be. Microsoft realizes this may be an issue for some organizations so when you upgrade you get 3 named users for every 1 concurrent user. For example, if you have 20 concurrent users on NAV you'll get 60 named users on Business Central. Business Central also has a device license which can be assigned for multiple people using the same device.

We own 10 different companies. If we upgrade NAV to Business Central can we have multiple companies?

Absolutely. In your Business Central environment you can run an unlimited number of companies and each company has it's own independent set of data. This includes separate financials. There's also a consolidation functionality where you can create a consolidation company and push all those entries from your individual companies into a consolidated company.

Does Business Central Online have a limit to how much storage we can use?

Technically speaking Business Central Online does not have a limit to how much storage you can use because of the option to purchase more. That being said, out of the box BC storage limits are more than enough for most organizations and recently Business Central has also improved the amount of storage you get out of the box. If you were to need more storage than what comes out of the box with Business Central, Microsoft gives you the option to purchase per GB or in Bulk.

How is it possible that if we upgrade NAV to Business Central it could be our last upgrade ever?

One of the best things about Business Central Online is that once you are up and running, Microsoft automatically updates your system each month with hot fixes, and twice a year with a new major release. This means you'll always be current on the latest software version and will not experience any more disruptions from upgrades! In the long run this is also very friendly to the proverbial wallet.

So, to answer the question to upgrade or not to upgrade my answer is you should definitely upgrade. Technology is advancing fast but the digital working landscape is advancing even quicker these past couple years due to the pandemic making it all that more important to have advanced ERP software. But hey, don't take my word for it. Business Central offers the highest Return on Investment of any ERP software.

Are you interested in a 30 day free trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? Reach out to us using the form below and we'll be happy to get you setup for free.


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