What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Is this the end of Dynamics NAV? Or the re-birth?

Jenny Ferguson, Marketing Manager at The NAV People

There has been a lot of hype over the past 18 months or so around Microsoft’s new offering ‘Dynamics 365’ and now it is finally happening – the launch of Dynamics 365 Business Central!

But what is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Those of you who have been paying extra special attention will have noticed that there have been a few false starts on the naming front – first we had Dynamics 365 for Financials, Business Edition which presented a few problems because after all it’s an ERP solution not just an accounting package. Then we had Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business Edition – a more accurate description of the product but quite a mouthful to say. In the end we got there - Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – it’s new, it’s out, it’s exciting, it’s … well, what is it exactly?

Microsoft explain Business Central as ‘a single, end-to-end solution for managing finances, operations, sales and customer service’ giving you a complete view of your business with connected data and business analytics. But wait! Isn’t that just what Dynamics NAV is? Does this mean that Business Central spells the end of our beloved NAV product? And most importantly what does this mean for the 2.7 million users of the best ERP system out there?

The good news is that this product launch really is only good news for the smart businesses who depend on NAV to run the show.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is, to quote Marko Perisic, (General Manager at Microsoft for the Dynamics NAV team) ‘the next generation of Dynamics NAV for the age of digital transformation’ unifying the digital assets of Office 365, Power Platform and Azure to help customers digitally transform their business.

So, to put it simply Dynamics 365 Business Central is the new name for Dynamics NAV. At the time of writing this blog you can only purchase Business Central via the shared cloud and if you want it on premise or hosted in a private cloud environment what you’ll get is still called Dynamics NAV. BUT come October(ish) 2018 the final re-brand will be rolled out and Dynamics NAV, however you take it – cloud / hosted / on premise will all be renamed ‘Dynamics 365 Business Central’ – the roadmap below explains it nicely.

Road Map

So yes, Business Central is the end of the NAV name – but the name only. By the close of this year anyone looking to buy the latest version of Dynamics NAV will buy Dynamics 365 Business Central but what they’ll get is the same product that we’ve worked with and loved for the past 20 years – we knew her as Navision, we knew her as NAV and soon we’ll know her as Business Central.

If you are one of the 160,000+ customers who currently use NAV (and don’t wish to upgrade because your current version is working just fine!) partners like The NAV People will continue to offer support and consultancy enabling you to get the most out of your NAV system for years and years to come. What’s really great is that because Business Central and Dynamics NAV are one and the same thing, it means it is a really smooth transition from an older version of NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central and it’s just the same upgrade conversation you’ve no doubt been having already. (What? You’ve not had that conversation? Well why not get us to pop along and discuss the benefits of the new world of Business Central!)

At The NAV People we are gearing up for the new wave of smart people who decide to switch from their current ERP solution to Dynamics 365 Business Central (and who will only know her by her new name) and so we’ve set up our sister brand ‘The 365 People’!  (You can check out our whizzy sister website here: www.the365people.com ).  However, we will also continue to operate under the name that we have become famous for ‘The NAV People’ – supporting all users of NAV, new and old.  Either way, whether you reach us through The NAV People or The 365 People you’ll be speaking to the same team of knowledgeable and passionate people who have supported, implemented and played with this product for the past 20 years!

So here’s to Microsoft, here’s to rebranding and here’s to Dynamics 365 Business Central, the new generation of our beautiful NAV product!