Microsoft Dynamics NAV has been a trusted ERP solution for small and medium-sized businesses for over 30 years. First launched in 1988 under the name Navigator, it provided an integrated business management solution that brought together financials, sales, purchasing, inventory and more. Over the years, Microsoft acquired the product and rebranded it to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, integrating it into the overall Dynamics product line.

 

NAV has undergone continuous evolution and enhancement over the decades, adapting to new technologies and business needs. However, in recent years there was a recognition that the underlying platform and architecture needed a more substantive overhaul to keep pace with modern businesses. This led to the development of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, launching in 2018 as the next generation of NAV.

 

Business Central represents an evolution rather than revolution. It builds on the strong foundation of NAV while taking advantage of the latest cloud, AI and mobile technologies. The goal was to provide an updated user experience and expanded flexibility to customize and tailor solutions, while supporting modern business processes and requirements. For many existing NAV users, Business Central offers a clear path forward to bring their ERP up to date while preserving their investments.

 

What is Microsoft Dynamics Business Central?

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central is a cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. It provides an integrated solution to manage core business processes such as:

 

 

By leveraging the power of the cloud, Business Central enables businesses to streamline operations, gain data-driven insights, and grow faster. It is designed for mid-sized organizations looking for an affordable yet comprehensive business management solution.

 

The system is mobile-enabled, allowing access on any device, and offers built-in customization tools to tailor Business Central to meet industry and business needs. It also provides seamless integrations with Microsoft apps like Office 365, Power BI, and Power Automate.

 

Overall, Business Central represents the latest generation of ERP from Microsoft aimed at driving digital transformation for growing, global businesses. The cloud delivery model makes it easy to deploy, use, and scale.

 

Key Benefits of Business Central

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central delivers several key improvements over its predecessor, Microsoft NAV. As a cloud-based solution, Business Central enables access anytime, anywhere across devices. Users can work on any device with an internet connection, increasing productivity for mobile workforces.

 

Business Central also streamlines workflows and business processes through built-in intelligence and automation. Role-based views ensure users see relevant information and tasks. Workflows can integrate with Microsoft 365, eliminating redundant steps.

 

With an advanced API, Business Central supports extensive customization and integration. Companies can tailor Business Central to their unique needs and seamlessly connect data across business systems. As a cloud solution, Business Central also scales rapidly as businesses grow. The flexible subscription model allows adding users and features on demand.

 

By consolidating multiple systems into Business Central, companies gain real-time visibility and insights through interactive dashboards and built-in Power BI integration. The cloud platform enables continuous delivery of new capabilities to help businesses stay ahead.

 

Overall, Business Central enables organizations to streamline operations, gain agility, customize systems, and make data-driven decisions – delivering major benefits over Microsoft NAV.

 

Improved User Experience

One of the biggest improvements in Microsoft Dynamics Business Central is the modern, intuitive user interface that makes the system much easier to use on a daily basis. The software has been completely redesigned with the end user in mind, featuring:

 

  • A clutter-free layout with more white space for better readability.
  • Improved navigation so users can find what they need faster.
  • User-friendly terminology, icons and graphical elements.
  • Touchscreen optimization for use on mobile devices.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for efficient data entry.
  • Embedded training videos and built-in assistance.
  • Role-based pages tailored to each user’s tasks and permissions.

 

The new user experience removes many of the pain points that users struggled with in the previous NAV interface. Everything is now cleaner, simpler and more intuitive. Users can get up to speed quicker with less training required. The system is easier to adopt for new employees. And the modern interface results in greater user satisfaction and productivity gains.

 

With its renewed focus on usability and user experience, Business Central enables employees to work more efficiently. The system better adapts to the user rather than the other way around. And this allows organizations to maximize the value from their ERP investment.

 

Enhanced Flexibility and Customization

One of the key advantages of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central is its enhanced flexibility and customization capabilities. Business Central provides numerous ways to tailor the system to your organization’s specific needs:

 

Highly Customizable

Business Central allows for modifications like adding fields, tables, pages, reports and other objects to fit your business processes. The user interface is also highly customizable.

 

Extend with Power Apps/Power Automate

Business Central seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Power Platform, including Power Apps for custom applications and Power Automate for workflow automation. This allows you to extend functionality without needing developer skills.

 

Developer Tools

For advanced customization, Business Central supports developer tools like Microsoft Visual Studio Code, .NET and web services. Developers can create vertical solutions, integrations and custom extensions aligned to your industry or specific requirements.

 

The flexibility of Business Central allows organizations to adapt the system over time as their needs change. Customization helps ensure the ERP solution continues meeting your objectives. With Business Central, you don’t have to settle for software that only meets 80% of your needs – you can tailor it to your evolving processes for greater value.

 

Better Analytics and Reporting

One of the key advantages of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central is its improved analytics and reporting capabilities. With embedded Power BI, users can easily create rich visualizations and dashboards to gain insights from their data.

 

Some of the notable analytics features include:

 

Embedded Power BI

Business Central enables seamless integration with Power BI for creating interactive reports and dashboards. Users can visualize data directly within the application.

 

Drill-down analysis

Business Central supports multi-dimensional analysis, allowing you to click through charts to view the underlying data at greater levels of detail. You can easily filter, slice and dice data.

 

Visualizations

An extensive library of visualization and chart types is available, including line, bar, pie, scatter, waterfall, funnel, and many more. Visualizations make it easier to digest information.

 

KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be defined and added to role centers for at-a-glance insights relevant to each user’s role.

 

Report scheduling

Reports and visualizations can be scheduled to automatically run and send via email. This helps ensure stakeholders are always up-to-date.

 

With its modern analytics capabilities, Business Central enables organizations to uncover valuable insights from their business data. Users get access to the reports and dashboards they need to make informed decisions.

 

Up-to-Date Technology

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central leverages modern technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive insights to provide users with intelligent and proactive insights.

 

The built-in AI and machine learning capabilities analyze data, identify patterns and anomalies, and suggest recommended actions to optimize operations. This enables users to make data-driven decisions faster.

 

Some examples of how Business Central utilizes the latest technology advancements:

  • The system can predict potential issues and opportunities based on historical data. For instance, it can forecast expected customer payment delays or upcoming inventory shortages.
  • The Cash Flow Forecast feature leverages AI to accurately predict future cash flow needs. This helps businesses optimize cash flow management.
  • Business Central can recommend the optimal time to pay vendors to take advantage of payment discounts and maintain healthy cash flow.
  • The built-in machine learning algorithms learn from user behavior and customize workflows for each user. This provides a more tailored user experience.
  • Predictive insights and forecasts assist users with tasks like budgeting, inventory planning, and resource allocation.

 

By leveraging the latest AI and machine learning advancements, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central equips businesses with intelligent tools to optimize operations, accelerate growth, and make insightful data-driven decisions. The modern technology foundation ensures users are always working with an innovative, future-proof business management solution.

 

Expanded Ecosystem

One of the key benefits of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central is the expanded ecosystem of solutions and integrations available through AppSource and Microsoft’s network of ISV partners.

 

With Business Central, Microsoft has invested heavily in creating a marketplace of solutions to extend the capabilities of the platform. AppSource features hundreds of add-ons and extensions for Business Central, spanning everything from manufacturing to field service, e-commerce, and more. Companies can easily browse and install solutions to meet their unique industry or business needs.

 

In addition, Microsoft has continued to grow their partner network of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that build specialized solutions on top of Business Central. These ISV solutions provide deep vertical functionality and seamlessly integrate with Business Central using standard APIs and development best practices. ISVs allow companies to customize Business Central to support niche processes and requirements within their industry.

 

The end result is an ecosystem of solutions surrounding Business Central that supports practically any business need imaginable. Companies can start with the robust core functionality within Business Central, then leverage AppSource and ISV solutions to customize and extend the platform to match their organization’s goals and processes. The expanded ecosystem provides flexibility and scalability as companies grow and evolve.

 

Business Central is the Future of ERP from Microsoft

Microsoft Dynamics NAV has served many organizations well for over a decade. However, to keep pace with modern business needs, Microsoft has released a new generation of their ERP solution – Dynamics 365 Business Central.

 

Business Central takes the functionality of NAV and brings it into the future with a completely reimagined user experience, expanded customization options, embedded analytics and intelligence, and integration with other Microsoft cloud services.

 

By making the switch from NAV to Business Central, organizations can take advantage of the latest technology to empower their people, streamline operations, gain actionable insights, and drive continuous improvement. While NAV has reached end-of-life, Business Central represents the next generation of ERP from Microsoft.

 

With its role-based web and mobile access, Business Central enables users to be productive from anywhere. The familiar Office 365 look and feel lowers the learning curve. Business Central isn’t just the future of ERP from Microsoft – it’s the future of business. Organizations that embrace Business Central will be poised to outperform competitors who delay upgrading from legacy systems. The time to make the move is now.

 

Take Action and Get Started with Business Central Today

With the power and flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, the time is now to upgrade your systems and unlock new efficiencies.

 

Action steps:

 

  • Sign up for a free trial of Dynamics Business Central to experience the capabilities firsthand. The trial includes starter data and tutorials to get up to speed quickly.

 

  • Contact I-Net Dynamics representative to have an overview and customization of your organizational needs. With demo from years of experience, I-Net Dynamics is familiar with different objective and solution suitable for your industry needs.

 

 

  • Consider next steps like migrating data or integrations from legacy systems, training personnel on Business Central, and developing a change management plan. You don’t have to do it all at once – start with quick wins and build on successes.

 

With the right planning and guidance, you can ensure a smooth transition to Dynamics Business Central. Invest now to transform your business processes and reporting to the next level. The time to take action is now!

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