Why Upgrade my Dynamics NAV to 365 Business Central ?

It has been coming close to 4 years since Microsoft launched its Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365BC).   Formerly known as Microsoft Dynamics NAV (“NAV”), the newer software offers more modern technology, tailored features, and a more agile user interface than NAV. D365BC has quickly made a name for itself as the top ERP enterprise resource planning software for small to medium-size enterprises.

There are still organisations that continue the use of the legacy NAV version, be it either out of fear of change, or have not invested time to give it a good consideration.  Still, there are a lot of good reasons why you should upgrade Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central, including:

  • Ability to access Business Central on any device (Windows, MAC, mobile IOS, Android)
  • Must be faster and more intuitive to use with the role-based concept
  • Seamless upgrades made easy for hosted on Microsoft Cloud
  • Reporting capability and other possible integrations with Microsoft apps
  • Affordability.

Some organisations that have been slow to switch from NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central worry about delays during implementation, the associated costs, and business disruptions.  This article aims to provide some clarity that an upgrade is in one’s best interest.

Why Upgrade Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central

NAV’s functionalities are extensive, these include financial management, supply chain management, marketing, service, sales, business intelligence and project management.  Aside from re-training employees to work with a new platform, one of the initial worries we have heard from customers who has decided to upgrade is transitioning of large amounts of historical data. With D365BC, the data structures are generally the same as with NAV, so long as your data is well-organized and not corrupted, the transition will be a rather smooth activity.

Beyond transition concerns, what about support for NAV?  Most NAV versions are already not covered by main stream support, with NAV 2018 due so in Jan 2023.

Here are 7 reasons you might want to upgrade to D365BC now:

  • D365BC is updated automatically by Microsoft twice a year. Your organisation is always operating on the latest secure version.
  • Since Dynamics Business Central is cloud-based, it’s accessible on any device, anywhere, at any time. There is also no further investment in hosting infrastructure, e.g., servers (hardware, operating licenses), and annual maintenance agreements.   Microsoft’s team of cloud security be part of the services for D365BC subscription.
  • D365BC integrates natively with other Microsoft tools, including Microsoft 365, Azure, SharePoint, and other Dynamics 365 suite products. 
  • Better reporting and automation tools via Power BI, Jet Reports, Excel add-ins enable D365 Business Central to produce fast, flexible financial and business reporting.    PowerApps capability can also help lift the use of D365BC such as machine learning and AI support equipment monitoring, forecasting, and providing more accurate and timely data.
  • Improved search capabilities from the better user interface and design in D365BC.
  • More manageable costs. No more annual enhancements and licensing fees, one pays for a subscription – which can be monthly, or yearly.
  • Finally, having the D365BC hosted on Microsoft Cloud allows an organisation to easily tab and extend the functionalities to support the business.   There are over 600 certified applications (and growing) available on the Microsoft AppSource.    Fewer chances for one having to have customisations tailor-made.   Applications on AppSource are maintained, supported and upgraded in parallel with the D365BC versions upgrade, ensuring compatibility.

Is there a downside to not doing anything ?

Microsoft continues to invest time and resources in further developments for D365BC.  As mentioned earlier, it will not be introducing future updates for NAV. For these reasons alone, it is worth it for your organisation to start planning out a path to the cloud and migrate to the newer solution to remain ahead of the curve and promote future growth.

How long will it take if I am thinking on moving to Microsoft Cloud ?

Do you have lots of customisations?

Moving to the cloud from on-premises will mean reengineering your customisations to work on Microsoft’s cloud.  However, you might find some of these customisations are now built into Business Central new functionalities or there are pre-made extensions (from AppSource) to download.

In some cases, this could take less time than a complex upgrade, and then, at the end, you have a system fit for your current need.   A simple upgrade may take over 2 – 4 weeks, larger system rebuild may need to be staged properly over a 2 to 3 months duration.

Is this an opportunity to make improvements?

If your system has not been updated in a while, and your processes and business scope have changed, you may want to consider a rebuild (reimplementation) as an option.  

Upgrading Dynamics NAV to cloud-based Dynamics 365 Business Central enables your organisation to get precisely what it needs to operate more effectively and efficiently. Highly adaptable and feature-rich D365BC is one of the best end-to-end business management solutions your organisation can invest in.

For more information, please reach out to dynamicsinfo@dialog.com.au or ring 1800 DIALOG.