If you are using Dynamics NAV as your ERP solution, you might be wondering whether you should upgrade to its successor, Business Central.
Business Central is a cloud-based, modern, and integrated ERP solution that can help you streamline your business processes, improve your productivity, and gain insights into your data.
In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why you should consider a NAV upgrade to business central, the benefits of doing so, and the steps involved in the process.
Business Central is a cloud-based ERP solution that offers comprehensive functionality for managing your finances, operations, sales, service, and projects.
It is designed to be easy to use, customize, and integrate with other Microsoft applications and services, such as
- Microsoft 365,
- Power Platform,
- Azure and Dynamics 365.
Business Central is the successor of Dynamics NAV, which is a popular on-premises ERP solution that has been in the market for over 30 years.
Business Central inherits the core features and capabilities of Dynamics NAV but also adds new functionalities and enhancements that leverage the power of the cloud.
Upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Business Central can bring many benefits to your organization, including:
When you upgrade Dynamics NAV to Business Central, you’ll get a modern user interface that allows you to access information, complete tasks, and collaborate with others more easily and intuitively.
You can also use Business Central on any device, anywhere, at any time, thanks to its cloud-based deployment and mobile apps.
Business Central integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft applications and services, such as Outlook, Excel, Teams, Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Service.
This means you can work across different platforms without switching applications, access real-time data from various sources, and automate workflows across your business.
Additionally, Business Central offers flexible integration options with third-party systems and industry-specific solutions, ensuring your ERP system works well with your entire technology ecosystem.
Cloud-Based Deployment and Scalability
With Business Central, you don’t need to worry about installing and maintaining on-premises infrastructure, which can reduce your IT costs and efforts.
You also get automatic updates from Microsoft twice a year, ensuring your system is always secure and up-to-date. Moreover, Business Central is scalable to meet your changing business needs.
You can easily add or remove users, adjust storage capacity, or extend functionality with apps from Microsoft AppSource.
Business Central provides powerful reporting and analytics tools that can help you gain insights into your business performance and make informed decisions. You can use built-in reports and dashboards or create your own using Power BI.
You can also leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) features that can provide recommendations, predictions, and alerts based on your data.
Business Central offers a flexible pricing model that allows you to pay only for what you need. You can choose between two subscription plans: Essentials or Premium.
The Essentials plan includes the core functionalities of Business Central for managing your finances, operations, sales, service, and projects.
The Premium plan adds advanced features for managing manufacturing and service orders. You can also opt for additional add-ons or apps to extend your system’s capabilities.
The process of upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Business Central depends on several factors, such as:
- The version of Dynamics NAV you are currently using
- The level of customization you have done on your system
- The amount of data you need to migrate
- The integration requirements with other systems
- The training needs of your users
Generally speaking, there are two main approaches for upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Business Central: direct upgrade or data migration.
A direct upgrade is a process where you move your existing Dynamics NAV database to Business Central without changing its structure or content.
This approach is suitable for customers who are using recent versions of Dynamics NAV (2018 or later) and have minimal customization or integration requirements. A direct upgrade can be done using tools provided by Microsoft or by a partner.
The benefits of a direct upgrade are:
- It preserves your historical data and transactions
- It maintains your existing business logic and workflows
- It reduces the risk of data loss or errors
- It minimizes the downtime and disruption of your business operations
The drawbacks of a direct upgrade are:
- It limits your ability to take advantage of new features and enhancements in Business Central
- It may require additional steps to resolve compatibility issues or conflicts
- It may not be feasible for customers who are using older versions of Dynamics NAV or have extensive customization or integration requirements
Data migration is a process where you move your data from Dynamics NAV to Business Central using a new database structure and format.
This approach is suitable for customers who are using older versions of Dynamics NAV (2017 or earlier) or have complex customization or integration requirements.
Data migration can be done using tools provided by Microsoft, by a partner, or by yourself.
The benefits of data migration are:
- It allows you to take advantage of new features and enhancements in Business Central
- It gives you the opportunity to clean up and optimize your data
- It enables you to customize and integrate your system according to your business needs
- It prepares you for future updates and changes in Business Central
The drawbacks of data migration are:
- It may require more time and resources to complete
- It may involve data loss or errors during the transfer
- It may disrupt your business operations during the transition
- Your users may need more training to adapt to the new system.