microsoft dynamics nav

What is Microsoft Dynamics NAV?

Dynamics NAV shines as a top contender among mid-market ERP solutions, capturing the interest of businesses with its extensive functionalities and intuitive design.

For those considering the adoption of Dynamics into their business framework or seeking insights into Microsoft’s offerings for small to medium-sized businesses.

Understand Dynamics NAV

Dynamics NAV, previously known by the name of Navision, is a versatile Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution tailored to empower small and medium-sized enterprises in streamlining and integrating their sales, procurement, operations, accounting, and inventory management processes.

This comprehensive platform encompasses all facets of business operations, ranging from financial management and procurement to warehouse supervision and comprehensive reporting. Its hallmark lies in its remarkable adaptability, allowing seamless customization to align with the unique requirements of any industry.

Moving forward, discussions regarding Dynamics NAV features and capabilities will encompass those offered in its latest iteration – Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Dynamics NAV vs. Dynamics 365

Dynamics NAV, formerly known as Navision since its inception in the 1980s, has undergone significant evolution, documented in our detailed timeline. This timeline illustrates its journey to the present day, while our comparison table offers insights into the different NAV versions and the introduction of specific functionalities over time.

You may have noticed the absence of Dynamics NAV on Microsoft’s website, which is because it was rebranded to Dynamics 365 Business Central in 2018. So, what sets Dynamics NAV apart from Dynamics 365 Business Central? — it’s just a name change – Dynamics 365 Business Central is the updated name for Dynamics NAV.


In November 2016, Microsoft underwent a significant rebranding of its Dynamics suite, consolidating all CRM and ERP products under the unified banner of Dynamics 365.

While Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL retained their standalone status, other software underwent name changes and integration into Dynamics 365. Dynamics AX transitioned into Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Dynamics CRM evolved into Dynamics 365 for Sales, and Dynamics NAV underwent a transformation into Dynamics 365 Business Central.

As part of this restructuring, certain functionalities of the apps were modularized, offering businesses the flexibility to select and integrate specific features tailored to their needs. Presently, both Dynamics NAV and Business Central coexist; Business Central serves as the cloud-based iteration, whereas Dynamics NAV typically denotes the on-premise version, although it can also be deployed in a private cloud environment.

However, slated for later in 2018 is a transition where both versions will be unified under the Business Central umbrella, officially retiring the NAV nomenclature.

The Upgrade

Transitioning from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central not only eliminates the need for cumbersome, large-scale updates but also ensures a system that is fortified, secure, and tailored precisely to the business’s needs.

Observations indicate that numerous businesses opt for the upgrade primarily due to reliance on outdated versions of Dynamics NAV. As these versions approach their end-of-support phase, marked by Microsoft ceasing all updates, resolving issues, particularly those on security, becomes increasingly challenging.

For many enterprises, robust security isn’t just a preference; it’s a mandatory industry or regulatory requirement. Thus, the imperative to maintain up-to-date security across all facets of their operations propels them towards either remaining on or upgrading to a supported Dynamics NAV version. Admittedly, upgrading can seem like a daunting endeavor, demanding investments in time, finances, and resources—resources some businesses may be hesitant to part with. However, rest assured, there are a variety of flexible options available, tailored to suit diverse requirements. Moreover, the team respects the autonomy of businesses; they will never pressure them into an upgrade and are committed to supporting the existing solution for as long as deemed fit.

What does Dynamics NAV/ D365 Business Central Offer?

Dynamics NAV/Business Central serves as a centralized platform tailored for small-to-midsized enterprises, offering a comprehensive solution to streamline their operations. Consolidating all functions onto a singular platform provides organizations with a holistic view of their business operations, establishing a “single source of truth” and dismantling departmental barriers that impede efficient data communication.

This ERP system enhances productivity by enabling users to minimize time spent on administrative tasks. With all business data consolidated, information retrieval is expedited, and NAV/ Business Central can automate repetitive tasks, liberating users from manual interventions.

At its core, the software provides robust financial management features, facilitating efficient accounting and cash flow management, receivables processing, fixed asset oversight, and the ability to manage multiple companies seamlessly within a unified interface.

Especially favored by manufacturing enterprises, NAV/ Business Central aids in optimizing order and delivery planning, managing production versions, and forecasting demand. In terms of supply chain management, the software encompasses functionalities for scheduling and procurement, inventory and warehouse supervision, as well as picking, packing, and shipping operations. For instance, you may consider empathetic ERP solutions for businesses, with expertise in implementation and ongoing support, to simplify your ERP journey, and enjoy tailored solutions for seamless growth.

Furthermore, the platform offers project management capabilities, empowering users to strategize budgets and capacities, allocate resources, and automate invoicing processes, and includes basic HR management features such as employee records and absence tracking.

Businesses that Use Dynamics NAV/ Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics NAV/ D365 Business Central finds its stronghold among businesses operating in manufacturing, distribution, and service industries, owing to its robust production control features. Its appeal is further enhanced by its user-friendly interface, which fosters ease of use and accessibility for organizations. Additionally, the platform’s flexibility allows seamless expansion by accommodating new users effortlessly.

Tailor-made to address specific business or industry requirements, Dynamics NAV/ D365 Business Central stands out for its adaptability, cost-effectiveness, and scalability, garnering widespread popularity within the business community over the past two decades. It often serves as the logical progression for growing companies transitioning from accounting software like QuickBooks. Notably, Dynamics NAV/ D365 Business Central boasts multi-currency support and is available in over 40 languages, catering to diverse global needs.

Native integration with Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Outlook, and other commonly used business tools facilitates streamlined task management and fosters collaboration across departments and external partners.

Moreover, Dynamics NAV/ D365 Business Central seamlessly integrates with Power BI, Microsoft’s advanced business intelligence platform. This integration empowers NAV users to derive deeper insights from their business data, leveraging visualization tools and AI-driven guidance to optimize efficiency and identify areas for improvement effectively.

Dynamics NAV/ D365 Business Central propels business growth by providing crucial insights into current operations. By enhancing internal visibility, businesses gain a comprehensive understanding of their processes, enabling them to identify areas for improvement and optimization.

At its core, Dynamics NAV improves record accuracy, ensuring that every user has access to the right information promptly. This not only saves time but also enhances the quality of customer interactions, leading to increased satisfaction and fostering long-term loyalty.

Centralizing operational data in a single repository offers businesses a clear and complete picture of crucial metrics such as production costs and expenditures. This visibility allows for regular budget assessments and adjustments, enabling businesses to keep spending in check and maximize efficiency.

Automation features within Dynamics NAV/ D365 Business Central streamline processes, freeing up employee time to focus on tasks that drive growth. Real-time analytics empower businesses to detect trends in their data promptly, facilitating swift responses to market changes and enabling accurate forecasting to meet demand effectively. Overall, Dynamics NAV/ D365 Business Central provides the tools and insights necessary for businesses to scale and thrive in a dynamic marketplace.

Dynamics NAV/ D365 Business Central stands out as the flagship ERP product within Microsoft’s Dynamics suite, boasting an impressive user base of over 1.8 million users. Predominantly favored by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the majority of NAV users typically operate with fewer than 100 concurrent users.

In recent years, Microsoft Dynamics has made significant strides in the ERP market. MS Dynamics surpassed Oracle to claim the #2 spot in terms of market share, with SAP leading the way. With the introduction of Dynamics 365 Business Central in early 2018, Microsoft aims to further solidify its position by offering a dedicated Software as a Service (SaaS) ERP solution tailored specifically for SMBs.

In 2022, the global market size for Microsoft Dynamics experienced a noteworthy year-on-year growth of 10.3%, reaching a total of US$ 9,821.0 million. Over the projected period, there is anticipated to be a surge in demand for Microsoft Dynamics solutions, with an estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2%. Consequently, the total market valuation is poised to escalate from US$10,891.6 million in 2023 to a substantial US$34,215.8 million by the year 2033.

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