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To upgrade NAV or not to upgrade NAV: Should I move to Business Central?

With many businesses having time to reflect on their current ERP systems as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the question more often than not that keeps reoccurring is whether to upgrade your current on-premise NAV solution for the new & improved Business Central in the Cloud? 

As well as this, the shift towards more cloud-based products poses several additional questions that could also dramatically change the way that we conduct business on a day to day basis. 

Some businesses can be reluctant to change, however sometimes you need to change in order to stop your business falling behind in the market. 

Furthermore, you may discover that some of your day to day processes need to be improved as your business has simply outgrown them. 

This is often a scary thought for many businesses, however in the longer term it will bring a number of additional benefits for your business. 

So what is Dynamics 365 Business Central? 

Dynamics 365 Business Central (formally known as NAV) is essentially the latest edition of NAV. Business Central is an all-in-one business management solution that’s easy to use & adapt to, allowing you to turn multiple disconnected systems into one system. Furthermore, this latest edition to the Microsoft stack seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft products such as Office 365. 

Business Central is available both on-premise or in the Cloud, however for the purposes of this article we will be focusing on the cloud version as this brings the biggest changes to a business. 

So what are the main variations between Dynamics NAV on-premise & Business Central in the Cloud? 

Features and Capabilities 

You will find that there isn’t a great deal of variation between the processes used in Dynamics NAV and Business Central aside from VAT and Making Tax Digital. However, the important thing to note is the fact that Business Central in the Cloud is future proof so can provide you with a number of additional extras such as Artificial Intelligence which will help you to simplify your forecasting. 

As you gather more and more data, you will be able to let the software do the hard work for you as it will be able to highlight key information, predict cashflow as well as help with your forecasting. All of this can be achieved quickly and in real time so no need to search through your archives to find out any information. 

Product Life Cycle Management 

You will see that another variation between the two software's is the fact that by having Business Central in the Cloud you will always be on the latest edition of the software. Given how rapid innovations are these days, businesses need to be able to adapt quickly in order to maintain their competitive advantage, however this comes with its own problems at times. 

Upgrades can be very irritating and expensive for a business. However, this problem is nullified with Business Central in the Cloud as you will automatically receive two major annual updates usually in April and October. When these updates come round, we will be on hand to discuss when you would like to rollout this update across your business within the 30-day window. 

Software as a Service 

The good thing about Business Central in the Cloud is the fact that it can only be accessed via a Web Client. This makes it particularly flexible when you are on the move as you can login remotely from anywhere, at anytimeon any device. 

Furthermore, the database is seamlessly integrated within your Office 365 tenant. Given the fact that it is hosted inside Microsoft’s very own IT infrastructure and data centres means that your business can free up vital financial resources as your business won’t need to manage the servers, SQL updates or backups as Microsoft will do this all for you. 

If your business is not currently using Office 365 then it is important to ensure that you take this into account during the Business Central implementation. 

How do you buy it? 

After you purchased your original NAV on-premise licence, you would have found that it was a lump sum one-off purchase to buy the software outright in addition to a yearly charge of 16% of the software value to cover Microsoft’s Enhancement Plan. This plan included all software upgrades as well as any bug fixes. 

With Business Central in the Cloud, you simply pay a monthly subscription based on the number of users as well as the type of users you require. Essentially you pay for what you use and no more. Like the above, you get all the software updates included as well as any bug fixes. 

You will notice that one of the biggest variations between NAV on-premise licences and Business Central licences is the fact that NAV on-premise licences have concurrent users however, Business Central licences are designated users. 

After reading the above, you may be keen to make the switch from NAV to Business Central, however you may be thinking ‘Why do I need to buy the software again’?. 

No need to worry as Microsoft resolved this by having an upgrade path for customers migrating across via NAV to offer existing NAV on-premise clients (who are currently up to date with the fees), a 40% discount on the subscription fees if you sign up to Business Central in the Cloud before June 2021. 

Does it make sense to make the move to a cloud-based ERP solution? 

With technology constantly evolving and more and more people working from home for the foreseeable future, the need for your business to be flexible and have systems that can be accessed from home is pivotal in helping to future proof your business. 

So why not use this opportunity to move from an on-premise ERP solution to a cloud based one now? 

Next Steps? 

If you are looking to move your current on-premise NAV solution to Business Central in the Cloud then please get in touch with our team of ERP experts today to discuss how we can quickly get you up and running on Business Central. 

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