29 May 2018

Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central honestly any different to Dynamics NAV?

Dropped in Dynamics 365 ERP

Formulated by Zak

Following the release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central in early April, there has been a fantastic reception to the stunning interface, ease of use and the low investment cost of getting up and running for the customer.

However, there has also been a burning question ever since the release: “What is the difference between Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics NAV?’ 

This statement won’t help the cause, Dynamics 365 Business Central contains the same standard Dynamics functionality that we already know and love from Dynamics NAV; with the solution being touted as ‘NAV in the cloud’. Furthermore, both solutions contain tight integration into Office 365, Power BI, Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and more.

"OK, so what on earth is the difference then?"

Initial Investment

For the customer, undoubtedly the greatest difference is the initial investment required to implement a cloud-based only (for now) Dynamics 365 Business Central solution within your business. As it’s cloud based, there is no upfront cost required for the hardware and associated infrastructure nor for the on-premise license.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is licensed as a per user and per month subscription. You can get up and running as an Essential user for £52.40 per month or a Premium user for just £75.40 per month.

Accessing new capabilities

Traditionally, Dynamics NAV updates would be included in the annual version release, which created an exciting window where everybody would be anticipating the new features in the next release. Alternatively, the per user per month Dynamics 365 Business Central subscription lends perfectly to the software being constantly updated as you continue your journey as a user to leave you constantly satisfied.

Extending the capabilities

Dynamics 365 Business Central can be enhanced through “apps” purchased via Microsoft AppSource. All the apps have been tested and approved by Microsoft, so you can browse at your leisure to discover a proven app that best suits your business needs. Additionally, you can customise Dynamics 365 Business Central through customer specific extensions that are created and uploaded directly to the tenant by a partner.

On the other hand, Dynamics NAV is enhanced via “extensions” purchased through your partner as either specifically developed add-on products (similar to apps for Dynamics 365 for Business Central) or following some bespoke development by a trusted Dynamics partner.

So which business management solution will suit your business needs best?

Essentially, both solutions are targeted at small to medium-sized companies. Dynamics 365 Business Central is a more attractive prospect to smaller companies whose entry level accounting system can no longer cut it, so they are now searching for their first ERP solution.

Alternatively, Dynamics NAV is the ideal solution for companies with complex needs, who require customisation of the software functionality to match the unique demands of their company. Currently, Dynamics NAV is the best solution out there for a business that craves having an on-premise solution. However, all signs point to Dynamics 365 Business Central also being available as an on-premise deployment in the future.

With over 26 years of experience (as of 2018) of supporting manufacturers and distributors with their software solution requirements, the Technology Management team will support you in choosing the correct business management system for you. We will take the time to understand your business, whilst educating and encouraging you about best-practice processes. By truly understanding what is required, we will only encourage the implementation of the business solution best suited to ultimately facilitate your growth.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help your business to transform its processes and operations with Microsoft Dynamics, please do not hesitate to call us via: 01902 578 300 or email us via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Footnote: Information/pricing correct at time of posting 29 May 2018.

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