Welcome to another name change for Dynamics 365…“Business Central”. Let’s break down what exactly is available with Dynamics 365 Business Central and why you might choose to use this solution over other ERP solutions. Business Central is the product name for what was originally referred to as codename “Tenerife”. On March 13, 2018, Microsoft announced that Tenerife would be officially named Dynamics 365 Business Central. On April 2, 2018 Business Central was launched in 14 countries around the world. Go here for an interesting look back at the history of brand names for this product line.
Dynamics 365 Business Central is a mid-market ERP system that’s purely SaaS (software-as-a- service). In other words, there’s no hardware and no infrastructure that you need in order to be able to run it, all that you really need is an email address on top of a domain. Business Central comes at a monthly price/per named user and the software is ready to go!
The traditional way to purchase software solutions is to buy the licenses upfront, purchase hardware for it to run on, buy all the servers to support it, and then you would still have technical installation and configuration to take care of. Instead, with Dynamics 365 Business Central, the entirety of the solution is delivered as a service and you start implementation right away.
Because Business Central is running in the cloud in a controlled environment governed by Microsoft, any updates, upgrades, and patches are included in the monthly fee. With on-premise ERP systems you need to pay to apply patches, and pay to have upgrades performed.
What is the Future of Dynamics NAV?
So what does all this mean for Dynamics NAV? Dynamics 365 Business Central is basically NAV in the cloud. It has the full suite of functionality that NAV has. Although Business Central on-premise is not available yet, it will be later this year. At that point, NAV as a brand name will cease to exist in much the same way that Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX no longer exist, but now fall under the Dynamics 365 umbrella. NAV is in effect re-branded as Business Central.
Is Business Central for you?
For a SaaS, Business Central has surprisingly good flexibility to accommodate unique requirements (customizations), compared to the flexibility inherent in on-premise systems. Keep in mind that with pure SaaS, you don’t get to dictate where in North America your data lives. Current NAV users should note that any third-party products you might have may not be available at the moment with Business Central. In the future it’s likely that there will be a shift to third-party products being more readily available for Business Central as ‘Apps’.
The listed price points for Dynamics 365 Business Central are very competitive:
Business Central, Essentials
$70 per user/per month (In USD)
Business Central, Premium
$100 per user/per month (In USD)
GDPR Compliance Deadline
With the deadline looming to become GDPR compliant as of May 25, 2018, a side bonus is that with Business Central and other SaaS solutions, Microsoft assumes the risk of the ‘data processor’ within that environment. This is a huge shift in risk to organizations if they choose to go with Business Central. If you’re looking at ways to mitigate your GDPR risk, going with Microsoft SaaS offerings is one way to do it. Any on-premise solution will leave the organization responsible for taking on that ‘data processor’ risk. Rest assured, no one is doing more than Microsoft in terms of compliance from a GDPR standpoint.
Business Central Features
Business Central, Essentials:
- Financial Management
General Ledger, Workflows, Bank Management, Deferrals, Bank Reconciliation, Currencies Dimensions, Audit Trails, Fixed Assets, Budgets
- Customer Relational Management
Campaigns, Contacts, Opportunity Management, Built-In Integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales
- Supply Chain Management
Sales Order Management, Purchase Order Management, Basic Receivables, Basic Warehousing, Locations, Item Transfers
- Human Resources
Employees, Management of Expenses
- Project Management
Resources, Time Sheets, Estimates, Jobs
Outlook Integration, Multiple Languages, Intrastat Reporting, Reason Codes, Extended Text, Scheduled Tasks
Business Central, Premium:
(Includes all of the above functionality)
- Service Order Management
Service Orders, Service Contract Management, Service Price Management, Service Item Management, Planning and Dispatching
Demand Forecasting, Basic Supply Planning, Production Orders, Version Management, Agile Manufacturing, Finite Loading, Capacity Planning, Machine Centers
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