I’m not a Dynamics NAV product specialist, but that didn’t stop me from being impressed by what I saw at Directions North America.
Regardless of what the next version of Dynamics NAV will be called, there are some cool new pieces of functionality coming to the product. A lot of them have to do with the way in which Dynamics NAV will be deployed in the future (as a SaaS). Anyways, here are my top 6:
1. New Setup and Configuration Process
For new users in the system, the next version of Dynamics NAV will have a “personalize” mode that guides you through setting up and configuring key aspects of the system.
2. Solution Sandboxes
For developers and larger changes that you want to make, the ability to play in a sandbox before deploying changes is extremely fluid and easy to access.
3. Excel Integration
Accountants love Excel. It’s their turf; and they know it well. Microsoft responded to this by allowing you to edit and refresh Dynamics NAV data in Excel with a seamless, instantly updating, two-way sync.
4. Outsourced Accounting Offers
Let’s say you’re a smaller business using the next version of Dynamics NAV. If you don’t have an accountant on staff, offers will be surfaced inside of the application that allow a third-party accountant to look through your finances, make small adjustments, etc. They also displayed how this would be managed from the accountant’s end. Pretty cool stuff.
5. Really Fast Deployment and Tons of Data
Now that it’s in the cloud, the time it takes to spin up a new instance of Dynamics NAV is lightning fast. It takes, on average, 7 seconds to create a new Dynamics NAV instance and 30 seconds to upgrade an existing one.
In addition, Microsoft has indicated how they are working towards self-healing systems: their telemetry on system usage produces 500 million log messages per day. This data can be analyzed and used to predict and fix certain errors or lagging systems.
6. Office 365 Business Center
You might have heard about new features in the Office 365 Business Editions. Things like Microsoft Bookings, or Outlook Customer Manager. It was revealed that these features are actually running a little bit of Dynamics NAV/Dynamics 365/Dynamics CRM in the backend. This means awesome integrations with the bigger apps, and a seamless upgrade path.
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