Transitioning from Dynamics NAV to Business Central SaaS

If your business has been running the on-premises Dynamics NAV solution for some years now, how do you prepare to transition to the most recent Dynamics 365 Business Central platform – now announced as the official NAV successor?

The question is not when your business should move to Business Central, but how. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) has been traditionally an on-premises core business application for organisations. However, prevalent cloud adoption has made strong inroads in software offered as a service in the cloud – SaaS, including ERP functionality.

Business Central on-prem with cloud extensions

With the Business Central application already available on-prem from October 2018, businesses can still maintain their ERP functionality on-premises if they do not want to go the cloud route as yet. Even so, moving from the classic NAV to the Business Central on-prem application does not have to forgo the benefits of the cloud.

Your business can still transition to the cloud SaaS version if needed. If you are looking to ease into the cloud slowly, it is best to start with Business Central on-premises (think of upgrading to NAV 2019, if you must), and use extensions to get ready for the possible shift.

Working on-premises but using cloud features to accelerate your business operations is now a possibility thanks to Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud Insight in Dynamics 365 Business Central where you can sync your data to the cloud and leverage features such as AI and advanced reporting through Power BI.

Business Central SaaS

Consistent with Dynamics NAV, Business Central includes Financials, Purchasing, Inventory, Operations, Warehousing and Projects.

However, keep in mind that Business Central is built differently than the previous NAV solutions, although it shares most of its source coding (C/AL, but moving to fully AL in 2019). It is a modern platform ready and envisioned for cloud and app integration, which is the premise of the entire future of the Microsoft ecosystem.

While you may not encounter some of the modifications and updates familiar to the older NAV versions, one of the most important benefits of Business Central is the external API and Web Service integrations that provide viable, portable and scalable business solutions.

A SaaS solution based on the Microsoft Azure cloud environment can be more powerful and efficient in resource-intensive organisations making use of large collaborative teams. Your business can quickly extend Business Central by adding capabilities using pre-built apps or applying customisations thanks to its flexible platform.