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Microsoft Dynamics 365

 

 

If you are an active part of the Dynamics community, then you have most likely heard about Microsoft’s release of Dynamics 365.

In this blog, we will look at what this means for existing Dynamics NAV users and answer some of the most frequently asked questions we have had from our customers.

 

What is Dynamics 365?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies CRM and ERP capabilities by delivering new purpose-built applications to help manage specific business functions, including Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Operations, Marketing, Project Service Automation and Financials.

Dynamics 365 provides end to end business application functionality – all of it delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS) in the cloud.

Currently, there are two versions of Dynamics 365, Enterprise (Operations) based on Dynamics AX with Dynamics CRM and Business (Financials) based on Dynamics NAV with Dynamics CRM. Both editions are coupled with modules and functionality traditionally offered through a combination of ERP and CRM.

We will be focusing on the Business edition for the remainder of this post.

 

What is the Dynamics 365 Business edition?

The Dynamics 365 Business edition will be comprised of the following modules:

  • Dynamics 365 for Financials
  • Dynamics 365 for Sales
  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing.

 

When will the Dynamics 365 Business edition be available?

Dynamics 365 for Financials is the only Dynamics 365 Business edition module that has been released. Financials is currently available in the United States and Canada only.

Microsoft are investing in accelerating delivery of Dynamics 365 for Financials into another three markets in Calendar Year (CY) 2017 and an additional five markets in CY 2018.

The Dynamics 365 Business edition will finally come together with the release of Dynamics 365 for Sales and Dynamics 365 for Marketing. Both Sales and Marketing are due for release in CY 2017 for selected markets. It is assumed these selected markets will be those where Dynamics 365 for Financials has already been released.

*Note: all release dates are based on the current development targets from Microsoft and are subject to change without notice.

 

Will all Dynamics NAV functionality be available in Dynamics 365?

At present, the functionality available with Dynamics 365 for Financials is a limited subset of the standard Dynamics NAV functionality. All standard functionality is expected to be released at a later date.

 

Can I migrate from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365?

Yes, Microsoft have indicated that there will be a migration path from the latest version of Dynamics NAV, being 2017, to Dynamics 365 for Financials. Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 for Financials share the same code base which supports this migration.

The ease of migration for any given organization will depend on several things, including but not limited to; the nature of any enhancements and customizations in use and, reliance on third party or other external applications, including integrations.

Microsoft have also outlined license transition plans which are best discussed with your Microsoft Dynamics partner should you be considering a switch.

 

What migration considerations do I need to think about?

There are many things that need to be considered when contemplating a move from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business edition.

Some of the key considerations have been noted below:

  1. Adopting a SaaS model moves you away from the traditional capital costs associated with IT infrastructure and software to a pay as you go operational expense. You will need to consider whether this is right for your business
  2. Your general cloud readiness should be reviewed as Dynamics 365 Business edition not only offers you ERP in the cloud, it works with and takes advantage of many other Microsoft cloud service offerings, such as Office 365 and Power BI
  3. Access to reliable connectivity for all your users is imperative with a cloud based platform and should be addressed and tested prior to considering a move to the cloud.
  4. Extensive use of Dynamics NAV third party applications and the speed at which these will be released to market may impact your target timelines
  5. With Dynamics 365 for Financials comes the release of new development tools. Should you be currently operating in a highly customised Dynamics NAV environment, any cost of any redevelopment needs to be considered.

 

Can I continue to use Dynamics NAV?

Yes, Dynamics NAV is not being taken away and Dynamics 365 for Financials is an additional offering from Microsoft rather than a replacement. Microsoft will continue to enhance and support Dynamics NAV into the foreseeable future.


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