Posted May 5th, 2017 by Nicki Stewart
On Tuesday 2nd May, Dynamics 365 Financials was made available for public preview. But what is Dynamics 365 Financials and how does it position alongside Dynamics 365 CRM and Dynamics NAV?
Dynamics 365 Financials takes the finance capability of NAV and serves it up in a SaaS (Software as a Service) offering on Microsoft Azure. It can’t do everything that NAV does but we can probably expect it to catch up soon! However, the catch up will be through apps rather than extending the core solution. Dynamics 365 Financials works with the CRM capability of Dynamics 365 for Sales etc so could be thought as the first “apps” to extend Dynamics 365 Financials to match Dynamics NAV functionality.
From a functionality point of view, a basic finance requirement could look at either Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365 F; a project based organisation could choose between Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365 F with the Dynamics 365 PSA (Project Service Automation) plan; a manufacturer should stick to NAV.
Where bespoke development is required then Dynamics NAV is the choice.
For users, the access and look and feel is much of a muchness. It’s all Microsoft and it all integrates seamlessly with Office (on premise and Office 365). It’s all available through web browser and smart devices.
For licensing and deployment, it’s important to note that unlike the enterprise ERP solution (Dynamics 365 for Operations), Dynamics 365 Financials is only available as a Cloud solution. Dynamics NAV and the CRM options are available on premise or for Cloud deployment.
If you’re already using Dynamics NAV then Microsoft is keen to incentivise a move to Dynamics 365 for Financials so please do contact us to discuss.
If you’re currently evaluating Dynamics NAV then the key considerations are driven from a starting point of either deployment option (see Start #1 in the diagram below) or functionality (see Start #2). If you’re adamant that on premise is your strategy, then your option is clear; if you’re undecided or after a Cloud based solution then you still have choices to consider and so this should be a functionality driven decision.
Microsoft’s published roadmap shows continual investment in Dynamics NAV for many years to come. Microsoft is driven by two needs: a desire to grow the Cloud business and the need to retain both existing customers and the competitive market position of Dynamics NAV. When the market decides that SaaS and only SaaS is the way forward, then we may see the on premise options drop away. For now, our advice remains as it ever was: select the best technology to meet your business needs, be that operational, technical or strategic; Microsoft Dynamics offers solutions to meet all business requirements.