Choosing the Right ERP Software: Microsoft Dynamics NAV vs Dynamics 365 Business Central

July 23, 2018 Maher Malki

Choosing the right enterprise software for your company is not an easy decision. There are many factors to take into account from the number of users, features needed, total cost of ownership, platform, and hosting choices. Two excellent solutions we work with regularly are Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. This article will help you learn more about the two solutions, and which one fits your business.

 

What’s the difference between Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central? 

Dynamics NAV has been in the market longer and Western Computer has helped many clients implement this robust solution for growing beyond the limits of basic business and accounting software. Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based offering and an all-in-one business management solution that's easy to use and adapt, helping you connect your business and make smarter decisions. We highly recommend both solutions as world-class ERP systems. Which one is right for you depends on your organization’s needs.

Essentially, the feature sets of Dynamics NAV 2018 and Dynamics 365 Business Central are the same. There are no major differences in functionality between the two. Both have excellent capabilities to help you:

  • Manage your financials
  • Automate and secure your supply chain
  • Sell smarter and improve customer service
  • Keep projects on time and under budget
  • Optimize your operations

The primary difference between Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central is in the platform and hosting model. Dynamics NAV is commonly hosted on-premise and requires upgrades and maintenance to be performed by the customer (or their designated partner). The customer is responsible for the work, costs, and risks associated with ongoing management of the system. When evaluating this option, be sure to consider the full range of costs including hardware, software, training, system updates, disaster recovery, and security. Many customers like the control of an on-premise solution and many have existing infrastructure, IT resources, and partnerships to support this model. Dynamics NAV also has a rich set of third-party apps available for specialized needs.

In contrast, Dynamics 365 Business Central is designed for online use and is a Microsoft-hosted cloud solution. It brings the power of Dynamics NAV to the cloud. That means there is no client to install on a machine and users only need access to a device with a browser. Since it is all web-based, it is a platform agnostic. It also means that Microsoft takes care of system updates, backups, disaster recovery, and security. With this solution, the initial spend is minimal, making this an attractive choice for many organizations and particularly those who have limited IT resources. With a growing ISV community, third-party vendors and apps are quickly coming up to speed.

 

Which one is right for you?

Both Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central are robust solutions. Depending on your choice of platform and hosting model, either can work well for any organization. Want more information? Contact us today to see a demo of either solution. Our experts can walk you through the features of both products, explain the advantages of each hosting model and show you how to build a solution that will help you grow your business and deliver more value to your clients. 

About the Author

Maher Malki

As Western Computer's Dynamics NAV Program Manager, Maher Malki connects with his clients' IT departments to ensure that they have the best, most well-rounded solution to their unique business needs. Maher has over 16 years of experience in the Distribution, Manufacturing, Retail, Non-Profit, and Service industries. His deep technical expertise has also earned him a wide variety of Microsoft professional certifications.

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