In October, Microsoft is going to roll out new releases for its business applications. Dynamics 365 Business Central will then also be equipped with some improvements and innovations. The release notes recently published by Microsoft provide an overview of the new key features. They also confirm that the on-premise version of Business Central will be the successor to Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
With the upcoming October release, the availability of Dynamics 365 Business Central will be extended. From this point on, the solution can be operated in the cloud, on-premise and as a hybrid model. Customers who currently have a local Dynamics NAV solution in operation can continue to use it. However, subsequent versions of the Dynamics NAV product range will no longer be available under the usual name. Instead, the solution will become “Business Central On-Premise” as part of the new releases.
Optimized productivity and user experience
The new version of Business Central will bring some productivity and usability improvements in the Web Client. Besides a new modern look, improved keyboard navigation and new keyboard shortcuts make working with the program considerably faster and more convenient. Enhanced search functions for pages and reports as well as new filter options for lists also increase user-friendliness – regardless of whether the data is accessed via Web Client or Universal App Client (Smartphone, Tablet or Windows 10).
In order to keep up with digitization in the corporate world, even classic business applications are on trial. In many companies there is need for action in order to map all segments across the value chain in future by an integrated solution.
At Microsoft the traditionally separated fields of ERP and CRM are growing together under the umbrella brand “Dynamics 365”; the integrated business application suite “Business Central” is a major part of this. Modern software solutions like this offer lots of opportunities, but the scope of implementing such a system should never be underestimated.
Even though new business applications have different pricing models than before and even offer leasing models, the implementation and conception of such a software solution is still a major investment. And even if manufacturers keep talking about “self-service” and there is no longer a need to provide your own hardware, for complex business processes it will always be necessary to include consultants with experience from other similar projects. Many companies will have to check and adapt their existing processes to the parameters specified by the new software. To this end, lots of plans and discussions are required to ensure the success of the project. So it’s worthwhile to keep the following principles in mind before launching a new project.
Microsoft announced the official name and release date of its new cloud ERP solution. Dynamics 365 Business Central will officially be available in April.
The cloud-based all-in-one business management solution, which was formerly known as Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”, will have the full functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The On-Premise version will continue to exist.
Starting April 2nd,Dynamics 365 Business Central will be available in 14 countries (including Germany) in two price packages: “Essential” and “Premium”. The “Essential” version contains all the key modules, such as those required for finances, operations, sales and customer service, as well as human resources, project and supply chain management, whereas the “Premium” edition has additional modules for service order management and manufacturing.
Business Central is intended to upgrade entry-level accounting software and ERP legacy systems easily and quickly. Updates are performed automatically by the cloud solution to eliminate complex upgrade processes. The basic functionalities integrate with other Microsoft cloud services (e.g., Office 365) and can be customized and extended with PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI for specific, growing, and changing business needs.
Microsofts’ primary goal is to create a flexible cloud platform through automated tasks and workflows (using familiar tools such as Office, Outlook, Word, and Excel), networked data and intelligent technologies to offer users a standardized and efficient way of handling business transactions. The created company networking will be helpful to make informed decisions. Dynamics 365 Business Central has also a new modern user interface to provide a better overview and increase productivity.
With the enhanced user experience, its extensibility, and the full functionality of Dynamics NAV, the all-in-one business management solution offers many benefits – particularly for companies, which are looking for a flexible solution that grows and changes with them just as their requirements.
For medium-sized companies, prisma csp, the subsidiary of prisma informatik, which specializes in cloud solutions, is now also implementing the intranet complete solution Valo Intranet.
Corporate news and events, internal announcements and information about the portfolio and business processes – it is not easy to keep social interaction and teamwork in the business running smoothly. No problem with Valo Intranet. The intranet complete solution helps to build a social corporate culture and supports employees with extensive functions in their daily work and communication.
Valo is based on Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 and can be technically installed in the Azure Cloud in just a few hours (“out-of-the-box”). The swift and simple implementation enables a correspondingly fast introduction and implementation of team-oriented work processes. This includes, e.g. easy access to all areas of a modern workplace (SharePoint team pages, Yammer, Office groups, Teams, Planner), that clearly promotes teamwork.
With its attractive design, that can be adapted to your corporate brand without coding, the elaborate user experience and its full usability on desktop and mobile devices, Valo Intranet quickly meets with high acceptance and satisfaction amongst the employees. Continuous updates guarantee that the platform always stays up to date.
Commercial applications have not been left out of the discussion on comprehensive digitization of our environment. While digital solutions are only now starting to take up a central and active role in numerous areas of our everyday life, e.g., autonomous driving, many operations of all serious companies and industries have been inconceivable without IT for a long time. In fact, these companies were the driving force behind IT development long before the private sector.
Today’s digital transformation is not just about technology. Rather, it entails a comprehensive strategy that puts organizations and business models to the test of implementing new ways of interacting with people, data, and processes. A significant part of the added value will be in the digital sector in the future. This has consequences, not least for business software. The roots of many ERP systems still date back to the 1980s and the systems have continuously been adapted over time to suit the respective requirements. Another update will not be enough to adapt the software to meet today’s requirements for the comprehensive digitization.
Why do we also have to rethink our business software?
Today customer relationships work more differently than a few years ago. The market transparency is many times higher and the opportunity to operate internationally has become much easier – competition is diverse. That makes it even more important to establish a stable and reliable cooperation with our customers, that guarantees the same level of quality across different situations. Studies foresee that the “customer experience” in dealing with a company is becoming increasingly important and will soon be just as relevant as “price” or “brand”.
Skills shortages are not an industry-specific problem. Our corporate resources are limited and the productivity of each employee is critical. Fast training, project-oriented way of working instead of controlled routines and teamwork across different locations are the keywords that now set the bar for the IT infrastructure of a company. Attractive workplaces must be modern and meet the desire for flexibility and mobility, which knows a new generation of private software usage habits.
Technology enables speed and flexibility. In today’s environment, the features a software should keep are changing fast. New business models emerge and increase competition constantly. Many companies are forced to act, to stem the loss of market share at least. Companies that offer their own new and better IT-based services can gain new customers quickly and offer well-targeted and individual products and services. With Dynamics 365, Microsoft has rethought the conventional ERP and CRM concepts and launched a solution that is well suited for a modern business applications architecture.
In November last year, Microsoft launched its new cloud-based solution Dynamics 365 on the North American market. Release in four more European countries is planned for this year. The Business Edition of the product, which includes Dynamics 365 for Financials (Project Madeira), is based on Dynamics NAV, but varies from the ERP system in many aspects.
Although Dynamics 365 for Financials includes some of the functions of Dynamics NAV, it is not meant to and will not replace it – Dynamics NAV will be developed further in future as well. Unlike the latter, which can be run on-premise, via a private cloud or Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 for Financials is a purely cloud-based solution. Since the features of the platform are reduced mainly to basic functionalities of the financial accounting areas, sales and purchasing, it is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized organisations. The simplified functional scope, the high user-friendliness of the intuitive application, as well as assistants and tutorials ensure comfortable acclimatisation and quick understanding in Dynamics 365 for Financials – especially for beginners. Dynamics NAV, on the other hand, comes up with far more extensive processes and additional modules (e.g. assets, production, service and project module), but is also more complex in use.
Comfortable platform expansion via apps and extensions
The flexible cloud platform Dynamics 365 for Financials enables to put the entire system individually together for oneself from various business apps and to adapt it to the requirements of the company, the industry or the role of the user. The corresponding applications can be obtained via Microsoft AppSource and can be supplied and used independently of each other.
For example, you can start with a few fundamental apps and add more as needs rise. The solution deployed includes only functionalities that are actually required in day-to-day operations. Thanks to this flexibility of Dynamics 365 for Financials and the opportunity to implement changes and expansions even without the help of the IT department, it is possible to react quickly and easily to the constantly changing market or company conditions.
Starting with the current 2017 version, the classic Dynamics NAV can also be expanded conveniently thanks to the extensions available. In addition, basic objects in NAV can be changed directly, thus allowing even the most customised adjustments. Updating the respective additional modules in Dynamics 365 for Financials and Dynamics NAV has different levels of difficulty. While Microsoft updates the applications acquired via the AppSource along with the basic application on a monthly basis automatically, extensions installed and basic objects adjusted in Dynamics NAV must always be migrated separately in the event of an update.