My last blogpost was merely an announcement of Microsoft’s announcement about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. We are a 24 hours later now, so let’s share some more information about this new release of NAV-In-The-Cloud. I assembled this myself, from blogs, documents, slides, talks and mails – so there is a disclaimer for sure 🙂 (below the mail).
With quite a sense of sarcasme .. we all “loved” the previous name, right? “Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation, Business Edition” – or short: MS365fFaOBE, or shorter MS365FOBE. The one that came up with that name .. well .. I want to try what he took that day ;-).
It was a bad name. I noticed because I had to explain time and time again the same things to the same people: no, it’s not only Finance, you can do more… .
In any case – glad we got rid of that! “Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central” is a strong name, all inclusive .. you nailed it!
Full NAV capabilities
Make no mistake. This release comes with the full NAV capabilities. Full? Yes? All? Yes! With Manufacturing? Yes!
As Microsoft puts it: “It is an all-in-one business management solution that helps organizations streamline business processes, improve customer interactions and enable growth“.
It even goes further, and Microsoft is clearly indicating three “pillars” (if I may call it like that):
- Business without silos (:-)): basically being able to enhance/boost/connect your Dynamics 365 tenant by enabling workflows, or automated tasks by your familiar (Office) tools. I’m guessing Flow, Outlook, … . ;-).
- Actionable insights: That’s data, right? Business Intelligence? PowerBI! Basically, connect again the familiar tools with your data to gain complete business insights – and even more, enabled with (and I quote) “Microsoft’s leading intelligent technologies”. Machine Learning comes to mind ;-).
- Solutions built to evolve: the platform is NAV – which is simple, efficient and above all flexible! All you need to evolve beyond Business Central! I think with this pillar, Microsoft points to the great new Extensibility Model..
Two price points
There will be two price points: Essential and Premium. And I’m quoting Microsoft here again:
- Financial Management, including general ledger, workflows and audit trails, bank management, budgets, deferrals, bank reconciliation, dimensions, fixed assets, and currencies
- Customer Relational Management, including contacts, campaigns, opportunity management, and built-in integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales
- Supply Chain Management, including sales order management, basic receivables, purchase order management, locations, item transfers, and basic warehousing
- Human Resources, including employees and management of their expenses
- Project Management, including resources, estimates, jobs, and time sheets
- Other, including multiple languages, reason codes, extended text, Intrastat reporting, scheduled tasks, and integration with Outlook
Premium includes following functionality, in addition to what’s offered in Essential:
- Service Order Management, including service orders, service price management, service item management, service contract management, planning and dispatching
- Manufacturing, including production orders, version management, agile manufacturing, basic supply planning, demand forecasting, capacity planning, machine centers, and finite loading, bringing the full breadth of the popular Dynamics NAV application to the cloud.
So, “Premium” is what I would call “the full monty” ;-).
When & Where?
Well, I already explained that in my previous blogpost, but let’s repeat. It will be available on April 2nd, 2018 in 14 countries – and in two more countries from July 1st:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Belgium (whoop whoop!)
- Australia (from July 1st, 2018)
- New Zealand (from July 1st, 2018)
It’s Dynamics 365, so Customers will be able to install Apps from a store, called “AppSource”. They can even contact partnes (like me :)) to (and I quote) easily and cost effectively extend their solution to fit industry-specific needs. I’m not going to make any conclusions on that statement just yet…
How can you get ready?
Well, there are a number of webinars scheduled in the next months. But since this is all information for partners, I’m not sure I can share it here. In any case – contact your local Microsoft contact soon to be part of all (or at least most) of these webinars!
Can you tell me more about the “functional” changes on the product?
Not that much yet – simply because I’m not completely informed. But let me share what I know.
The app will be available on all devices: Phone, Tablet, laptop, desktop .. All with the same rich functionality – not only on Windows, but also on Android and iOS.
Extended Outlook functionality brings you (and I quote): quote to cash, all within outlook. You can create quotes, based on the content of a mail .. And you can even submit invoices, all from Outlook!
There will be a stronger “intelligence” for forecasts, you will get better recommendations when to pay who, how to manage budgets, monitor progress, .. all with real-time data. Again, I’m thinking “Machine Learning” here…
An In-Client visual designer to support your “unique business needs”.
And, as mentioned above, you’ll be able to add apps from AppSource, again to fit your industry or business needs. And even, you will be able to create PowerApps based on all your data!
And don’t forget: there is going to be a refreshed UI which I really like. Let me share some screenshots:
The Role Center:
Just go to the capabilities page of Business Central, and you can watch some more screenshots there.
Is that all?
No, I have been able to gather some more information: answers to questions that people might have.
Is a Demo environment available?
It is mostly work in progress – but it will be at demos.microsoft.com. In the meantime, just use your demos.microsoft.com O365 account to sign up for a free Business Central trial – then those accounts are linked.
But the “decent” version will be available from April 2nd, when Business Central is generally available.
You will also be able to spin up your own docker image, and have a D365 docker image running on your own PC. Obviously, a lot will not work like that (like Office365 integration and such…) – but at least you will have the look and feel.
Will Dynamics 365 Business Central be available On Prem?
It is currently only a cloud based solution. Dynamics NAV 2018 continues to be available as is for on premises solutions, and being updated by means of cumulative updates, like we can see what is happening for GDPR.
What about other countries?
I got that there is going to be news shortly. All I can say is: watch the roadmap here: https://roadmap.dynamics.com/ .. But be aware there are also opportunities for partner-led localizations on Business Central.
Are all features going to be available on prem release?
That is definitely the intent of Microsoft! They are still planning for one codebase.
Will there be any migration tools to Business Central?
Yes! There is already a conversion tool for QuickBooks. And more will come! There will even be transition tools for all of Microsoft’s current on prem SMB solutions, like GP and SL.
Will the name “NAV” disappear/change for On Prem?
Not that I know of.
Which modules of NAV are not part of Business Central?
That’s easy: None
Is Business Central again a merged name for NAV and AX based solutions?
Not that I know of. Business Central is the name of the online service, based on the NAV code base, previously referred to as “Tenerife”.
Will we lose the Windows Client in Q4, when the On Prem release is there?
The current plan of Microsoft is that we will NOT lose the Windows Client!
All information above is my own interpretation of the news I have at hand at this point. I’m not responsible for any miscommunication or misinterpretation in any way… you know the drill…