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Directions EMEA 2017: Dynamics NAV SaaSifaction

9 October, 2017
Young business professional using laptop outside
Directions EMEA 2017: Dynamics NAV SaaSifaction

The annual Dynamics NAV conference wrapped up yesterday with all on cloud nine! The event started under a cloud, Directions NA had caused confusion and upset, especially among the old school who long for the return of “Navision”.

It ended floating high, the message of “One Microsoft” through 365 (be that Office or business applications under the Dynamics 365 banner) was reinforced throughout presentations and at the inspiring closing key note.

The summary

Microsoft Dynamics meets all mid-market needs and deployment strategies: on premise, hosted, full SaaS.

Microsoft’s mid-market ERP solution since 2002 is Dynamics NAV. Navision, the original name of Dynamics NAV, is unlikely to return; although its spirit remains in the on premise option for those who still have the need to licence software on a perpetual basis. Dynamics “Tenerife” is the new iteration of NAV, plotting the cloud journey.

Deep dive sessions explained how the two come together. Dynamics Tenerife shares the same code base, the same rich functionality and the same tight Office integration (“One Microsoft”!). Both benefit from the new interface and common data services.

What’s the difference?

Is it all just a name? The core difference is how the customers decide to deploy and so this is all about catering to diverse strategic needs. A perpetual licence can be deployed on premise or hosted, the upgrade path is managed by the customer (think pull rather than push). Both options can be further developed using the toolkit provided and maintaining ease of upgrade.

This was the headline at Directions; the supporting stories were all around the functional and integration improvements. Microsoft has clearly listened to the users and we see refinement throughout the finance areas of the application. Improvements with Office integration (if you have yet to see the Outlook client then you should!), social ‘hooks’ and Microsoft Flow. Microsoft Flow is also integral to the integration improvements, moving workflow through applications. And embedded PowerBI looks better than ever.

One Microsoft

One Microsoft is all about all solutions working in harmony. Hence the investment in integrations (NAV, Office, Flow etc), strategies (Common Data Services) and platforms (Azure). Fundamentally it is about delivering solutions that empower people.

Microsoft proved that it listens to users and partners. Addressing business concerns around GDPR, security and integration as well as ensuring software is available however the users need to consume it. All that and an elegant new interface. 

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