My last blog about NAV upgrade options covered specifics about the direction Microsoft was going at the time. But back in March when I published the blog, there was a lot of confusion about the upgrade path for NAV 09 users specifically.
Several perpetual users also said they were in the same boat as 09 users. But a lot has changed since then. Here are a few updates.
What's still true, is that if you're on NAV 09 as of April 1, 2019, then your only current upgrade path—if you didn’t acquire a new upgrade key from your partner by April 1—is to go to Dynamics BC. Perpetual users running NAV 13-18 have more flexibility and have the option to upgrade to another perpetual version, or upgrade/re-implement Dynamics BC.
To recap, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central or BC, is the newest, re-branded version of NAV. There are two models for BC, a traditional on-premises version (single tenant) and a cloud-based version (multi-tenant). Clients can run on-premises, in the cloud (SaaS) or hosted (IaaS/Azure or similar).
The user model for BC did transition from concurrent users to named users as well. In the past, on-premises versions were based on a concurrent user model, which means that if you buy 30 licenses, then 30 individuals can be logged into the system at any time. Instead of this model, Microsoft has opted for a named user model.
In a named user model, singular individuals will have to have their own independent license. In other words, if you have 75 people that need to log into Dynamics BC, then you will need 75 named user licenses. Now, bear in mind that a “work station” could be a named user where several people can use the individual work station.
Microsoft did emphasize that they're giving a 1:2 mapping ratio for the number of users you had as of October 1, 2018. Another major change Microsoft recently announced is that they'll now offer a 1:3 mapping ratio for clients based on the number of licenses owned as of April 1, 2019. So, if you had 30 concurrent users on April, 1, 2019, then you'll receive 90 instead of the initial 60 named users on BC regardless of weather you’re on premises or in the cloud.
If have or need more users than the 1:3 mapping ratio provides, talk to your partner and see if Microsoft will give you a waver for the additional users. I've seen this happen a couple of times already.
Regarding the UI, Microsoft is currently offering both a windows client and a web client. In the windows client version of Dynamics BC. The windows version of BC looks a lot like NAV 18, and aside from a few more extensions and some other stuff behind the scenes, BC is basically NAV 18.
However, the web client is different—in a good way. The web client is better at leveraging the full solution suite of Microsoft and currently the app store offering has a lot of great additions for the application.
I've played around in it and it’s slick interface. It has the look and feel of O365 and the rest of the Microsoft solution suite. If you're ready to get your hands dirty, visit the Microsoft site. You can sign up for a free trial using CRONUS and check it out for yourself.
This is strictly my opinion, but I think in the next few years the windows client will go away and Microsoft will continue to invest in the web client. Additionally, I think the app store will continue to evolve and transition just like iStore or Play Store. I predict ISV’s will have to leverage IP within the app store, but the consumer is likely to see full ISV solutions right there at the click of a button.
In the future there will be the potential to give consumers product information, a short demo and a trial version (just like BC in CRONUS now), and consumers will have even more purchasing power and knowledge to make decisions based on trail and discovery. The only caveat is that you probably won't be able to use your data—what you gain in flexibility you'll lose in ownership—especially in a SaaS version where you're not the owner of content.
If you’re in the market for BC or would like to learn more, please reach out. We have a number of Rapid Deploy implementation packages designed so you can step into your business in as little as 8 weeks! We'd be happy to show you a demo and provide additional information.