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What’s the right ERP for your company?

The differences between Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (AX) and Business Central (NAV) explained.

There have been over 120,000 successful Microsoft ERP implementations worldwide, at companies of all sizes. Microsoft has two different ERP solutions available:

  • Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (formerly Dynamics AX). This ERP was originally developed for large organizations. It is designed to support large and fast-growing organizations dealing with end-to-end operations (distribution, retail, production, etc.) and complex business processes.
  • Business Central (formerly NAV or Navision). This ERP is built for small and medium-sized organizations. Business Central is very well-suited for companies with less complex business processes.
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Nonetheless, both systems can be successfully implemented in a wide variety of situations. Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (AX) has been successfully implemented at small and medium-sized organizations, and Business Central (NAV) has proven effective for some larger organizations. As the business process becomes more complex (for example, in cases of complex manufacturing processes) it becomes increasingly important to know the differences between the two systems. Ultimately, making the right choice depends on understanding the nuances between these systems.

Focus on the cloud

Since October 2018, both Dynamics 365 for Operations and Business Central have been cloud solutions, although Business Central is still available as an on-premise version. Over the next 24 months, Microsoft will be shifting to focus entirely on the Cloud versions.

Functionality D365 Business Central D365 for Finance and Operations

Focus

Focus

  • For medium-sized and smaller businesses, this will be with “relatively” simple processes and a limited number of sites.
  • Industry-specific solutions will be offered by Microsoft partners.
  • A huge number of industry-specific add-ons to answer to the needs of every possible niche will become available. The industry-specific layer is partner-specific. The more types of processes that need to be automated (for example: production or distribution in combination with retail), the more layers (and consequently, add-ons) will need to be added to the standard Business Central layer.
  • Medium-sized to large national and international enterprises with complex business operations.
  • Thanks to the great diversity of parameterization, can be implemented as a standard solution in many cases.
  • Industry-specific solutions (trading, production, projects, etc.) are included in the standard offered by Microsoft and can be implemented by certified Microsoft partners.

Projecttype

Projecttype

  • Number of users: 1+
  • The project team for implementations is usually smaller.
  • Relatively short implementation turnaround time (approx. 3-6 months).
  • Lower implementation investment.
  • On top of the standard implementation, there are a great number of add-ons available for additional functionality.
  • Business Central uses 80% of the core business logic, and so is considerably less resource-intensive. There are many off-the-shelf sector-specific solutions available to make the implementation time shorter and allow a smaller implementation team.
  • Number of users: 20+
  • Larger project teams are needed to cover total business processes.
  • Implementation turnaround time from 6-9 months.
  • The standard solution itself already offers a great deal of functionality. It is configurable on the basis of the desired business processes.
  • The organization’s core team is the key to success.
  • Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations uses 95% of the core business logic, making it a much more complicated application than
  • Business Central and more costly to implement and maintain.

Intercompany

Intercompany

  • It supports handling transactions differently between entities (for example, procurement at A is sales at B).
  • Is less suitable for use in international environments requiring multiple locations
  • Although there are additional modules and add-ons to support this.
  • Works well in complex international environments with many intra-organization transactions. Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations has been localized for many countries, so it is easy to roll out in multiple countries from one central setup. This does not require any extra add-ons.

Mobility

Mobility

  • Full Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM integration.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is fully integrated. Microsoft SharePoint can also be used to further integrate your business processes. Business Central has an extra Outlook extension available to allow creation of customers or sending of offers directly within Outlook for an added productivity boost.
  • Direct insight into the data that matters to you, with Microsoft Power BI. Reports are easy to create and modify yourself.
  • And now, you can add the power of AI with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning. Many of your vital processes such as inventory forecasts, procurement and financial processes have a lot to gain from machine learning.
  • Microsoft PowerApps are fully integrated.

Deployment

Deployment

  • Cloud: Full cloud Business Central
  • Hybrid: Cloud en On-premise Business Central deployment.
  • On-premise: Business Central on premise. (expires within 24 months)
  • Fully cloud-based.
  • On-premise:  t/m AX2012 R3 (or partner hosted).

The ERP system for your company

When choosing an ERP system, it is important looking forward. Are acquisitions on the way, an expansion of personnel, new processes, diversification of the product line or geographical expansions with branches / sites abroad? These are issues that can influence the choice of Business Central versus Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

Do you want an specific advice?

Do you find it difficult to choose or do you still have doubts about the best choice for your company? Dynamic People is happy to answer your questions. We can not only advise you or deliver a Proof or Concept, but we can also invite you for a reference visit to one of our customers with a similar process or company structure. Fill in the contact form or call us directly.