Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central was introduced in April 2018 as the latest version of Dynamics NAV. The product is Microsoft’s comprehensive and all-inclusive business solution that rationalizes, coordinates and optimizes business processes and workflows. While much of the functionality is reassuringly familiar in the upgrade, Dynamics 365 Business Central is available via a web client but not via a windows client. Microsoft will also only be adding new features to the web clients and not windows, signifying an evolution in the product.
As an exhaustive business management tool, Dynamics 365 Business Central includes user-friendly and adaptable features that helps enterprises manage finances, supply chains, projects, customer relations and human resources – among other critical tasks. Dynamics 365 Business Central helps businesses create process synergies and optimal inter-functional efficiencies by making smarter and more informed decisions. Many other current ERP solutions address singular functions or a simple combination of a few related operations. These solutions are also often optimized for large businesses and unsuitable for more specific applications in small and medium-sized organizations. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central delivers the flexibility to work with existing systems and is scalable across requirement profiles, including small and medium enterprises.
New functional features and what makes it different from Dynamics NAV
From an operating perspective, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central does not require extensive reskilling for those familiar with Dynamics NAV, although there are some small cosmetic and menu changes. The Business Central environment and interface is more in keeping with other Dynamics 365 products, and productivity tools such as Microsoft Office. One of the more distinct departures from previous versions, however, is the absence of a left-hand menu. Business Central also features a new ‘insights panel’, which provides users with stats and operational data relevant to the organization. The interface also replaces some previously available icons as text appearing as menu items.
Business Central facilitates a centralized view of data across internal departments like inventory, accounting, human resource management, as well as outward facing divisions such as customer engagement. By allowing easy access to real-time reporting for KPIs and all essential process metrics the product facilitates actionable intelligence and informed decision making that improves productivity and enables more agile operations. Business Central provides users with effective and customizable dashboards for features and capabilities as diverse as big data analytics, real-time audit trails and very specific management of processes and resources, within a highly secure environment.
Cloud compatible functionality for future-ready operations
Business Central can be hosted on Microsoft’s public cloud as well as a private cloud as was the case with the previously available NAV product. Organizations using a public cloud hosted deployment of Business Central will need to make modifications by adding extensions. This allows developers to address specific customers’ requirements while maintaining the integrity of the core code, so that other customers remain unaffected. Adding extensions can be a tedious and slightly daunting task in the ERP systems provided by most of Microsoft’s competitors in this space. However, with the availability of an effective Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Microsoft has enabled a user-friendly format to customize and modify Business Central for the purposes of a specific organization. This operational model is a significant improvement in an organization’s ability to mix and match preferred solutions. The use of extensions makes any future upgrades and changes far easier to execute.
Some advantages that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central enables are
Effectively integrating an organization’s entire range of processes and rationalizing its data is a daunting task. With Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft has delivered a solution that enables a secure, comprehensive and agile overview of your business processes that can help you operate optimally. A coherent suite with an intuitive interface that retains the advantage of being highly scalable and customizable, where this latest iteration really shines is its ability to incorporate third-party software, enable secure public cloud functionality and be future ready with easy upgrades through extensions.
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