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Microsoft Dynamics NAV - What's new for 2017?

What is Microsoft Dynamics NAV?

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is an integrated ERP system designed for the midmarket. The ERP solution, once known as Navision before Microsoft’s acquisition, is flexible and lets businesses start with a small amount of users and core functionality, allowing additional users and features to be added as needed. Microsoft continues to advance the already-innovative platform, with the recently launched Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017. So let’s take a look at the evolution of the platform and see what Microsoft has included in Dynamics NAV 2017.

Navision

Microsoft Dynamics NAV started as PC-Plus, a single-user system created by 3 students in Denmark as part of their Personal Computing and Consulting (PC&C) business. PC-Plus evolved to become Navigator and one of the first multi-user systems to exist. Navision Software launched the earliest form of NAV that we’re familiar with in 1989; the biggest change was that the entire system became ‘open’ to developers to tailor. Navision had a long-held reputation as particularly compatible with Microsoft’s Windows operating systems, so it came as little surprise when Microsoft bought the system.

In 2005, Microsoft Business Solutions Navision became Microsoft Dynamics, with Navision becoming NAV and giving birth to the ERP solution we all know and love.

Why Microsoft Dynamics NAV?

Not only does NAV offer the flexibility required by fast-growing companies, but also includes solutions for specific industries including distribution, manufacturing, operations retail and government.

NAV’s flexibility means it can be deployed on premise, hosted in the cloud or implemented as a hybrid solution. An out-of-the-box Dynamics NAV solution provides a wide range of functionalities, and is perfect for businesses who need a plug-in-and-go solution. But when it comes to add-ons, that’s where Microsoft Dynamics NAV comes into its own. 

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NAV integration with Office 365

Microsoft is driving forward its mission to help customers achieve digital transformation. Integration between its core products is essential to this. Deep integration with Office 365 means you can use a single sign-on for all of your Microsoft products and once logging into Office 365, users are directed to a SharePoint dashboard that populates live data from NAV. You can export any data from NAV to Excel and use Excel Online for quick editing, or the full Excel programme for more detailed tailoring and analysis.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV also seamlessly integrates with your Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution, so you can join up your entire process from lead, to prospect, to sale. This has been an available functionality since the launch of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016. You can work in CRM or NAV without the need to constantly switch between the two applications which significantly reduces time, allows workers to operate in the application they’re most proficient in and to make informed decisions in both apps. Data is synced across both applications, meaning you have up-to-date and accurate customer information without needing to make changes in both systems.

Find out more about NAV's integration with Office 365

What's new in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017?

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 is solid evidence of Microsoft’s digital transformation strategy. The latest Navision sees a deeper integration with Office 365; a standout application is Flow which, when used with NAV, automates manual, repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

This improved integration with Office 365 also means NAV integrates with your calendar and email and, importantly, embeds Power BI into the NAV client. This means users can see a real-time Business Intelligence dashboard natively in NAV. It also gives users the ability to create charts and reports based on BI drawn from NAV data. Using the Dynamics NAV 2017 Power BI Content Pack, users can set up reports using templates and samples or create brand new reports.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 builds on the Dynamics CRM integration introduced in the 2016 product, allowing the salesperson using Dynamics CRM to see the price lists from Dynamics NAV when creating an order. Users can also sync bill-of-material and assembly items to CRM as products without price. 

Already a robust system for developing extensions, NAV 2017 improves the functionalities of extensions even further for developers. There is now support for web services, default and starting data for new tables and .NET Framework add-ins. There’s also support for additional object types so you can include reports, queries and XMLports in your extension.

It’s clear that nothing will stop Microsoft on its mission to make digital transformation achievable for everyone, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 is a big step on the road to digital transformation. 

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