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What is Microsoft Business Central, the new Cloud ERP from Microsoft?

With its suite of integrated solutions, Dynamics 365, Microsoft has recently released its new ERP: Microsoft Business Central. Based on Dynamics NAV, Business Central is an ERP for  SMBs that are looking for performance.

But what’s Business Central? And Dynamics NAV? What can we expect from this software? These are all very good questions that I get asked these days, and so I wanted to take the time to explain what Microsoft Business Central is and how its functionalities can have a positive impact on your company.

What’s Microsoft Dynamics NAV?

First, before we talk about Business Central, it’s essential to understand Microsoft Dynamics NAV. A true solution adapted for the SMB, Microsoft has created Dynamics NAV to serve the needs of small and medium sized companies in terms of ERP.

Qu'est-ce que Microsoft Dynamics NAV?

What’s an ERP? It’s software that helps you optimally manage all the processes in your enterprise. An ERP is an integrated solution that covers a wide range of applications that help you in every department: manufacturing, distribution, sales, customer service, marketing, business intelligence, accounting, etc.

This way, Microsoft Dynamics NAV has arrived on the market with an integrated solution where all the modules communicate with each other to ease your workflow. It’s created especially to help you with your accounting, human resources, supplying, operations, projects, and so much more. You can see that it’s a powerful tool that can help a wide range of industries with its multiple languages and currency modules.

Inevitably, Microsoft Dynamics NAV positions itself amongst the best tools for SMBs looking for productivity, efficiency, and profitability. However, if you are looking get it through an ERP implementation partner or directly from Microsoft, you will maybe have a little bit of a hard time. Why?

Microsoft Dynamics NAV has become Microsoft Dynamics 365

In order to produce innovative solutions and products that exceed your clients’ expectations, Microsoft has decided to gather all its ERP and CRM products under the same unique banner called Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Besides simplifying users’ lives by offering an integrated software that gives a wide range of independent modules for greater versatility and better customization of the solutions, Microsoft offers a new way to manage data and create efficient workflow with the common data model.

A common data model for a daily life without problems at work

What Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers you with its new common data model is an environment that’s suitable for productivity, allowing to make processes easier and more efficient with a global vision of your company’s information. How?

By creating a database with standard entities that allows you to build custom entities by extending the entities already existing or by creating new ones which will communicate with the rest. This way, the data is constantly linked, communicating, and can be found in the same place.

The entities can help with a lot of data types from emails, to addresses, and more modern ones like images and geographical positions. Plus, they are implemented with a SQL sever.

So, the common data models (CDM) are safe, adaptable, and offer structured metadata.

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central ERP Cloud

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a work system without silos

After consolidating the Dynamics NAV solution under the Microsoft Dynamics 365 banner, Microsoft has worked to create a new ERP to replace Finances and Operations Business Edition.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will arrive in April 2018 to better serve the companies that are looking for a high performance, mid-level ERP. Business Central is a complete solution that’s unique, complete, and can manage:

  • Finances
  • Sales
  • Operations
  • Customer service

And this is without mentioning the ability to update your accounting module.

This way, with a common data model, Microsoft Business Central offers a unique system that unifies your enterprise, and improves your efficiency by automating tasks and procedures. Besides, it gives you privileged access to all your data within the same interface and allows you to easily integrate your favorite Office 365 tools like Outlook, Excel, and Word.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is different because it takes all the power of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and moves it to the cloud

Using the the cloud as a powerful, safe, and innovative alternative, Microsoft Business Central has everything you need to to use it to its full potential. Microsoft has also decided to integrate all the power of NAV into Azure’s services, its cloud, and into the benefits of its numerous certifications and trustworthy platform.

Azure has been known for being one of the most secure cloud platforms on the market due to its unique functions of integrity monitoring, ongoing security, and its capacity to comply with numerous international and specific norms like ISO 27001, FedRAMP, SOC 1 and SOC 2.

Besides adding Office 365 and all SMB’s favorite tools, and giving the option to customize the solution with PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Power BI, Microsoft Business Central stands out from all the other mid-level options.

What else can we get with Microsoft Business Central?

With an offer of functions that range from finance to inventory, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central provides modules that ease life at work, optimize operations, and help your employees.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP & CRM Cloud

The Microsoft Business Central functionalities

As you already know, Microsoft Business Central focuses on finance, supply chain, production, operation management, and customer service.

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central

That way, you will find functionalities that help you manage cash, your fixed assets, and even your accounting. In terms of supply chain, Microsoft Business Central handles sales taxes, and all the aspects of sales and purchases. You will find some inventory management tools like item budgets and even alternative vendors to keep purchasing what is needed without always having to do business with the same supplier.

You can also find functions that will help companies with their manufacturing with supply planning and manufacturing capacity tools. Besides, Microsoft Business Central includes a project management tool that will help you automate some processes and guarantee smooth running in manufacturing. You will also see that there are functions for time-sheets and easing task management on a daily basis.

ERP Microsoft Dynamics Business Central

Finally, Microsoft Business Central offers a module dedicated to customer service. It’s focused on sales, customer relationships, and automating marketing efforts. It’s a true ally in offering impeccable service to your clients.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central - Gestion de Projet

As you can see, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a unified environment and improves your efficiency with its silo-free formula. This gives you cutting-edge analysis that allows you to take action quickly with its connected data and business intelligence tools. In the end, it allows you to grow with its flexible platform.

You’ll find it in 14 countries, including Canada. Like the majority of Microsoft products, you will have to call your ERP integration partner to purchase Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central since it will be exclusively sold by Microsoft’s partners (CSP).

In terms of price, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will be available in 2 editions besides the team licenses :

  • Essential is the first edition available and it’s the equivalent of the Starter Pack with all the basic functions: finance management, simple, and advanced inventory, distribution, workflow, contact management, and much more for the cost of $85 CAD.
  • Premium is the second edition available and includes the Starter Pack, plus the functions of the Extended Pack like manufacturing and service management for the cost of $122 CAD”
  • Team license is the equivalent of limited user for the other Microsoft Dynamics 365 products with access to information, approval, reports, and self-service for the equivalent of $10CAD.

So it’s ERP software that stands out first by its functionalities, but also by its cloud hosting. With the benefits of Azure and its security norms, it goes without saying that Microsoft Business Central offers a complete solution that will allow a great number of enterprisees to stay competitive.

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