We just returned from the annual Microsoft Dynamics NAV “Directions” conference held this year in Orlando, Florida. In today’s post we’ll share what we’ve learned about the future direction of Microsoft’s best-selling ERP product globally, Dynamics NAV.
It’s best summed up by the words of Microsoft General Manager Marki Perisic, who told partners last week that the next version of NAV – currently code-named “Tenerife” – is “the single product moving forward in the cloud and on-premises.”
That comment stood in contrast to last year’s announcement of the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Business edition. With the new announcement, it becomes clear that the full NAV framework is the way forward, both on-premise, and in the cloud.
While Microsoft is making a very big push to bring everyone into the cloud, they also recognize that not everyone is ready to go there just yet. Said Perisic, “We’ll do everything we can to make the cloud the more attractive option, but we give you the on-premises option for those who can’t go to the cloud.” He went on to announce new plans in areas including user interface, tighter Office 365 integration, Azure-based services consumption, AppSource and “accountant experiences” (imagine being able to ping your accountant’s assistance directly from within NAV).
At the conference Microsoft announced that ‘Tenerife’ will offer “full NAV functionality” in Dynamics 365 (the current cloud offering), and is expected to offer a broader range of customization and add-on options than previously expected.
NAV ‘Tenerife’ will also mark a new stage in the dynamic interplay between Dynamics 365 and Office 365, specifically around tighter integration with Microsoft Outlook and around Office 365 Business Center, the collection of business apps that include Invoicing, Bookings, and others, and which will be using Dynamics 365 Tenerife “under the covers.”
The conference made clear that NAV (as well as companion Microsoft ERP products AX and CRM) are going to be the way forward. Less clear was what is going to happen to the users of SL (formerly Solomon) and GP (formerly Great Plains) who seem to have been left out of the new direction. While GP and SL are not going away, Microsoft has made its choice for the future of small to mid-size business ERP systems – and NAV is set to be a pivotal element of that future strategy.