Microsoft Dynamics NAV has long been a popular choice for small to mid-sized businesses looking for an on-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with rich functionality. But, as of 2023, Microsoft has ended mainstream support for all Dynamics NAV versions. The product has evolved into Dynamics 365 Business Central – a similarly feature-rich but more robust and scalable ERP that supports cloud deployment. As a result, growing businesses are pursuing a Dynamics NAV upgrade to Business Central. This shift to the cloud-based Business Central will help SMBs reduce maintenance costs and leverage interoperability with the full Microsoft tech stack.

In this blog post, we explore the reasons for a Dynamics NAV upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central and the top benefits of migration.

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what is Dynamics 365 Business Central?

In 2018, Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 Business Central – a cloud-based ERP that evolved from Dynamics NAV. The ERP software is designed to empower small to mid-sized companies by connecting operations across sales, accounting, inventory, manufacturing, and more.

Business Central can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises, and supports multiple languages, currencies, and tax regulations. With the launch of Business Central, NAV 2018 became the last version of the legacy software.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Screenshot
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why move from Dynamics NAV to Business Central?

Since all versions of Dynamics NAV have lost mainstream support from Microsoft, they will no longer receive any feature enhancements or non-security updates. By 2028, the software will also be phased out of extended support. As Dynamics NAV becomes more outdated, users risk getting stuck with an aging software that’s hard to support. Users might also face regulatory compliance challenges as their Dynamics NAV system receives fewer updates in the extended support phase.

Further, more and more businesses are accelerating digital transformation by moving to the cloud. Microsoft is also focusing investments on its cloud business applications and rolling out more AI-powered experiences that are designed to enhance productivity and decision-making. Businesses running an old Dynamics NAV system will not be able to leverage integrations with these newer technologies. So, many Dynamics NAV users are now moving to Business Central.

Business Central is a more powerful and advanced version of Dynamics NAV, making it THE most obvious choice for NAV users looking to accelerate digital transformation, stay current with new technology, and remain competitive in today’s market.

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benefits of Dynamics NAV upgrade to Business Central


Cloud-based ERP software

Dynamics NAV was primarily designed to be an on-premises ERP system, which means businesses have to maintain costly IT infrastructure and resources to keep their system running smoothly. Business Central, on the other hand, can be deployed both on-premises and in the cloud, allowing for greater flexibility.

By deploying Business Central in the cloud, companies can significantly reduce operating costs and leverage the advantages of an ERP system that is fast, scalable, and secure. Further, with cloud deployment, Business Central users can access the ERP anytime, anywhere.


Seamless interoperability with Microsoft solutions

Business Central can seamlessly integrate with other products in the Microsoft tech stack, including Microsoft 365, Outlook, Power BI, SharePoint and other Dynamics 365 solutions. This makes it easier for users to collaborate and interact with data in a centralized platform. Dynamics NAV, on the other hand, offers limited integration with other Microsoft solutions.


Rich ecosystem of apps and partners

Business Central is further enhanced by a rich ecosystem of apps and partners who are consistently innovating on the product. GraVoc, for instance, has developed multiple custom solutions that connect Business Central to popular third-party staffing software, such as Greenshades Payroll, Bullhorn One, and Bullhorn Back Office. This broad solution network and Business Central’s inherent scalability allow users to easily customize and extend the ERP to fit their needs.


Built-in dashboards and reports

Business Central comes with many built-in reports and dashboards, giving users visibility into real-time financial data and performance metrics. These features allow users to generate actionable insights and make smarter business decisions. In addition to embedded reports, users can also leverage the Business Central integration with Microsoft Power BI to supercharge the ERP solution’s business intelligence and reporting capabilities.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Screenshot

AI-powered automations & machine learning

Microsoft is bringing cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to its Dynamics 365 cloud solutions, including Business Central. With AI-powered automations in Business Central, companies can streamline workflows and significantly reduce time spent on repetitive tasks, boosting employees’ productivity.

Enhanced security and updates

Business Central offers enhanced security as well as a more streamlined schedule for continuous and major software updates under Microsoft’s new Modern Lifecycle Policy.

need help upgrading your Dynamics NAV to D365 Business Central?

Our Microsoft Dynamics specialists are here to help you scope, plan, and deploy Business Central, regardless of how many companies, integrations, customizations, or ISV products you have in your Dynamics NAV environment.

Microsoft is also offering a new ‘Bridge to the Cloud 2 promotional 40% discount for Dynamics NAV on-premises commercial customers during a 3-year term when migrating to a functionally similar Dynamics 365 product, such as Business Central. This further reduces your cost in moving to the cloud!

Contact us today to learn more and get started on your Dynamics NAV to D365 Business Central upgrade!

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