Even if the names sound almost the same, the products are inherently different. Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 (Enterprise Edition) have grown on different platforms- but in 2018 both will be under one umbrella brand – i.e. Dynamics 365. Frequently, the two solutions are misconstrued by differentiating only on the basis of the number of users they can handle. However, their suitability for business should be grounded on how they complement the future plans and aims/ objectives of the specific organization.
The main differences between Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365
Dynamics 365 is exclusively available as a cloud offering. It is offered as software-as-a-service (SaaS), which means that you do own a license to the software, but secure the right to use the software through a subscription plan. Plus, the software is hosted on Azure servers. The end user doesn’t have to worry about data storage.
Dynamics NAV, on the other hand, may optionally be deployed on an organization’s own server or in a third-party (or private) cloud. NAV software is purchased and each user has to buy a license – this restricts flexibility.
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Enterprise Edition, also formerly known as Dynamics AX, was created primarily for big international organizations deploying across multiple locations and probably geographies. When an organization has different accounting groups in different companies within a consolidated corporate structure the robust functionality of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations surpass that of Dynamics NAV.
Managing complex organizational structure and offering transparency
Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition supports centralizes Master Data Management (MDM) as well as a variety of services that enable easy management of companies that have a complex organizational structure. The Dynamics 365 also allows management of diverse financial standards. It offers visibility in all business areas and provides transparency in inventory across various domestic/ overseas locations.
Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition, as well as a thorough core functionality, offers industry-specific processes for distribution, manufacturing, retail, professional services and public sector. Meanwhile, Dynamics NAV is more of a one-size-fits-all kind of solution.
Instead of paying for a large sum of fees upfront, Dynamics 365 users pay for a monthly subscription. A lot of organizations opt for this, as it is less taxing in terms of cash flow needs. Since it is a SaaS model, it also means that you get updates from Microsoft as far as you are paying the fees. On the other hand, NAV users need to purchase the latest version to get the latest updates.
Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition was designed to be the complete solution for the most of manufacturing organizations – right from the process manufacturing to the engineer-to-order. It comprises of a rich feature set as well as enough flexibility to customize for one-of-a-kind business process needs. With Dynamics 365 though, instead of customizing you need to add applications from AppSource.
Meanwhile, NAV is as well highly customizable – it can actually go into source code and customize the application as per specific needs.
Dynamics 365- as the greater complex solution offers more complex business intelligence and AI capabilities. It benefits from the industry’s most advanced reporting tools and analytics through integration with Cortana Intelligence, PowerBI and Azure machine learning and more. Plus, Dynamics 365 can manage a great volume of data without affecting the quality of performance.
Whether NAV or Dynamics 365 is your best bet depends upon your requirements. If you absolutely want an on-premises system and the ability modify the source code you can opt for NAV. While Dynamics 365 will be your best choice if you want a greater flexibility, minimized implementation efforts/costs and want to work out with a limited budget.