Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 product line first released in November 2016 which tried bringing all their CRM and ERP offerings to the cloud. Since then they have repackaged and updated their offerings multiple times. With every update, everyone in the ecosystem tried to join the dots between the pre-existing set of solutions like Dynamics CRM, GP, NAV, AX and the packages offered under the Dynamics 365 umbrella.
Till March 2018, Dynamics 365 had two plans – Business and Enterprise Edition.
Each plan had multiple modules offered under it designed to cater to business processes:
|Module||Dynamics 365 Business||Dynamics 365 Enterprise|
|Applicable for||SMEs with 10-250 Users||Large Enterprise with 250+ Users|
|Finance and Operations||Based on NAV||Based on AX|
|Sales||Light version of Dynamics CRM, based on Dynamics CRM Online||Entire Features of Dynamics CRM|
|Marketing||Light version of Marketing Automation system||Based on Adobe Marketing Cloud|
|Customer Service||Light version of Dynamics 365 Enterprise Customer Service||Fully featured module, based on Dynamics CRM Customer Service Features, Parature and third-party developed features|
|Project Service Automation||Not Available||Fully featured module integrated with Sales and Operations|
|Field Service||Not Available||Fully Featured Module|
|Retail||Not Available||POS for Physical Stores, under continuous enhancement|
|Talent||Not Available||Fully featured module for Talent Acquisition and management, integrated with Linked In|
So, being under any of the plans an organization could manage all their operations using one comprehensive solution. Finance and Operations module under Business Edition had the value proposition of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and the Finance and Operations under Enterprise plan had the value proposition of AX.
In April this year, Microsoft again brought a major change in the plans and offerings.
Introduced these 4 plans replacing the Business and Enterprise edition –
- Customer Engagement Plan
- Unified Operations Plan
- Dynamics 365 Plan
- Applications and offers
The ERP offerings got placed under only two plans:
- Unified Operations Plan
- Dynamics 365 Plan
The Unified Operations Plan only has ERP features as offering while the Dynamics 365 offers a more complete range consisting of both CRM and ERP features.
But post this repackaging, Finance and Operations module under both these plans are now replacements of Dynamics AX. Neither of these plans corresponds to what used to be offered under Finance and Operations in Business Edition previously.
For substituting Dynamics NAV, there is now a complete separate package named Business Central which does not come under the two plans – Unified Operations plan and Dynamics 365 plan. So, in short, to refer to the evolved NAV we should say Dynamics 365 Business Central and to refer to the evolved AX we should say Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations.
Business Central (previously Business Edition – Finance & Operations) is currently being offered in 16 countries – United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, and Finland, Australia and New Zealand.
Globally around 160,000+ organizations use NAV. Upgrading to Business Central from the latest version of NAV is expected to be easy in comparison to older NAV clients. Depending on the extent of customization done on the NAV it can be challenging but it will also offer the opportunity to strip off any modifications no longer in user and rather adopt standard practices wherever possible, thus reducing the overall cost of ownership.
But anyway, with the SaaS-based approach Microsoft is not closing the doors for customizations. They are just changing the approach of development by pushing people to focus more on extensions and restrict changes to core code.
Let’s look at the basic differences between Business Central and Finance and Operations:
|Dynamics 365 Business central||Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations|
|Targeted Organization size||10-250 users||250+|
|Subscription License Types||Essential, Premium, Team Member||Full users, Activity, Team Members|
|Commitment on Number of users||1 Business Central Essentials or Business Central Premium user license.||A minimum of 20 full user licenses|
|User SL costs||Premium – $100
Essential – $70
Team Member – $8
|Full User – $210 (Dynamics 365 plan)
Full User – $190 (Unified Operations Plan)
Activity – $50
Team Members – $8
|Subscription Purchase Option||Can only be licensed through a Microsoft Cloud Service Provider.||Can be purchased through Cloud Service Provider or in Volume Licensing program through an authorized Microsoft Partner.|
Now, you can easily integrate your Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Finance and Operations ERP with other line of business applications to automate the business process!