How to Upgrade Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central

It would be a vital decision if you are seeking to upgrade Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central. You wouldn't like to stick with limited system configuration when your operational practices are rapidly on scaling mode and require a new system upgrade addressing the modern business necessities from advanced finance management to transforming customer experience to ensuring healthy client or vendor alliance.

Since the last few years, Microsoft has been steadily upgrading its ERP products & services for diverse business needs. From on-premise systems to Cloud SaaS; the journey always remained continued to ensure quality offerings and enterprise fulfilment demonstrating the timely need.

With time, there is so much to transform to drive improved enterprise practices while embracing desired revenue outcomes. But yes, exhibiting your core business requirements and transformational flow, you need to know first - when would be your right time for upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central, how it would be beneficial for your enterprise, and the right approach to adopt starting with NAV history:

History Of NAV

Business Central is the successor of Dynamics NAV. So far, Microsoft has launched a series of NAV versions with on-premises facilitation. Since Business Central is released as a series for cloud-based configuration after a NAV 2018 version (a cloud initiation) and hence, rather than following the earlier naming convention, Microsoft transformed its name into Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Before moving from how to upgrade Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central, it is vital to know that this upgrade is for those companies using previous versions of Dynamics NAV and planning to upgrade either with on-cloud, hybrid, or on-premises facilitations.

Upgrading from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central

1. Cost-Effective

Business Central’s on-cloud facilitations works on SaaS model deployment that gives flexibility not to invest much initially. All can be managed by just signing up on the browser as it’s a subscription-based model. Since it’s quite easy and flexible, existing NAV users planning to manage their number of users are moving toward this cost-effective solution.

2. Software Update & Flexibility

To ensure smoothness and efficiency, you need to update your software on a regular basis. When it comes to cloud-facilitated Dynamics 365 Business Central upgrading, all your future upgrades are directly managed by Microsoft and in case of on-premise deployment, Dynamics Square takes care of all your software updates and configuration part in a timely manner. As a result, you do not need to be concerned about your software update cycles as upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central enables you to focus on your core business practices.

3. Scalability

Whether you are already a well-established brand or just a start-up, you do not need to be concerned about your company’s growth, for instance, spending hours to ensure your growth, increase capacity, bring zero downtime, and scaling as per demand. When you are upgrading your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system i.e., D365 Business Central with cloud facilitation, all such concerns can be managed by the Microsoft that enables your focus on your core mission and business activities to drive productive and scalable growth.

4. Application Support

Dynamics Business Central is fully equipped to integrate seamlessly with all Microsoft’s products which was not possible with its on-premise versions. With Business Central it becomes easy to integrate applications using APIs and access them from app sources. You can also integrate your Business Central with any third-party apps including Salesforce, Google Analytics, etc., without interrupting your current process flow.

What Does Upgrading to Cloud Means?

Well, these days cloud is a booming factor, every scale of organizations are adopting cloud solutions to improve their current operational flow as well as accelerate their organizational movements to attain sustainable growth. With cloud-embedded solutions, organizations can have 360-degree access into every operation and across departments, engage better with customers when combining intelligence, and drive effective communication with vendors, distributors, or manufacturers.

Let’s elaborate on how cloud transforms your business flow:

Cloud enables people in your organization to drive effective data strategy wherein they can seamlessly access, process, and leverage the data using any device from anywhere with no time boundaries.

Through this, you can serve better to your customers. You can engage your customers more effectively, enable them to raise their queries, and support them with real-time efficiency. Even in non-business hours, you can answer your customers' queries by modeling AI-Bots integrated into your system.

With a cloud-efficient system, you can have real-time eyes across your processes from sales practices to warehouse management to supply chain practices to finance management to customer support Cell. A cloud-based system helps your organization to drive the right and effective approach throughout your processes.

With the cloud, you enable a more efficient workspace by eliminating repetitive tasks that consume unnecessary time and efforts of people in your organization. Rather than indulging in redundant activities, your staff can focus more on core operations to drive productivity and ensure better outcomes.

When Your Business Needs NAV Upgrade?

When your business starts uplifting, your operational requirements increase promptly and if you do not adapt to system advancement, your business may suffer in terms of right operational flow, performance, and efficiency. Here, upgrading your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System can transform your entire operational practices and improve your efficiency and performance level which is the primary goal of any organization.

Here are the possible situations when you need to upgrade your system:

Your processes are continuously enhancing, and you need a system configuration to manage your entire processes leveraging an all-in-one solution rather than keeping the data on different applications and managing them like a manual process.

Considering the steadily increasing number of users, you feel like you need a system solution that can help to bring a smoother data flow across your organization for improved data-driven practices.

When you think that your system is not capable enough to connect your operations and deliver integrated and simplified reports supporting the decision-making process.

When your system is compromising in terms of managing sales & forecasting, an increasing number of customers, day-by-day increasing complexities in your supply chain management, and lacking continuity in your project management.

Things to Consider While Planning to Upgrade

When it comes to upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, business leaders should consider few things before implementation to ensure a successful upgrade:

Analyse Your Requirement

Before making a smart move toward upgrading your Dynamics NAV to Business Central, you need to be aware of your personalized requirements first. As every enterprise includes a set of different operational practices and could have specific business goals to be obtained. Hence, analysis your current as well as demanding business requirements in terms of:

  • Get handy with the information about your users for instance, how many users do you have currently, how many users account will you need along with their roles.
  • What is your current NAV version and when did you get that upgraded last? Are you planning to implement a fresh-start or would like to migrate the previous functionality along with further customization?
  • What sort of third-party integrations and add-ons are you using with your current system. Further, are you looking for any additional integration or seeking future customizations?
  • What sort of customizations are you using currently and what sort of you are looking to integrate as per your increasing or prompt business requirements, lacks that interrupting your operational flow, etc.; Do you think all current functionalities must be transferred over? Is it that your operational processes have changed at all since your original Dynamics NAV implementation?
  • Is your current data storage sufficient to store and can effectively roll out your data? Do you think you need extra data storage reinforcing your current storage needs along with futuristic ones?

Are You a New NAV User?

If you are using an older NAV version, it could be a great deal and the right time to upgrade your system with a highly equipped solution when it comes to renewal. You can effortlessly get your data migrated and avail of customizations to a cloud-based environment.

In Case of Outdated NAV Users!

So, if you are running outdated versions of NAV such as 4.0, 2009, etc., it could be quite challenging for you to move to the Business Central. The reason behind it is simple as transferring your earlier customization from older versions to D365 Business Central won’t be possible in one go due to the changed paradigm or logical pattern in Microsoft Dynamics 365.

They are:

  • Methodologies Involved
  • System Requirement & Analysis
  • System Design & Solution phase
  • Environment Setup & Required Configuration
  • Dynamics 365 System Implementation
  • Data Migration & Transferring Previous Customization
  • System Integration & Data Modelling
  • Testing & Implementation
  • User Training & Documentation
  • Final Data Migration
  • Final System Go-Live
  • Post-Go-Live Support

Be Ready for New Change

Since you are looking to upgrade your system and hence, you need to be prepared for the newly configured system in advance as it could be more challenging for you if you are driving your operations equipped with on-premise and legacy software. Upgrade in such a case may indulge difficulties for you in terms of data.

For instance, depending on your previous NAV version or system configuration, your data migration could be complex but there would be no compromise on data. If you require a fresh-start, you will have a seamless and highly-equipped system addressing your core business functionalities. In fact, most of the enterprises asks for fresh-start in such case to ensure relevancy.

We understand you may be worried about how your users will accept the newly implemented system. But do not get worried about it, professional user training will help them to seamlessly learn and adopt the newly configured system. Although it’s quite similar to its old NAV platforms, just need to understand the new features and functionalities you will include.

But yes, you will be having a fascinating experience once your upgrade from Dynamics Nav to Dynamics 365 Business Central gets implemented.

Summing Up!

Thus, considering your regular or timely enlarging business requirements, it becomes essential to upgrade your existing system to bring ease, continuity, and transparency throughout your organizational data and processes to drive efficiency and scalability.

If you're looking to upgrade your current NAV version to Dynamics 365 Business Central, talk to our certified Mircosoft Consultant for a stree-free upgrade process.

Ayush Jain

Ayush Jain is a seasoned Digital Marketing specialist renowned for his expertise in harnessing the power of cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to propel business growth. With an impressive track record spanning more than four years, he has cultivated fruitful partnerships with numerous SaaS enterprises, driving substantial brand recognition and unlocking revenue potential.


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