Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials, the cloud-deployed solution that mingles elements of CRM and ERP solutions for small businesses has attracted plenty of attention in recent months. A major new release from a software giant will always capture the attention of the media, especially when it’s for an entirely new product’s first public version. However, Dynamics 365 for Financials isn’t the only release related to ERP platforms that’s available in the fourth quarter of 2016 from the provider. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 is also now available.
What’s new in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017?
One of the major additions new and existing users will see in Dynamics NAV 2017 is an increased emphasis on machine learning and cloud-deployed analytics, which is a common thread across many of Microsoft’s business-facing offerings. The difference is, according to eWeek, that these offerings are increasingly rolled out to SMBs. That’s the same sort of approach seen with the SMB version, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials, which also emphasizes these newer operational tools as part of the overall solution – although machine learning and analytics are still being developed for the SMB version of the newer platform and weren’t available at launch.
More specifically, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 offers options that build on the previous iteration of NAV’s integration with Power BI. The platform now features embedded dashboards and reports, along with self-service elements that make customizing reports or developing entirely new ones a relatively simple task. The addition of Microsoft’s Cortana, a combination of a digital assistant and machine learning tool, opens up a number of doors related to big data, predictive analytics and related advantages. One example of the advantages offered by Cortana is the ability to better estimate future cash flow and make more informed decisions related to seasonality.
MS Power User highlighted other additions and improvements, including optimizing the quote-to-cash process through integration with Microsoft Office. Assisted set-up wizards make a number of initial processes, like connecting to Microsoft Office and Dynamics CRM Online, easier. Customized apps for individual users and cross-platform tasks make work more effective while tools to help streamline business workflows add more dimensions of functionality as well.
“This latest version of our business management solution for small and midsize businesses is designed to help organizations create greater efficiencies, streamline business processes and empower employees to react quickly to changing business needs with intelligent insights anywhere and on any device,” said Paul White, general manager at Microsoft Business Solutions, in a statement shared by eWeek.
The decision to release a new version follows Microsoft’s strategy to do so each and every year, according to Redmond Channel Partner. The announcement was made in 2015, and the 2016 and 2017 editions of NAV demonstrate a strong commitment by Microsoft to follow through on their commitment.
Microsoft’s offerings are part of a changing landscape that now offers businesses large, small and in the middle more options geared toward their specific needs. Determining the best solution for your organization can be a difficult task, to say nothing of your implementation needs. Companies should reach out to experienced ERP partners that can help them through some or all of the many components of this process, from choosing the best ERP solution to guiding educational efforts and providing ongoing support past the go-live date.