Microsoft Releases NAV 2018, Readies New Dynamics 365 Partner Offering

The next major version of Microsoft's ERP solution for small and midsized businesses is now generally available.

Dynamics NAV 2018 is now production-ready for Microsoft partners and customers as of last Friday, over a year after the release of its predecessor, NAV 2017. This is the first major version update of Dynamics NAV since Microsoft upended its traditional Dynamics lineup with Dynamics 365, a componentized set of cloud-based CRM and ERP apps.

NAV 2018 features built-in integration with the Dynamics 365 Sales app, according to a blog post by James Phillips, corporate vice president of engineering at Microsoft. It also integrates with several Office 365 components like Power BI visual reporting and Flow, Microsoft's workflow automation tool.

Other enhancements include:

  • Automated setup for faster deployment
  • A new "tasks" feature for users
  • New Excel report templates

Microsoft has also added "deeper utilization of Microsoft Cognitive Services for image recognition of inventory Items and contacts," Phillips said. "We've also added improvements to the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities with the Kofax Invoice Capture Service, for process improvement with digitized purchase invoices."

More NAV Capabilities in Dynamics 365
Phillips also said that two new NAV-optimized Dynamics 365 offerings will be available for sale through Microsoft partners "in the first half of 2018."

These releases are part of Microsoft's plan announced back in September to revamp its Dynamics 365 model by next spring. Part of that plan entails a simplification of the offerings themselves. As Alysa Taylor, Microsoft's general manager of business apps and strategy, explained at the time:

Microsoft will offer a single collection of Dynamics 365 applications for customers of all sizes and complexity to digitally transform their organizations across all lines of business -- Marketing, Sales, Service, Finance, Operations, and Talent -- at their own pace. Instead of offering separate editions (e.g. "Business edition" and "Enterprise edition"), we will focus on enabling any organization to choose from different price points for each line of business application, based on the level of capabilities and capacity they need to meet their specific needs. 

Another aspect of the revamp will be "an expansion of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Business Edition adding the full capabilities of Dynamics NAV," according to Taylor. This change will take the form of two separate partner-offered solutions. One will be a Dynamics 365 cloud app sold through Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners. The app aims to give CSP customers "a single business management cloud solution...across key business process areas such as sales, financial management, project management, and operations," Taylor said.

The second partner offering will be an application development platform for ISVs that qualify for Microsoft's new ISV Cloud Embed program. Launched in July, ISV Cloud Embed allows partners to embed Microsoft solutions such as Dynamics 365, Flow and PowerApps into their own apps at a steep discount.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.


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