As indicated at this year's Directions EMEA Partner Conference in Madrid, Microsoft officially announced that the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) will be available starting 1 December 2017. With numerous improvements and new functions, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 represents the continued development of the proven ERP product line of the world-wide business solution for midsize companies. With the release of the latest NAV version, Microsoft is resolutely pursuing its transformation strategy of moving towards a unified cloud-based business platform.
The key highlights of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 come essentially in three areas: the improvement of core functionality, native networking of the ERP infrastructure with services and office processes, as well as further improvement of the user interface, including intuitive adaptability of the system to individual requirements. Special mention should be made of the deep integration with Office 365 through the use of the "Common Data Service" (CDS) - a forward-oriented data platform that ensures the smooth exchange of information between all Microsoft business applications, apps and services.
In Dynamics NAV 2018, Microsoft has also delivered a plethora of new functions and improvements to details: In addition to customers and vendors, employees can now also be selected directly in worksheets, for example. This means that employee items can be created in the booking process just as in the general person accounts - a frequently requested feature that is particularly useful when reimbursing travel expenses. Other enhancements include the new centralized setup options, which greatly simplify the creation of new clients, the ability to cancel project invoices, to create purchase orders directly from sales orders, and automate intercompany transactions.
As a continuation and development of the classic on-premises model, that is an ERP solution operated by user companies with their own infrastructure, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 represents a strong commitment to existing and new customers who do not want to change their traditional operating model on the one hand, and on the other to the requirements specific industries where the use of cloud services is out of the question for compliance reasons. At the same time, the 2018 release is based on the latest Microsoft technologies, providing a solid, comprehensive and future-proof platform for digitally mapping modern business processes, just like Microsoft's cloud portfolio.
Microsoft has also already outlined what is to come : The new cloud solution Dynamics 365, which currently has the working title "Tenerife", is due to be released in the spring of next year, in addition to an R2 update of the latest on-premises version of Dynamics NAV 2018. Both solutions will already be working from the same code base. The next step will then be to merge them into one solution that can either be operated independently or as a cloud or SaaS solution. "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", says Alysa Taylor, General Manager, Business Apps & Strategy, Microsoft.
"The new release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV is both a high point and a turning point in Microsoft ERP development," says Uwe Bergmann, CEO of Europe's leading Microsoft Dynamics partner COSMO CONSULT. "The traditional ERP functionality of NAV has reached a level of maturity that truly makes it the best solution on the market for mid-sized companies. At the same time, new and flexible deployment models, cloud scenarios and digital services are becoming more and more interesting for our customers. The companies adopting Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 are opting for cutting-edge technology that provides them with investment security and opens up entirely new opportunities for developing their IT strategies."