Microsoft have announced that the latest version of their enterprise resource planning (ERP) financial solution aimed at SMBs is called Dynamics NAV 2016. The announcement was made at the 2015 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). This release had been previewed earlier under the name ???Corfu??? during a WPC session but has now been launched using the Dynamics NAV title. During the launch the Microsoft team made it clear that clear that it is a whole new beast, it will be deeper in the cloud, it will be far easier on integrators as well as on users.
Like most Microsoft events one of the biggest topics of discussion was cloud at WPC. And it comes as no surprise the this latest version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, sometimes known as NAV Corfu, will be the most cloud enabled version of the agile enterprise resource planning system yet. With new application features and development enhancements specifically designed to improve mobility and cloud deployments.
Just as with the forthcoming Microsoft Dynamics AX7 release, Dynamics NAV 2016 is set to have a host of new app features, greater native integration with the cloud, as well as architectural and development improvements that look set to deliver far greater functionality and speed for developers, admins and end users.
You might remember that Microsoft released a NAV Roadmap back in November 2014, and ever since this release has been hotly anticipated. The presentation at WPC has not dampened that excitement as it looks like Microsoft are going to over-deliver with Dynamics NAV 2016. During the presentation the range of features and enhancements announced showed that this is going to be a powerful new tool. Some of the enhancements include:
- Better integration to O365 and Power BI
- Native Integration to CRM Online
- Test automation suite
- Azure SQL
- Improve agility to allow improved access from any device including mobile
- Electronic invoicing and optical character recognition
- Enhanced accounting functionality
- Workflow enhancements to improve customized automation around billing, HR and Payroll, financials and other critical functions.
- Phone client
While it is too early to provide a completely comprehensive run down as the full details have not been released there are a number of things that we can start to tease out. First, the name itself. As some have noted, Microsoft have not chosen to call this NAV 2015 R2. Now while this was to be expected as it is quite a major release, it may have some consequences for your CfMD certification. Note that is ???may??? so do not start to panic just yet, but as far as we know CfMD counts for two major versions, which means that for anyone who was certified for NAV 2013 then they will have to go through it all again for NAV 2016. Again, this is not certain but rather just a possibility. We hope that there is a upgrade procedure for already certified partners but you never know and this may not be the case.
Ignoring the CfMD issue for now, let???s have a look at all the positives from this new release as there are a number of them. As a matter of fact, there are so many positives you may wonder how Microsoft managed to get it all together in such a short amount of time. A number of commentators have been boggled regarding the array of features and enhancements, here we will go through some of them.
Test automation suite available to partners
A number of commentators have been asking about the testability framework. Many have been noting that Microsoft has been using this themselves but have not been releasing it for their partners to use. This has been a major gripe and it seems the big M have finally listened. Thousands of tests can be automated and run on a daily basis and now these tests are available to you. That means that you will be able to use these tests, you can build up them and take advantage of them. This is a huge benefit.
Another major enhancement is that you will be able to use the Azure SQL in NAV 2016. This is a seriously exciting development. No longer will you have to put the database on a VM with the SQL Server, which was not only annoying but quite costly as well. Now you will be able to just put it on Azure SQL, which means that you will get all the functionality you need with less hassle and cost. This is also a huge leap into the cloud. It certainly looks like the Dynamics range are going to play a huge role in Microsoft???s cloud strategy. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 looks set to become the ERP cornerstone of Microsoft???s cloud offering.
The new release looks set to deliver a lot of functionality. One of the big assets is Workflow, which is something that many partners have been looking forward to, another is Electronic Invoicing, also OCR, and the ???ability for third partiers to add in their own data sources (such as an exchange rate lookup)???. All of these are hotly anticipated and should provide some serious leaps and bounds in functionality.
The last version of Dynamics NAV???s CRM integration was not the best, it had not flexibility and many found it completely unusable. It appears that for the 2016 version there is going to be an out of the box solution that will deliver integration with CRM online.
Finally, it seems that there is also going to be a phone client as well as a tablet client, which is another option that many on the internet have been longing for and now it is here, almost.