What is New in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016

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Microsoft has just released Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016, the latest version of its immensely popular mid-market ERP system. So what does this update mean for existing and potential users? What is new in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016?

Microsoft continues to invest heavily in the Dynamics NAV product and to build out the channel and the brand to the point where it is the most popular mid-market system in the world with over 110,000 customers as of June 2015. The changes, however, are much more than just a good marketing and sales engine. Whereas some of the competitors continue to invest in adding more and more features and functionality, Microsoft has continued to build a superior platform capable of being configured to meet virtually any requirement.

Versions 2009 through 2015 added significant changes including a three-tier structure, web services, SQL Server reporting services, improved scalability, and a choice of clients. Dynamics NAV 2016 has continued the enhancement of the platform while adding a few key improvements.

So, what’s are the new features in Dynamics NAV 2016?

  • One of the most impressive new features is a configurable workflow engine. While there was rudimentary workflow before in areas such as purchasing and sales document approval, the new workflow goes much further into the application suite, offering many new possibilities for automating business processes.
  • Microsoft continues to improve the integration to the web by taking the tablet client, enhancing it, and making it available for web browser and phone clients. Now users will have a consistent experience across tablets, phones, and web browsers. This move has also greatly enhanced the ability to configure the web browser client.
  • Taking advantage of the three-tier structure with web services, Dynamics NAV 2016 can also be configured to automatically retrieve foreign exchange rates into the system, which is welcome news for anyone involved in international business.
  • A Dynamics NAV content pack allows Power BI to provide more powerful business intelligence and dashboard capabilities into Dynamics NAV, without the requirement for an expensive partner add-on product.
  • A useful new feature for speeding up the productivity for your staff includes submitting expenses via smartphones by taking photographs of expense slips and submitting them through an OCR engine.
  • Add-on products or enhancements can now be added through code extensions, which allow modifications to customer databases in a multi-tenant environment, where customizations would normally not be possible. These extensions can survive upgrades, which offers the potential to greatly simplify the upgrade process in some situations.
  • Microsoft continues to push forward the concept of multi-tenant environments, where customers share code but not databases. They believe this is the route to greatly expanding the user base and extensions allow resellers to play to the traditional strength of Dynamics NAV, which is the ability to configure the software to fit unique business requirements.
  • Finance users will now have access to posting previews, which display the typical Navigation summary page, without a printed document, that users are used to seeing.
  • One of the most important improvements is the native integration to Dynamics CRM where customers can configure the integration to Dynamics CRM directly from the Dynamics NAV toolkit. This offers many possibilities for improving the integration between these two products, something that previously was somewhat limited or relied on an integration tool such as Scribe.

As you can see there are many new features of Dynamics NAV 2016 that make it a great product to upgrade to, but also to consider if you’re currently researching a new ERP system. All in all, we think Dynamics NAV 2016 is an exciting release with promises of much more in the next version, code-named “Madeira”.

By Malcolm Roach, President and CEO of Open Door Technology, 2015 Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club and Finalist for Regional Partner of the Year.

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