This post is a guest post by our partner Equisys.
“Cloud-based add-on” is a term that may not mean much to you, but it represents an exciting opportunity for SMEs to improve their business processes rapidly and with lower ongoing costs and risk.
Using add-ons that are born-in-the-cloud offers a range of benefits for Microsoft Dynamics NAV users. Today, we look at the top 3 benefits of connecting to cloud-based add-ons versus customising code or extending NAV.
Always up to date
Think about apps you most commonly use on your phone or tablet device, such as your social networking apps. How much work do you do to get the most up to date version of those apps? None.
Cloud-based apps upgrade automatically, just like add-ons for NAV users. This means you are always on the most up-to-date version of an add-on, allowing you to take advantage of the latest features. For example, did you know that NAV 2017 includes a connection to the Paypal service?
Carefree NAV upgrades
Add-ons using NAV Extensions simplify the upgrade process by eliminating dependencies on the underlying code.
With NAV currently on an annual release cadence, add-ons that use code customisations must also typically be upgraded. This pace is now increasing to every six months (e.g. over the next six months, we will witness the launch of NAV 2018, then NAV 2018 R2, then Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”), making new features available even more often.
While some add-ons that are embedded in NAV (such as Zetadocs for NAV) can easily be carried over to your new version, others have resulted in NAV upgrades that have been described as being as complicated as brain surgery.
Cloud-based add-ons can run without any dependencies on the NAV database—they simply connect to and consume the cloud service over the internet. With cloud-based add-ons, upgrading NAV it’s like switching hats: you simply take it off to change to a new outfit and put it back on. It’s that simple.
Improved user experience
Cloud-based add-ons are designed to work with NAV but need not be constrained by the NAV user interface. Such SaaS applications can also work outside of NAV, even on a tablet or mobile device, meaning that your users need not be familiar with NAV in order to interact with it.
Paul Crawley, Sales Director at Equisys, recently presented on this topic at the NAVUG Summit in America. Their Zetadocs Expenses software is a popular expense management solution that is born-in-the-cloud. Watch highlights of his presentation here.
Given the benefits that cloud-based add-ons offer NAV users, it is likely that you will increasingly be offered the choice of connecting to cloud services. Hopefully, this article reassures you of the advantages of doing so.