First published: 03/04/18

Last updated: 07/11/18

Following the October update, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is now generally available worldwide, for cloud, hybrid and on-premises deployments. We’ve heard from a number of existing Microsoft Dynamics customers ask what this means for them. They’re unclear as to whether their current ERP solution will become obsolete, whether they should upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, how much an upgrade will cost and when they should make the leap to the new solution. The October update has pronounced some changes to how the solution is licensed, so in this blog post, we will be going through all the new changes and make it easy to understand for businesses who are interested in upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Should existing Microsoft Dynamics customers upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Microsoft has made significant investments into the research and development of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, to bring full NAV functionality to the cloud and create a modern, intelligent suite of business applications. Since the October release, Microsoft has made further updates to the solution, which we have outlined in a recently updated blog post. From the updated roadmap which Microsoft has recently published, it shows that the Business Central product name will be continued with for the foreseeable future. This means there will not be a Dynamics NAV 2019.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central updated roadmap

To make the most of Microsoft’s current and future investment, as well as your own investment in terms of licenses and annual BREP, it does make sense to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central—whether your ERP is deployed in the cloud or on-premises. However, this does not mean that Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition are obsolete. Businesses running these solutions can continue to do so and there is support still available for them, there just will no longer be any updates to these solutions.

New customers are still able to purchase Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 up to April 1st 2019. This will be following the existing concurrent licensing with the starter/extended pack. After April 1st 2019, new customers will not be able to license NAV 2018, but existing NAV customers will be able to purchase additional licenses as and when they need too.

License changes with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Since the October release, one big change to the Microsoft licensing model is that Concurrent licenses are now gone and every license purchased is for a named user. A named user is specified to one individual, meaning each user accessing the solution will require their own license. Named users are able to access the application from multiple devices however.

Dynamics 365 Business Central comes as two different versions, Essentials and Premium. Essentials is the standard version of Business Central, with premium having additional modules for service and manufacturing. Our comprehensive capabilities guide for Business Central covers all the functionality which is included in the solution. When deploying Dynamics 365 Business Central, you cannot mix and match essentials and premium licenses, it must be either one, depending on the capabilities your business requires. You must also have at least one essentials or premium license when purchasing Dynamics 365 Business Central. Team Member licenses are available and these reflect the same functionality as a NAV limited user, there is read access throughout the application and write access to a maximum of three table objects, excluding General Ledger entries.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central licenses can be purchased either perpetually or through subscription:

Perpetual—You permanently own the license outright. This is a larger initial investment but can work out cheaper in the long run.

Subscription—Paying on a per user/month basis. Subscription licensing is a cheaper initial investment and can also give you more flexibility if you need to increase or decrease the number of licenses.

Business Central is still available as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, this is how it was sold when the solution first released in April 2018. When using Business Central as a SaaS solution, everything is done for you, including hosting on Microsoft’s servers, you just have to pay your subscription to access the solution.

How much will it cost existing Microsoft Dynamics customers to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Microsoft are offering a 40% discount on Business Central licenses for existing Microsoft Dynamics customers (as of 1st April 2018) using the following solutions on cloud or on-premises:

    • Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, Business edition
    • Dynamics AX
    • Dynamics GP
    • Dynamics NAV
    • Dynamics SL
    • Dynamics POS
    • Dynamics RMS
    • Dynamics CS
    • Dynamics XAL

 

Existing Microsoft Dynamics customers will be able to take advantage of the discounted pricing from the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central on 2nd April 2018.  This discounted pricing is only available for the SaaS deployment of Business Central. The discount will end on June 30th 2020, after this time new and existing customers will pay full price for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central licenses.

The discount that Microsoft are offering is a significant saving on the original cost of SaaS licenses for Business Central.

  • Premium—£75.40 GBP down to £45.24 (per user/month)
  • Essentials—£52.79 GBP down to £31.67 (per user/month)
  • Team Member—£6 down to £3.60 (per user/month)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, perpetual license costs are as follows:

  • Premium—£1878
  • Essentials—£1341
  • Team Member—£268

And Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, subscription license costs are

  • Premium— £60/ (£50)
  • Essentials—£42 / (£35)
  • Team Member—£7.50 / (£5.50)

Subscription prices are on a per user/month rate, prices in brackets are with the Microsoft Azure hosting discount.

The reason for SaaS license costs being cheaper than subscription is that hosting is included within the SaaS model. If you choose to license Business Central either on subscription or perpetually in the cloud, you will also have to pay for hosting alongside that. However, Microsoft are offering a discount for those who are licensing business central ‘on-premises’ on Azure. In the image below, the regular pricing is shown, as well as the discounted pricing Microsoft are offering if you host on Azure. These license prices do not include Azure hosting fees which are around £40 per user/month. The converted prices from dollars to pounds are shown above.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central subscription pricing with Azure dicount

What deployment options are available for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Our infographic below shows all the different combinations which can be applied for deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central deployment options infographic

When can existing Microsoft Dynamics customers upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is now generally available worldwide for cloud, hybrid and on-premises deployments. This means that existing customers can upgrade whenever they want too, just get in touch with your current ERP provider, or contact us at Mercurius IT for any upgrade information. We have extended our Fixed Price Upgrade offer to existing Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers looking to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. This means that any risk of overrun is carried by us, so you won’t get an unexpected bill at the end. Combined with our competitive day rates, we often come in cheaper than our competitors. We’ve seen our customers save up to £25,000 on their upgrade bills using this method.

What countries is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central available in?

As seen at Directions EMEA 2018, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is available in a lot of countries across the globe. Many of these are Microsoft localised, but there a selection which have been partner led localised.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central country availability

How to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Existing Dynamics NAV customers who are up-to-date with their business ready enhancement plan (BREP) can upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises using the License Migration Transition Upgrade (LMT Upgrade). For businesses using NAV 2018 on subscription wanting to move to Business Central subscription, ask your ERP provider, or us at Mercurius IT, for assistance on moving your data across and starting your Business Central subscription.

Due to the changes in how Microsoft is licensing Business Central, a conversion table has been created which shows the exchange rate for upgrading from perpetual NAV concurrent licenses to Business Central named user licenses. These conversions are only applicable for licenses which were purchased before October 1st 2018. For any licenses purchased after this date, the conversion ratio will be 1:1.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV license conversion table for Dynamics 365 Business Central

We hope this blog post has helped inform you and clear up any confusion of all the changes to how Dynamics 365 Business Central is licensed and deployed. If you have any further questions please leave us a comment below, or get in touch if you are interested in deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.