Finally, the wait is over. At Directions ASIA 2018, Microsoft announced the arrival of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Whether you call it NAV in the cloud, NAV as SaaS, the future of Dynamics NAV, a new name for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition or the official name of Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”, the announcement of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is exciting news. Ever since Microsoft shared their plans for the future roadmap of Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 at Directions EMEA in October 2017, we have been waiting. Now Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is here.

Since the initial announcement by Microsoft, there has been a lot of speculation and anticipation about the official name for Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”. The question presents itself—is “Business Central” a worthy name for a market-leading product? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, there will be a great deal of interest from small and mid-sized customers, as well as a number of large enterprises, as to the product capabilities and positioning.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Dynamics 365 Business Central brings the full power of Dynamics NAV to the cloud.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central user interface

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based, all-in-one business management solution which enables customers to upgrade from their entry-level accounting software or legacy ERP system to one single, comprehensive solution to manage finances, operations, sales and customer service. Helping organisations streamline their processes, improve customer relations and enable growth through:

  • Business without silos—connecting businesses and boosting efficiency with automated tasks and workflows, all within the familiar Microsoft interface of applications such as Word, Outlook and Excel.
  • Actionable insights—achieving more and gaining a complete view of the business with connected data, business analytics and guidance delivered by Microsoft’s leading intelligent technologies.
  • Solutions built to evolve—get started quickly, growing and adapting in real time with a flexible platform that makes it easy to extend beyond Business Central based on evolving business needs.

When will Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central be available?

General Availability (GA) for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will launch on 2nd April 2018 and will be sold through Microsoft’s network of Cloud Solution Providers (CSP) in 14 countries, including the UK.

How much will Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central cost?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will be available at two price points: Essentials and Premium. Licenses for Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials will be £52.79 GBP per user/month and Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium will stand at £75.40 GBP per user/month. All users in a tenancy must have the same license type, businesses will not be able to mix and match Essentials and Premium licenses.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials will include the following functionality:

  • Financial Management—general ledger, workflows and audit trails, bank management, budgets, deferrals, bank reconciliation, dimensions, fixed assets and currencies.
  • Customer Relational Management—contacts, campaigns, opportunity management and built-in integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales.
  • Supply Chain Management—sales order management, basic receivables, purchase order management, locations, item transfers, and basic warehousing.
  • Human Resources—employees and expense management.
  • Project Management—resources, estimates, jobs and time sheets.
  • Other—multiple languages, reason codes, extended text, Intrastat reporting, scheduled tasks and Outlook integration.

This emulates the functionality of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 Starter Pack.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium will include the above functionality, plus:

  • Service Order Management—service orders, service price management, service item management, service contract management, planning and dispatching.
  • Manufacturing—production orders, version management, agile manufacturing, basic supply planning, demand forecasting, capacity planning, machine centres and finite loading.

This emulates the functionality of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 Extended Pack.

Team Member licenses will be available at £6 GBP per user/month and will allow users to:

  • Read all tables across the application
  • Approve workflow instances
  • Edit purchase and sales quotes
  • Edit timesheets and personal information
  • Update existing financial entries

It is important to note that all Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central licenses will be named user licenses. This means that businesses must purchase a license for each user they wish to access the software.

What’s next for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition customers?

Existing Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition customers will be automatically upgraded to Dynamics 365 Business Central with access to new functionality and an all-new user interface. There are also a number of discounted transition pricing options for existing Microsoft Dynamics customers, available through Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Providers (CSP).

What is the future of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

In terms of the future of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, we are expecting it to follow the course of the original roadmap shared by Microsoft in October 2017. This would position it alongside the release of Dynamics NAV 2018 R2 before the two solutions share one name in the subsequent release and run in parallel as cloud and on-premises solutions.

We are still waiting to see how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will be positioned as part of the whole Dynamics 365 package and which Dynamics 365 applications will have bundled pricing and out-of-the-box integration with Business Central.