Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a software package that has been created to enable businesses to organize and streamline a number of different elements within an enterprise. ‘Working Smart’ instead of ‘Working Hard’ has become somewhat of a cliché in recent years, but the main message that this gives across has never been more important. Businesses of all scales are coming under increasing pressure to be as efficient as possible, and the greatest motivator will be the need to keep costs at a minimum. While there are already a number of software-based solutions that provide organisational facilities in individual disciplines, this member of the Microsoft Dynamics family attempts to bring all departments under a single umbrella.
During the development and lifespan of the Microsoft Dynamics RAV software, there have been a number of changes to ensure that the product has always kept up to date with the latest trends in Information Technology. One of the biggest changes occurred at the time of the release of the 2013 software, when NAV officially dropped support for its own native database server. In the run-up to NAV 2013, it was possible to use either the native database or Microsoft SQL Server – support for the former was dropped at this point. Reaction to this move was varied across the IT industry, but the general opinion was that this move was necessary in the wake of the huge growth seen in SQL usage and deployment.
Although it is technically possible to deploy Microsoft Dynamics NAV as an ‘Out Of The Box’ set-up, the majority of businesses implement it as a more bespoke solution. The software is marketed by specific personnel that are approved by Microsoft, and a significant proportion of the outlay is based upon the total number of hours that form this personalised ‘consultation.’ Because of this, it may help for prospective companies to have a clear idea in mind about their requirements before the start of the process.
Overall, the software is intended for businesses that need the facility to organise their financial operations, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications, manufacturing systems, supply chains and general analytics. Integrated support for viewing a number of different file and document formats is present throughout the software, and further features become available when achieving the status of ‘Value Added Reseller’ (VAR). This type of customer is allowed access to the business logic source code, and this means that they are able to offer derivatives of the software that fulfil a range of incredibly specific needs.
As of 2014, the total number of global businesses using Microsoft Dynamics NAV stands at just over 100,000 – this figure reflects the specialised nature of the software. There are 43 official variants of the software that are localised to a particular region or language, and these exist alongside a number of additional localisations that are provided by selected partners. It has also recently become possible to use the software under the ‘Perpetual Licensing’ model, and this offers a two-tier system that allows companies to specify users with either full or limited functionality – a discounted price is attached to the latter.