A new upgrade paradigm has emerged for users of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and it’s about time. Gone are the days of costly, time-consuming, disruptive upgrades. NAV has become, in a word, “cloudish.”
Next month we are releasing our new eBook specifically for customers that run NAV 2013 R2 or later. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is now in its fourth version since moving from a 4-year release cycle to every year. And with NAV 2009 no longer supported, more customers than ever are considering upgrading to NAV 2016. When we published the Ultimate Guide to Upgrading to NAV 2015 last year, we had no idea it would be downloaded almost 1,000 times. In the eBook, we addressed one of the most common challenges we’re asked about by NAV customers – how to successfully upgrade from NAV 2009 or an earlier version to get maximum value from the platform.
Customers that pay annual enhancement fees for NAV want the latest functionality and peace-of-mind knowing their systems are stable, secure, and optimize
There are still many customers that have not yet upgraded from a “legacy” version of NAV to NAV 2013R2 or later. These upgrades are complex and raise many important questions, not unlike the original implementation. For the increasing number of companies successfully running NAV 2013R2 or NAV 2015, the issue of major version upgrades has all but disappeared. It has never been easier to stay current with the latest version of NAV and at the same time, never more important.
Here are some reasons to stay current:
Once you’re on the latest version of NAV, the incremental cost of upgrading will go down. NAV 2016 is actually running on better technology – using the same system that Microsoft itself uses to upgrade each localized version of NAV every year. The tool compares your version with the base version of NAV, drastically cutting down the time it takes for manual merging moving forward. This means incremental and frequent upgrades with significantly less room for major disruptions.
This reason really speaks for itself, as the latest features in NAV really are worth the effort of upgrading. New security features allow you to run on the latest and greatest OS and SQL server. You have the ability to leverage integration with tools like Microsoft Office 365 and Power Pivot. And from a user perspective, it offers a richer mobile experience with the Web Client and Mobile Tablet.
Enterprise business applications that are built natively for the cloud typically enjoy version upgrades that run quietly in the background, in some cases not even noticeable to end users. Usually the provider will offer a notification window to give customers a change to test customizations and new features, and make necessary modifications – usually minor – before the vendor pushes the release out across tenants. New versions offer incremental new features, bug fixes and other enhancements, usually driven by the product roadmap and advances in surrounding technology (e.g. operating systems, cloud storage models and APIs).
NAV isn’t quite a SaaS product but Microsoft has gone to great lengths to create a cloud-like application lifecycle management experience. Microsoft now releases cumulative updates almost every month to keep NAV running smoothly and deploy new features. Annual releases are easy to deploy thanks to new upgrade tools and a fundamentally different application architecture that enables ISVs and other customizations to be captured in extensions and events.
How to Stay Current with NAV eBook Coming Soon!
In the new eBook, we’ll introduce you to the new upgrade paradigm and explain the importance – and simplicity – of keeping your NAV solution up-to-date. We will explore what’s different at a technical level that makes upgrades more straightforward than ever before, and we will offer some guidelines on how to create NAV support program in your organization to ensure you’re always caught up with fixes, new features and performance enhancements.