Business Central Implementation is Microsoft’s newest SMB ERP offering, becoming generally available in 19 countries across the globe as of October 2018. At the time, it acted as a new name for Finance and Operations, Business edition and the official name of Microsoft’s “Tenerife” project. Since then, Business Central Implementation has brought full NAV functionality to a SaaS environment and sits as the future of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV roadmap, offering cloud, on-premises, and hybrid deployment options as part of the wider Microsoft solution offering.
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What is Microsoft Business Central?
Microsoft Business Central Implementation brings the full power of Microsoft Dynamics NAV to the cloud. Microsoft Business Central Implementation user interface Microsoft Business Central Implementation 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.
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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 Implementation based on evolving business needs.
In October 2018, Microsoft introduced a variety of updates which enhance the product even further.
Refreshed Desktop Experience
One of the most noticeable changes when using Business Central Implementation is the refreshed desktop experience. The new UI helps users accelerate their productivity, with an improved layout which maximises screen space, allowing for easier navigation throughout the entire application. The back button is prominently displayed in the top left of the window with dynamic system commands occupying the middle section. Screenshot of the updated user interface in Microsoft Business Central
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Available Everywhere
Microsoft Business Central Implementation is now available for on-premises, hybrid and cloud deployments. Users can connect to Business Central Implementation via the Universal Windows App, a web-based client, or mobile and tablet apps available for iOS, Android and Windows devices. All available methods to connect to Business Central
Tell Me
The Tell Me feature is an evolution of the capability to search for pages or reports, helping users find what they need more quickly and with fewer clicks. The window now also includes actions from the current page which can be immediately activated as well as online help content.
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A new filtering pane is available on the side of pages where lists represent the primary content, such as worksheets. This functionality allows you to easily apply multiple predefined or custom filters to your lists, which will be retained as you navigate across multiple pages. Filtering capabilities which have been added to Business Central
Copy & Paste rows
This new feature improves efficiency when working with data, allowing users to copy and paste rows into the same list or similar lists within Business Central. Alternatively, users can copy and paste rows from Business Central Implementation into Microsoft Excel or, vice-versa, copying data from Excel and pasting it into Business Central.
Enhanced Power BI embedded experience
Enhanced functionality allows for a more seamless connection between Microsoft Power BI and Business Central. Improvements include automatic deployment of Power BI reports in Business Central Implementation from the moment you first sign in. Without ever leaving Business Central, reports can also be customised and managed, including filtering, slicing and drilling through the data.
Changing permission sets
Every business works differently and the roles within organisations have different responsibilities. In Business Central, Permission sets are customisable, allowing users to add, delete and modify them to match businesses requirements. Permission sets which can be changed in Microsoft Business Central
Intelligent edge
Microsoft’s intelligent edge leverages solutions such as PowerApps, Power BI and Flow, as well as Machine Learning and AI to provide insight and actionable messages to help you run your business more efficiently. Diagram of Microsoft's Intelligent Edge
Where is Microsoft Business Central Implementation available?
Microsoft Business Central Implementation was released for general availability (GA) as a SaaS solution on April 2nd 2018. On October 1st 2018, Business Central Implementation was released with on-premises and hybrid deployment options. Business Central Implementation is sold through Microsoft’s network of Cloud Solution Providers (including Mercurius IT) in 19 countries worldwide.
How much does Microsoft Business Central Implementation cost?
Microsoft Business Central Implementation is available at two price points: Essentials and Premium. Licenses for Business Central Implementation Essentials cost from £52.79 per user/month, whilst Business Central Implementation Premium costs £75.40 per user/month. All users in a tenancy must have the same license type, businesses are not able to mix and match Essentials and Premium licenses. It is also important to note that all Business Central Implementation licenses are named user licenses. This means that businesses must purchase a license for each user they wish to access the software. Microsoft Business Central Implementation Essentials includes 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 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 Business Central Implementation 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 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
For a more detailed list of functionality, download our Microsoft Business Central Implementation Capabilities Guide.
What’s next for for Finance and Operations, Business edition customers?
Existing for Finance and Operations, Business edition customers should have been automatically upgraded to Business Central Implementation with access to new functionality and an all-new user interface. If your instance has not been automatically upgraded, please contact your Microsoft Partner for further guidance.
What is the future of Microsoft Business Central?
Microsoft Business Central Implementation will continue in the place of Dynamics NAV in the Microsoft roadmap, with the name change providing more consistency across the suite of applications. New features are expected from 2019, with plans to connect to Business Central Implementation only via the web client by 2020, rather than the universal Windows app.
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We hope this blog post has given some insight into the powerful ERP system that is Microsoft Business Central. If you are an existing Microsoft Dynamics customer, we’ve written a whole blog post on how you can make the most of your investment by upgrading to Microsoft Business Central. Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch if you’re interested in deploying Microsoft Business Central Implementation in your business.

Author's Bio: 

Terrance is a business consultant and business central support expert.