If you’ve spent any time in the Microsoft Dynamics community, you’ve probably heard the term “Navision” mentioned, especially by those who have worked with ERP systems for a long time.
If you’re wondering what Navision is, it’s the forerunner to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. It began as an accounting system and evolved into one of the first ERP systems once more functions were added.
In the 1980s, a Danish software company called PC&C A/S (Personal Computing and Consulting) produced Navision. After the product’s success, the firm rebranded itself Navision Software. Many businesses liked it because, unlike most systems at the time, it could be run from a server and allowed multiple people to access it at the same time.
Navision was highly adaptable and more stable than similar products on the market, in addition to this valuable backend innovation. Donavan Lane tells how he was persuaded to switch to Navision after ripping the battery out of a computer while it was posting a transaction and the data remained intact in his Addend Analytic’s Story blog series.
Navision’s Primary Market: Small to Mid-Size Manufacturers/Distributors
Navision appealed to manufacturers and distributors who were too large for a simpler, single-PC option but not quite large enough to afford enterprise-level solutions since it could be adjusted to fulfil unique company needs beyond the very simple financial management tasks.
The software’s business model was part of what made it so adaptable. Navision partnered with other independent resellers, such as Addend Analytics, who would take the “out-of-the-box” solution and tailor it to each client’s specific needs using their development experience. Customers were more likely to be satisfied with the system as a result of this strategy, and the partners expanded into a thriving network of their own, with specialists focused on specific industries/sectors volunteering their expertise to assist businesses get the most out of the programme.
This technique, combined with the scale and diversity of its market, helped Navision become a huge success, eventually attracting Microsoft’s notice.
Navision Becomes NAV
In 2002, Navision became the first billion-dollar acquisition by Microsoft outside the US, at an estimated transaction value of $1.3 billion.
Then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said of the acquisition:
Microsoft and Navision’s combined vision, business strategy, and product portfolio will help small and midmarket clients while also providing Microsoft with significant growth potential. Many of these organisations’ business operations are still not taking use of technology’s efficiencies. Through our partners, Microsoft and the Navision team are committed to bringing compelling and powerful solutions and products to this vital and significant market area, enabling businesses to be more competitive, agile, and productive.
Navision was renamed Microsoft Dynamics NAV shortly after that. Microsoft has acquired and renamed four major ERP systems, including Dynamics AX (Axapta), Dynamics GP (Great Plains), and Dynamics SL (Solomon). Microsoft Partners included several of the current Navision partners, including Addend Analytics.
The Influence of Navision Today
Although much has changed since 2002, the influence of Navision on NAV and, later, Dynamics 365 Business Central has been long-lasting.
Business Central is still sold through a partner network
Addend Analytics, for example, has kept up with the newest product changes and, thanks to Microsoft’s additional resources, can now offer Cloud Services (such as Azure and Microsoft 365) in addition to ERP systems. This customer-centric approach to software implementation has definitely survived the acquisition.
Business Central still appeals to the SMB market
Microsoft has taken special care to guarantee that the pricing model and other aspects are tailored to the needs of this sort of company. The breadth of capabilities delivered by a piece of software that has been created for the same industry for over 30 years is truly remarkable.
Business Central has lost none of its flexibility to meet unique, industry-specific needs
In many ways, the Navision software’s key differentiator has only gotten stronger over time.
Even while these fundamental ideas have remained constant, the software has not! There are numerous compelling reasons for organisations to begin utilising cloud technology to ensure that their data is available at any time, from any location, and on any device, while maintaining the highest level of security. Newer tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Power BI, have only strengthened what a Business Central ERP system can do, and we know more advancements are on the way!
So, if you like what we’ve mentioned about Navision, we recommend checking out all Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central has to offer to receive the most up-to-date version of the same amazing product! To learn more about upgrading Navision to Business Central, see the link below.