nav upgrade to business central

Seamlessly Transitioning from NAV to Business Central

I still remember the day our CFO first mentioned we needed to upgrade from NAV. As the head of IT, I immediately had reservations. 

We relied heavily on NAV and customized it extensively for our workflows. Could we transition to something new without disrupting operations?

I dove into researching Business Central and was quickly assured. I discovered that with the proper partner, nav upgrade to business central can not only be seamless, but open new possibilities to improve efficiency. Here’s what I learned about successfully navigating this shift.

Finding the Right Partner is Key

The most important decision you can make when upgrading from NAV is selecting the right implementation partner. 

You need experts who thoroughly understand both systems and how to best map your customizations from one platform to the other.

Ideally, this partner should have upgrade experience under their belts. For example, GlobalOrange upgraded our sister company from NAV 2016 to Business Central within budget and 3 months faster than expected. Having real-world examples like this gave us confidence we were in good hands.

Embrace the Similarities

NAV users can find reassurance in the fact that Business Central was designed specifically for you. 

Microsoft built it on the NAV codebase, so at its core, Business Central works and feels just like NAV.

The database structure is similar, making data migration straightforward. And the UI looks familiar, though more modern and intuitive. There’s less of a learning curve because core functions operate the same.

For us, this meant our teams could come up to speed quickly after going live. And we could reuse existing training content with only minor tweaks.

New Possibilities Await

While the similarities with NAV provide a simple transition, it’s the new possibilities that make upgrading truly worthwhile.

Business Central provides much stronger analytics and reporting out-of-the-box. Our time spent on financial reporting has been reduced by 50% since we now leverage built-in tools versus relying fully on custom reports in NAV. 

Even better, we can drill down into reports faster, enabling more agile decision-making.

We’re also taking advantage of Business Central expanding into new frontiers. With its fresh, REST API-based architecture, we have more flexibility to build the apps and touchpoints our teams want. 

And integrations between sales, service, and finance give us a single source of truth across departments.

While leaving NAV initially gave me pause, I couldn’t be more pleased with how this shift has propelled our business forward. Business Central has unlocked performance and insight like never before.

The Upgrade Process Step-By-Step

If after weighing the pros and cons you decide moving from NAV to Business Central is right for your organization, what exactly does the process entail? Having a streamlined methodology helps ensure upgrades go smoothly.

Here are the steps any partner should guide you through:

1. Planning & Scoping

  • Document current NAV customizations, third-party solutions, dependencies
  • Map data structure and functional differences between platforms
  • Identify required configurations and deploy correct environments

2. Design & Configuration

  • Set up BC environments & infrastructure
  • Migrate master data and open transactions
  • The script needed conversions, transformations, data cleansing
  • Retire unnecessary modifications & enhance others

3. Validation & Testing

  • Thoroughly test against the original NAV baseline
  • Validate required integrations, conversions, and data integrity
  • Perform user acceptance testing across departments
  • Retrofit configurations as needed

4. Deployment & Support

  • User training and change management
  • Assist during go-live hypercar period
  • Provide post-go-live application & technical support
  • Optimize on the new BC platform

With an expert partner guiding your business every step of the way, NAV to BC upgrades can be achieved far easier than going it alone.

Let the similarities between platforms work to your advantage while unlocking new potential for revenue growth and operational excellence. What are you waiting for?


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