Ryan and I recently had the pleasure of attending Directions 2013; the annual Microsoft Dynamics NAV partners conference. It is the only Microsoft Dynamics NAV event driven by and created for NAV partners, and was held in Nashville, TN at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center.

The Directions conference provides a place where product developers, business system specialists, technical experts, NAV partners and representatives from Microsoft can meet, share, and learn more about the Dynamics NAV product. We picked up some valuable information at the conference, and want to take this opportunity to share the highlights of this year’s gathering with you.

Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 has Officially Been Released
At the conference, Paul White, Senior Director of Microsoft Dynamics ERP, announced the release of Dynamics NAV R2. With enhancements to nearly every module within the NAV application, you will be pleased to find increased functionality, improved logic, expanded productivity tools and more. From financial, assembly and warehouse management; to job shop, CRM, BI, supply planning, and more – the updated version of NAV offers numerous improvements that increase usability and offer expanded personalization options. For additional details regarding the updates performed by Microsoft in this latest release, please see our article titled, ‘What’s New in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2’?.

*Please note, this latest release means that those of you who are operating on Dynamics NAV 5 are now two full versions (4 product releases) behind. It is a good idea for you to consider an upgrade soon to ensure that you are receiving maximum benefit from your technology investment.

Microsoft is Committed to NAV as a Product
The enhancements that are included in the latest release seek to add exponential value for small and mid-sized businesses, and are a direct reflection of Microsoft’s long term commitment to Dynamics NAV. From directly seeking a broader mid-market application, to not promoting Microsoft AX within the NAV marketplace, we can verify that Microsoft will continue to support and expand the NAV application for years to come. We’ve long known that Dynamics NAV is a fantastic business application, and it appears as though others agree. It was noted at the conference that the business system now has 98,000 users, with 20,000 of them having been installed within the last 5 years. That is a 25% growth rate, and is 6 times the rate of AX installations.

Improved Integration and Accessibility
While at the Directions conference, we noticed two main recurring themes. The first is Microsoft’s continuing commitment to improving the integration capabilities between Dynamics NAV and Office 365. While the two business applications are separate, they are able to be connected together in order to drastically increase functionality. A good picture of their relationship would be to think of them as a semi-truck. Microsoft Office 365 is the front vehicle, pulling the ‘NAV’ trailer behind. Each of them are their own entity, but together they can move information to where it needs to go. Users of the latest version will be afforded the ability to access information within NAV from Office 365, as well as share necessary reports and documents.

The second theme of the conference had to do with the cloud. We are pleased to report that NAV 2013 R2 is fully enabled in and on the cloud. This is great news for those of you who have a tighter IT operating budget, as it will make the ERP solution more accessible and affordable for your organization. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is now a truly multi-tenant product with a greater economy of scale, and more economical installation capabilities than previous versions. From full multi-platform browsers, improved usability, and forecasting; to enhanced cash management functionality, and product planning – your organization will benefit greatly from the cloud version of the software.

If you are interested in learning more about Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2, please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss the benefits of the product as well as your deployment options.