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Microsoft changing course: 3PL Dynamics, fine tuned to meet today's needs

03 Dec 2018

With the release of Dynamics 365 Business Central Microsoft are bringing all the power of Dynamics NAV to a more flexible platform. While Dynamics NAV is already among Microsoft's leading business applications, supporting around 200,000 clients and millions of users, Business Central will take things to another level, with the functionalities of NAV now also offered as Software as a Service (SaaS). The change will make this an exceptionally flexible solution. As a long-term Microsoft partner Boltrics enthusiastically welcome this development. So what is Business Central all about, and what are the benefits for your business? Find out more below.

A new approach with the same familiar look & feel

In fact there are few differences between Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics NAV. The new solution retains the familiar Office look & feel. As before the solution integrates seamlessly with your other Office products, and if anything Business Central makes the process even smoother. The main difference is in the way you connect with the solution. Microsoft have gone all out for ultimate flexibility, with the full range of Business Central functionalities available both in the web client and as an SaaS solution. That means that users are no longer tied to their desks, they can also connect with their WMS, TMS and other systems when out of the office. In the longer term Microsoft will completely replace the Windows client with the web client. Now you might be asking yourself why Microsoft have set off with such determination on this new course.

Dynamics 365 Business Central in brief

Microsoft have taken note of the fact that organisations, like markets and technologies, are subject to change. This realisation led to a desire to develop a more flexible solution, without losing any of the depth found in the existing systems, and so the concept of a pure web client with SaaS functionalities came into being. Microsoft focused on three main priorities during the development process:

Integrated operation

Harmonising Dynamics 365 with other applications prevents fragmentation, which presents a severe problem for some organisations. Now everyone involved can collaborate live, using the same data, a major bonus for users. Access to identical live data expands the potential for the use of smart data analysis. We'll have more to say about this later.

Upscalability

As your business grows and your processes become more complex the Saas platform makes it easy to upscale Dynamics 365 Business Central. Expansion is straightforward, you'll have things the way you want in no time, users won't be hampered by the system, instead their processes will be properly supported. And as the business grows the system will grow with it. Microsoft are also continuously developing Business Central, with monthly updates as standard. So you won't need to wait six months for improvements.

Data is the new gold

It's no secret that Data, Business Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence are Microsoft's most significant strategic pillars. The intelligence built into Dynamics 365 Business Central means that Microsoft's BI Tool is fully integrated in the application. This tool, which has topped the rankings in Gartner’s Quadrant for the last decade, allows you to visualise your data in clear reports and dashboards. With Boltrics' specific KPIs for logistical service providers you have a clear overview of all the most important data. So you can see at a glance the information you need to make a well-considered decision. Centralising all data expands the possibilities still further.

Optimalise productivity

Easily connect your logistical processes with data from Office 365 and LinkedIn and use trusted tools like Outlook, Excel and Power BI to boost productivity and increase ease of use.

What functionalities does Business Central offer?

As we've said there is little difference in many respects between Business Central and Dynamics NAV. All the Dynamics functionalities you're familiar with are there in Business Central, including finance, project and operations management as well as aspects of client management. Boltrics then build functionalities specifically for logistics service providers into the solution, making this the ideal platform for the sector.

Any time, any place

The full functionality of Business Central is available as a web client. That means it runs via an internet browser, so it can be used on all your internet-connected mobile devices. Away from your PC for a while? No problem: all data is available on your smartphone or tablet. So no more phoning into the office to get the information your clients need. Another advantage is that the software doesn't require a lengthy installation. And of course Boltrics will work with you to configure the system so that your own processes are fully supported.

Works with any operating system

Another advantage is that neither the initial installation nor the periodic updates require a lengthy installation. Because you connect with the web client via a browser your device's operating system is irrelevant: your system will work no matter whether you use Windows 7, 8, 10, iOS, Android or any other OS. Where a desktop client imposes new demands on your operating system with every new update, this will no longer be the case with the web variant. Installations and updates will be quicker and cost less.

Moving ahead with the power of Microsoft

The new approach Microsoft are adopting with this way of working fully reflects the prevailing trends. Centralising data makes smart working accessible to all and will allow you as an end user to take great strides forward with your organisation. And no matter how great those advances may be, this flexible solution will move in step with you.

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