On 27 October Microsoft launched the new version of ERP Microsoft Dynamics NAV, NAV 2017. This version continues Microsoft’s strategy to develop the product towards integration, cloud availability and new functionalities aimed to enhance productivity. We shall mention the most important new functionalities
Further integration with Office 365 and Power BI
Dynamics NAV 2017 goes on with integration trend between its business applications. Office 365, the cloud version of the Office package, can now be used as working tool for every day’s tasks. For instance, you can issue a Dynamics NAV invoice directly from Outlook, thanks to an add-in who brings information and functionalities from NAV 2017 into Outlook.
Power Bi is an online service for Business Intelligence who provides to the company’s management in a visual manner (dashboards, charts) meaningful insight over the business. Connecting Power BI to Dynamics is just few clicks away. Merging the transactional performance of Dynamics NAV with analytical capabilities of Power BI is a formula for success.
Although extensions were launched in NAV 2016, they can be fully used in Dynamics NAV 2017 only. Extensions are functionalities developed which can be added without modifying the standard code. That’s good news, because from now on customizations will be easier to manage and update.
Sales and inventory forecasts – with Cortana Intelligence
In Dynamics NAV 2017, an extension has been created to make possible sales and inventory forecasts, based on historical data. Forecasting is made using Cortana Intelligence technology. For this, is needed an ”Azure Machine Learning” instance. Cortana Intelligence is the newest technology, it is about smart software applications; they build forecasting models, they test it, and finally select the best model.
Attributes are information which can be associated on the item card, no matter what kind of information: color, size, brand name etc. This information is then available in lists and sales/purchase documents. Moreover, a hierarchical structure of categories and subcategories for items can be made, carrying attributes also from parent category to child subcategory.
Smart notifications are messages appearing to the users, suggesting a certain course of action. They do not block the user, but help him to better understand the context of his activities. Smart notifications embed best business practices, so the user will operate faster and with less errors.
Now, PayPal service can be activated in Dynamics NAV 2017. Invoices sent in electronic format may contain links directing to PayPal. PayPal is the widest online payments service and the payments can be made either with PayPal accounts or with credit cards.
Categories and subcategories in Chart of Accounts
In Dynamics NAV 2017, on the Chart of Accounts each account can be assigned to a category and subcategory, allowing information to be structured according to financial reporting needs. This functionality will be deeply appreciated by accounting department.
Improvement in scanning documents with OCR
Since NAV 2016 was possible with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to scan documents and convert into Dynamics NAV documents (order, invoice). Now, there is a learning mechanism embedded in the process in order to better recognize the information. And if the supplier uses his own item codes (the typical situation), with ”Cross-references” functionality Dynamics NAV can scan invoices of this type, converting line invoices to our own item codes.