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How far away is the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials train?

by James Crowter
Managing Director, Clever Dynamics
January 12 2017
Train at a station

I listened to Paul White at Directions 2016 last year and his assurances that the Microsoft Dynamics NAV market as we knew it was not going away. Dynamics 365 for Financials was a different and new market segment that, while growing rapidly, would grow alongside the traditional NAV market. Paul had figures from IDC to show that the business we had now would grow 1% in 2019. This was all about owning both, was his message.

At that time I believed him, but as 2017 begins I'm starting to have my doubts. I'm wondering if the subscription loco is about to run us down much quicker and, by the end of 2017, be the dominant force in our market.

Lots of you will laugh and say I've been drinking too much over Christmas. After all, Microsoft has been telling us that online and subscription models are about to take over for at least five years now, and it's just not happened other than a very small percentage, has it? What makes this year any different?

So my hunch is based on what the customer will perceive about Microsoft's offerings. As the ones who ultimately spend the money, they want the maximum for the minimum, always have and always will. And looking from their perspective, I think that Dynamics 365 for Financials (D365F) is starting to transform into a proposition that's going to take a very significant share of their money, instead of Dynamics NAV, very soon.


No longer will NAV have the edge by having more functionality that D365...

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About James Crowter

I'm passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I've worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I've seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I've also had some hard projects over that time where it's felt more like warfare at times.

Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I've been working with a small Danish product called Navision that's now become Microsoft's Dynamics NAV and I've also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I've been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It's my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction.

More about James Crowter
Submitted by Adair on Thu, 01/26/2017 - 04:10 Permalink

First, great article. My quick comments: * The confusion around D365F is hurting NAV sales right now, resulting in Microsoft and the NAV channel bleeding money, as the market does not see that Microsoft has a practical SMB solution * Due to the current lack of functionality in D365F, it would be unusual for any 5+ user companies to use D365F. Yet due to the significant marketing of D365 and the lack of marketing for NAV, the market does not perceive that Microsoft has a practical SMB solution. * When D365F is of similar capability to NAV, the NAV Partner channel will move to D365F. No issues. I am waiting with anticipation!!!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by james.crowter on Thu, 01/26/2017 - 12:20 Permalink

Here in the UK Adair, we are not seeing NAV slowdown because of D365F, in fact the partner I work for has just had two record months after twenty odd years. We are starting to get the odd question about D365F, I think the massive press coverage is bringing it to people’s attention. Once we explain there is no current timetable for release yet, they are buying or subscribing to NAV. If your in the US or CA I can understand it might be different. Microsoft could do with committing to at least an outline roadmap; clients need that to be able to plan decisions. My suggestion would be to put them on a NAV subscription platformed on Azure and tell them they can move to D365F when it ready for them. After all its not the first Microsoft product release that’s take a couple of releases to make maturity is it?