Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: What's in a name?

March 14 2018

It's official: In a formal announcement yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business Edition, will be re-branded as Dynamics 365 Business Central as part of the Spring Update rolling out on April 2, 2018. Also significant in this announcement was that the Spring Update would add truckloads of new functionality to the cloud solution, "bringing the

About AJ Ansari

AJ Ansari is a Dynamics Credentialed Professional (DCP) with 11+ years of experience in the Microsoft Dynamics channel. He regularly speaks as a subject matter expert on technical and sales process improvement topics at conferences and chapter events, and leads year-round educational webinars on Dynamics NAV & Dynamics 365.

He is passionate about the Dynamics community and volunteers in various leadership, advisory, and committee roles for NAVUG, IAMCP, Directions NA, and Dynamics Credentialed Professionals. He has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP, a NAVUG All Star, and received the Directions North America 2017 Under 40 Excellence Award.

More about AJ Ansari


dbwiser's picture

AJ, thanks for the well thought out article. I, too, will miss the NAV name, but look forward to getting the rebranding noise behind us so that we can focus on the product, not its name. The only complaint on your article was the slight dig at curling. :) Dave

ajansari's picture

Thanks, Dave! And sorry for picking on a sport you like. ;-) Perhaps I need to reassess curling with an open mind.

ianray's picture

I am afraid that Business Central will take a long time to be relevant in search as an alternate for "Navision" or "NAV." As it is, if I search for "business central (some ERP-related term)," there are millions of pages that happen to have those words in close proximity. I also worry that this new name won't work as well with an international audience as Navision did. I do hope the new name serves its intended purpose. It is much better than "Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Business Edition," in my opinion.

ajansari's picture

Ianray, You make good points about "searchability" and how it will be received by an international audience, especially countries where English is neither the first language nor a commonly used business language. But here's something that you may find amusing (I've read it before on, and again on someone's blog post yesterday): When Navision first came to the US market, it was sold as Avista, because there were concerns about the NA/NO/NAY sound of the first syllable. In fact, initially, the Navision name was only used in a handful of European countries, while the mothership in DK called in Navigator locally. -AJ

ianray's picture

I have heard that there were multiple names before, but not the reasoning of "Nay-vision." That's hilarious.

jsouthworth's picture

AJ, What's in a name? Everything! How can anyone possibly understand such a wholly incoherent product identification strategy? It makes no sense. 3 names in 18 months? Beyond ridiculous! Jeff

ajansari's picture

I get the frustration, and I have heard similarly from a few other peers. It's a difficult line to tread - on the one hand is the confusion caused by repeatedly renaming the product, and on the other hand is the risk of staying with a name that either poorly represents the product functionality (Dynamics 365 for Financials), or a long name that is easily confused with another product's name (Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business Edition). No easy choices here.

georgebaciu_marius's picture

Hello, This re-branding is a bad decision from my point of view. Why loose all the brand value, accumulated in more than 30 years for such a generic name? It is against all the laws of branding and will confuse both partners and customers. And from SEO perspective, it will be a nightmare. I have already optimized my website for both ”Navision” and ”Dynamics NAV” keyword. Do you know that the organic search for ”navision” is still five times higher than for ”Dynamics NAV”? And more than 12 years have passed since the old rebranding. Yes, it will be a messs. It's like you would want to rebrand "Coca-Cola" to "Juice". Good luck!