Microsoft Dynamics NAV has a long history of development and has been rebranded many times since its forerunner was first launched in the mid-1980s by Danish company Navision a/s.
This was a DOS package simply called Navision. Although known as Dynamics NAV since 2006 and now Business Central, the name Navision is still often used which can cause confusion for those looking to understand if it’s the right product for them.
(Revised December 2018)
Microsoft Dynamics NAV began life as Navision Financials. In 1995 the Danish software company, Navision a/s launched the first version of its true Microsoft Windows accounting package as the successor to the highly successful DOS package, also called Navision.
Navision Financials was the first accounting package to be awarded the ‘Made for Windows 95’ logo. Version 1 formed the basis for the solution we see today.
Navision Financials was highly popular in Europe and the US (where it was briefly marketed as Avista before it was decided to market globally under the same name).
As the users and partner numbers grew, so did the product. Navision a/s was renowned for high level investment in R&D, a trait Microsoft still continues to this day. Functionality was added that met the needs of distribution, manufacturing and project processes as well as HR and CRM. As the 21st century dawned, for the first time in its history, Navision’s name was causing a problem. Navision was well known, but as an accounting package.
Developing into a full ERP solution, the name Navision Financials had become misleading and was limiting its potential with prospective clients.
In recognition that the product now met more requirements than purely accounting, Navision was re-christened Navision Solutions. This was fine while the product had no siblings, however, shortly rebrand Navision a/s merged with Damgaard and became a multi-product company.
Naturally it would be difficult to have one product called ‘Solution’ without casting a shadow over its stable mates, so Navision Solutions became Navision Attain. With the company itself still named Navision a/s, they continued to develop the Damgaard product, Axapta – rebranded Navision Axapta.
Axapta, now Dynamics AX, is an ERP solution aimed at the conglomerate corporate level. Our article Which Dynamics Solution is for me? gives more information on the differences.
When Microsoft acquired Navision a/s in 2002 it was the biggest acquisition in Microsoft’s history.
Deciding there was little brand value in the name Attain, the solution was renamed Microsoft Business Solutions Navision Edition (Axapta dropped the Navision tag to become Microsoft Business Solutions Axapta Edition). More descriptions than a brand name, in 2006 Microsoft re-branded to unite the family of Business Solutions under the name ‘Dynamics’.
The individual products were then differentiated by a shortening of the original names. Navision became Microsoft Dynamics NAV, for example.
An educated guess as to why the names were constructed in this manner would be to speculate that in the future they’d be united as one product, marketed as Microsoft Dynamics ERP to go alongside Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
With the product firmly established as a Microsoft solution, it was no longer a product from a small Danish software house and has become a successfully recognised global solution.
Even now, over a decade on from when the brand ‘Navision’ was dropped, it’s still frequently used in search engines.
Keeping pace with technological trends and the faster pace of business too, the solution has even moved to the cloud.
With another name added to the mix as of 2018, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the rebranded name for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations – Business Edition. This also includes Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Moving solutions under one umbrella.
Cloud based, Business Central provides further naming consistency across Microsoft’s suite of 365 applications.
Please contact TVision for a no-obligation discussion as to how we can help with your business growth, planning and management by moving to the Cloud or keeping your on premises version of Business Central.
So whatever you call it – Navision, NAV or Business Central 365, there’s no denying Microsoft Dynamics is world-class software that can be delivered by an expert team of in-house UK-based knowledgeable consultants here at TVision.
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