Background

Dynamics 365 Business Central
In 1984, three young entrepreneurs in Denmark released the precursor application to Navision (which would later become Dynamics NAV) under the name PC&C (Personal Computing and Consulting). In 1987, the developers released Navigator 1.00, which took PC&C’s single-user application and turned it into a client/server-based accounting program which allowed multi-user access. The first version of Navision for Windows was released in 1993.

In 2000, Navision Software merged with Danish firm Damgaard, making it a 1000+ employee company with partners in 25 (primarily European) countries. A mere 2 years later, Microsoft acquired Navision and brought it under the Microsoft Business Solutions umbrella managed by Doug Burgum. Microsoft rebranded Navision (along with Microsoft CRM, Great Plains, Axapta, and Solomon) in 2005 as Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Dynamics 365 Business Central was released in April 2018 as an “all-in-one business management solution.“ Built on the functionality, code, and development experience of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Business Central is a native-cloud solution that delivers a modern, browser-based ERP experience. Designed to integrate directly with Office 365, Business Central features extensive customizability and extendibility options via PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI.

Infor CloudSuite Financials
Infor was founded as an ERP software company in 2002. From 2004 to 2009, Infor focused on acquiring of software companies that broadened their software expertise and helped develop industry-focused applications. In 2010, Infor hired Charles Philips as the new CEO who focused efforts even further into the development of industry-specific applications and user-friendly interfaces.

In 2013, Infor partnered with Amazon to bring Infor applications to AWS. Soon after, Infor announced their first modern cloud based system, CloudSuite Financials, with the goal of building more cloud first applications in the future. Currently, Infor has over 71 million cloud users in over 170 countries active in the Infor cloud. Infor continues to acquire companies that bolster their product line and release new applications and update current cloud-based applications.


Pricing and Considerations

Business Central

Infor

Licensing: $70/user/month. Additional add-ons available.

Billing Frequency: Monthly

Implementation: Financial Accounting Implementations begin at $19,995 USD. Manufacturing implementations, because they are more complex, begin at $30,995 USD.

Licensing: Infor prices are not published publicly. Contact Infor for pricing quote.

Billing Frequency: Monthly

Implementation: Implementation process are not published publicly. Implementations are done by Infor Partners listed on the Infor Partner Network.

Other Considerations: Dynamics 365 Business Central contracts are managed through Microsoft Partners. Business Central licenses can be added removed on a monthly basis limiting cost of a changing business. All major updates are applied automatically by Microsoft at no additional cost to the end user.

Other Considerations: Infor implementations and licensing are managed through Infor Partners. All major updates are applied automatically by Infor at no additional cost to the end user.


Customer Reviews

Dynamics NAV (Now Business Central)

Common Pros: Advanced financial management functionality, user friendly, integration with Office 365, affordable, cloud-based

Common Cons: Occasional glitches, lacks CRM capabilities on its own.

Common Pros: Easy for accountants to learn, superb information management and reporting.

Common Cons: Purchasing capabilities are limited. Customization is necessary for inter-company transaction processing.


Trial Options

Business Central

Infor

Dynamics 365 Business Central 30 day free trials are available through Microsoft on the Dynamics 365 website. A free trial includes access to a Dynamics 365 Business Central trial account loaded sample data (you have the option to import your own). The free trial also allows you to invite other users from your organization to test for the duration of the trial.

Infor does not offer free trials of CloudSuite Financials, but a demo of the software can be requested on the Infor website or through the Info Partner Network.


Release Schedule

Business Central

Infor

Microsoft releases two major updates to Dynamics 365 Business Central per year – in April and October. These updates will include new capabilities, performance improvements, and better support experiences. All releases are automatically updated however, any major changes to the user experience will be turned off automatically giving administrators time to test and enable these features as they see fit.

While Infor does not release a schedule of future updates, CloudSuite Financials updates are applied automatically. Updates include new features, security updates, and UI improvements.


Customize & Extend

Business Central

Infor

A major strength of Business Central is its flexibility and ability to integrate with Microsoft and other 3rd party applications. This is done by creating custom apps, installing 3rd party apps from Microsoft AppSource, or working with 3rd party services. Business Central is built to maximize customization, so the majority of app development requires little to no coding.

In addition to the wide range of apps that extend the functionality of Business Central, much can be done to personalize and enhance the interface each user will have. Using the Designer, users can easily drag-and-drop fact boxes, data fields, tables and grids, and other data that was previously hidden. Beyond basic changes, complex enhancements can be made to the UI using Visual Studio.

Customization options are abundant in Infor CloudSuite Financials. Users have the ability to define an unlimited number of attributes on fields, transactions, reports, and more. Attributes can also be added to these fields. Identifying features like facility type, process type, or number of employees can be included, making it easier to report on metrics like revenue by location.

Dashboards are customizable as well. Users can pull the data, actions, and functions they use most often into their dashboards to improve their user experience and increase efficiency.

The Infor ION (Intelligent Open Network) is an open-source middleware that makes integrating Infor with other Infor apps and 3rd-party solutions possible. Additionally, the Infor ION lets users build workflows to automate processes, notifications, and other functions with little to no code-writing knowledge required.  

 


Business Central Features

Financial Management

  • General Ledger

  • Payables & Receivables

  • Collections

  • Predict late payments

  • Automatic payments

  • Payment tolerances

  • Reconcile vendor payments

  • Prepayments

  • Transfer bank funds

  • Intercompany

  • Cost Accounting

  • Transfer cost entries

  • Cost budgets

  • Multiple companies

  • Reverse postings

  • Employee expenses

  • Defer revs and expenses

  • Import payroll transactions

  • Closing periods, books

  • Preparing closing statements

  • Report VAT

Purchasing

  • Purchase invoices

  • Purchases orders

  • Purchase quote

  • Convert purchase Quote to order

  • Purchase items

  • Correct/cancel invoices

  • Combine receipts

  • Returns / cancellations

  • Date calc. for purchases

Inventory

  • Register new items

  • Bill of Materials

  • Categorize items

  • Item attributes

  • Catalog items

  • Reclassify inv.

  • View item availability

  • Transfer inventory between locations

  • Reserve items

  • Serial & lot numbers

  • Block items

  • Inventory costing

  • Revalue inventory

  • Adjust item cost

  • Physical inventory

  • Calculate expected inventory

Order Management

  • Move items

  • Plan movements

  • Quote assemble to order

  • Production orders

  • Subcontracting

  • Batch post consumption

  • Batch post output

  • Batch post run times

  • Post Scrap

  • Post capacities

  • View work centers

  • Receive items

  • Cross-dock items

  • Split activity lines

  • Warehouse assignments

  • Picking and shipping

Employee Management & General

  • Add comments

  • Track doc. Lines

  • Send docs. by email

  • Add extended item text

  • Define user tasks

  • BC suggestions

  • Workflows

  • Data exchange

  • Customize BC

  • Classify sensitive data

  • Create new companies

  • Job queues

  • Publish a web service

Project Management

  • Job cards and tasks

  • Assign resources to job

  • Define work types

  • Use time sheets for jobs

  • Estimate job costs

  • Manage job budgets

  • Manage job supplies

  • Monitor progress and performance

  • Acquire, maintain FA

  • Transfer, split, combine FA

  • Revalue FA

  • Depreciate / amortize FA

  • Dispose / retire FA

  • Manage FA budgets


 

Financials

  • Global General Ledger

  • Close Management

  • Receivables & Billing

  • Intercompany Billing

  • Reconciliation Management

  • Lease Accounting

  • Payables & Matching

  • Asset Accounting

  • Cash Management

  • Analytics

  • Project Ledger

Supply Chain

  • Requisitions

  • Punch Out

  • Purchase Orders

  • Inventory

  • Warehouse

  • Strategic Sourcing

  • Contract Management

  • Supplier Order Management

 

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