What is NAV Part 1: Microsoft Dynamics NAV, NAV, Navision - what’s what!?

What is NAV Part 1: Microsoft Dynamics NAV, NAV, Navision - what’s what!?

In this 2-part blog, ArcherPoint’s Dara Daly provides some background and history on Microsoft Dynamics NAV for others who might be new to NAV or just curious about its history—and the evolution of the name.

I’m not going to lie. Before I started with ArcherPoint, I had no clue what Microsoft Dynamics NAV was. I met the company at a career fair while I was in school, and by the time the first interview came around I was searching the Internet trying to understand what it was. Was it Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Dynamics NAV, or just NAV? Was it the same or something different from Navision? I became a little overwhelmed, because I knew the first rule of an interview was researching the company and the products they sold… and the only thing I was certain of was that it was an ERP.

So, these blog posts are for everyone who was once in my position. Maybe your boss told you to find out everything you could about NAV, or you’ve heard it talked about and you’re just trying to understand in simple terms what it is.

First off, the official name of the product is Microsoft Dynamics NAV (that’s N-A-V, not “nav”). However, the product is often referred to by one of two names—NAV or Navision. Navision was one of the original names of the product (which I’ll discuss in more detail in Part 2), so what people call it will often depend on how long they’ve been using the product. Regardless, it’s the same product…just different versions.

More importantly, the application was developed to help growing businesses with accounting and business management. Eventually Microsoft acquired it and renamed it Microsoft Dynamics NAV. NAV is an ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, system. You can think of it as this: You have different areas of your business. Each function has its own set of tasks, but they all have to connect, regardless of what type of business you’re in. An ERP system takes all the different functions of your business and connects them through a single application. An ERP system such as Dynamics NAV allows for better visibility into your company’s operations.

Getting back to NAV specifically: As an ERP system, from the first, character-based version to the latest release (Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015), it has always been known for its ability to be highly customizable to fit the unique requirements of your company.

So that’s it! Well…it’s at least the foundation of understanding more about NAV. I hope this helps you to get started in growing your knowledge of this powerful product.

In Part 2, I will share the history of Dynamics NAV, beginning with its roots in Denmark…

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