Comparing Acumatica vs Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) is a powerful mid-market ERP product. Some of Dynamics Dynamics NAV’s strengths include:

  • Highly customizable and flexible
  • Strong third-party software support
  • Support for multiple vertical industries

Acumatica offers these same strengths, but we offer significant features and capabilities that NAV does not.

Take a look at how Acumatica compares with Dynamics NAV:

Functionality Acumatica Microsoft Dynamics NAV
True cloud (built for cloud)
True mobility (all devices/no special apps)
Full function ERP
Full relational database export
Customization using industry standard tools
Upgrade on your schedule
Flexible licensing options (subscription and perpetual)
Multiple deployment options (cloud, on premise, hybrid)
Scale as you grow
Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Significant differentiators between Acumatica and Dynamics NAV

True cloud: “True cloud” means all functionality is accessible through the internet using a standard browser without the need for any additional software installation on the user’s device or additional software licensing. Acumatica works on premise or in the cloud without additional equipment or software. Dynamics NAV is a traditional client-server product and was NOT built for the cloud. NAV can be HOSTED on a remote server, but requires the addition of a web server (IIS) to provide web support.

True mobility: Out-of-the-box, the entire Acumatica suite can be accessed using a standard web browser. Acumatica’s web pages are built to resize to whatever device you are using for every page and every screen. Moreover, every screen has the same information and flow, whether it is on a PC, tablet, or phone. In contrast, Dynamics NAV requires coding to support resizing custom pages for phone and tablet access.

Customizations using industry standard tools: Both products are highly configurable, but Acumatica is built using industry standard C# and .NET. Dynamics NAV uses a proprietary development language, making customizations more difficult and expensive. Plus, there are additional costs for development privileges.

Flexible licensing options: Every company is different, and some prefer a depreciable capital expense versus an ongoing operating expense. Acumatica is available with subscription or perpetual licensing. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is only available through a perpetual license. The Microsoft VAR can host the product for you and charge a monthly fee, but that is not a monthly subscription.

Multiple deployment options (cloud, on premise, hybrid): Deployment options include public cloud (like Amazon Web Services), on your premise, and hybrid configurations (private cloud). Acumatica supports all three deployment options natively using a browser to access the system. Dynamics NAV, being built using older technology, cannot run in a public cloud. The only choice with NAV is to run it on premise or using a private hosting organization. This is called HOSTING, not SaaS. Also, because NAV requires additional servers to enable a cloud configuration and that custom pages must be rebuilt to support phone and tablet access, the total cost of ownership increases for cloud options.

Scale as you grow: When choosing an ERP solution, you must consider not just your company’s current needs but the future needs as well. Both products allow you to scale resources to support a growing company. But because Acumatica only charges by the by computing power required and not by users, you can scale your resources as you grow, allowing an unlimited number of users to access the system regardless of function. Dynamics NAV, on the other hand, is licensed by user. As your company grows and more employees, customers, and suppliers need access to the system, the costs rise quickly. Be aware of these costs and consider them in your final evaluation.

TCO: Acumatica charges by computing power used, not by user. With Dynamics NAV, costs add up. Dynamics NAV charges per user. These costs increase as your company grows. In addition, Dynamics NAV requires a license for SQL Server to run, where Acumatica can work not only with SQL Server, but also with less expensive databases, such as MySQL. Moreover, Acumatica works natively in the cloud, where Dynamics NAV requires a separate license for IIS for it to work in the cloud.

About Dynamics NAV

Dynamics NAV was originally developed in the 1980s. It was a great product then, and, although many improvements have been made over the years, it still uses the same proprietary code, the same data structures, and the same client-server architecture. Microsoft Dynamics NAV’s much older system architecture becomes an issue in scenarios designed for the latest technologies, including cloud deployment options, customizations using current development tools, and integration with CRM.

Conversely, Acumatica was designed from the start to be accessible through the cloud using current technology. This lets Acumatica offer more features and functions than Dynamics NAV and at a lower price. In addition, Acumatica offers a completely integrated ERP and CRM solution for the price of system resources, whether deployed on premise or in the cloud. And with Acumatica, you enjoy unlimited users. We believe Acumatica provides the best price/value, performance, functionality, and ease of use of any ERP product available for small- and medium-sized businesses.

In the end, we encourage you to perform due diligence when considering the purchase of any ERP system. Kick the tires. Ask questions. And look seriously at your business requirements over the next three to five years. Make sure you get the ERP system that is right for your company now and in the future.