The new Microsoft Dynamics C5 2014 has just been announced. When released later this year it will be based on Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 which is also being released later this year. So far there has not been released too much details about what exactly will be included. But it will basically be a scaled down version of NAV, with a maximum of 3 users. The development system is said not to be open, but reports must be made using NAV’s standard 2013 R2 report designer.
Microsoft Dynamics C5 might not be known by too many of our members. But Dynamics C5 is one of the most popular ERP systems to small companies in Denmark. It is build on the same platform as Dynamics XAL – the predecessor of Dynamics AX developed by Damgaard Data. The current version is C5 2012. But the last couple of years C5 has lost a lot of market shares to e-conomic, a relative newcomer who in about 10 years have gone from 0 to almost 200,000 customers in a 100% cloud based solution.
For last number of years there has been rumors that Microsoft stop to develop and support C5 and that they instead would start to offer NAV with a licensing cost that could compete with e-conomic. But seen from the side-line, then I believe that the main problem why we haven’t seen this until now, is that C5 includes special features like online bank integration. Something which only has been available as a rather expensive add-on, costing more than the C5 license in itself. NAV 2013 R2 changes this with the new/updated Cash Management module, where these new features to import/export payments, bank statements etc. now is standard. And with Denmark as the first country where all the national banks are supported out-of-the-box.
So now you also know why NAV 2013 R2 supports the Danish formats and not those in much bigger markets in Europe.
You might remember a number of years back Microsoft introduced a product they called Entrepreneur. This was a special version of NAV targeted toward the same segment as C5, one to three users (or did Entrepreneur allow up to 5 users – I don’t remember), no access to the development system etc. But it was not only a scaled down version of NAV. It was basically an entirely new application, just using Navision as the platform. Upgrades to standard NAV was therefor not possible. To say it mildly, then Entrepreneur never became the success Microsoft wanted, and it was discontinued after a few years. I don’t think Microsoft will do the same mistake again. It is expected that C5 2014 will be based on the exact same codebase as NAV, just with a version which functionally is limited through the license, and with a new set of role centers made especially for Danish companies.
Many of the bigger C5 partners have already started offering standard NAV to their clients as an alternative to bigger C5 clients (some C5 clients has almost 50 users). So for them C5 2014 will not be a challenge. But for the rest then the C5 2012 to C5 2014 change will be big. Nothing is going to be as it used to be for them. Personally I have so far helped three former C5 partners, in their transition to become a NAV partner. And one thing they all agrees to is that NAV is much more complex than C5, it takes much more time to do everything in NAV, but you can do everything in NAV, which you can’t in C5.
I hope that Microsoft is going to be successful with this new Dynamics C5 2014.
And I welcome all C5 2014 users and professionals into the Dynamics User Group. You will be able to use the existing Dynamics NAV foras, just remember to write that you’re using C5 2014.
Users of C5 2012 and previous version are of course also welcome, but please use the special Danish forum for these older versions of C5. The same forum to be used regarding other special Danish features.
As Mark writes in his blog post (link above), then NAV 2013 R2 has a whole set of "mini" pages (range 1300 to 1399), which will be used by a "Small Business" role center profile. These mini pages holds more simplified view of for example the customers and vendors, and also have functions to make it easier to create new customers etc.
I have been using C5 for many years, and also economics. Both were very easy to use and I'm really curios to see if this "new" C5 will be just as easy. Because I find that NAV compared to these two systems is very complex. Sometimes I feel that I'm almost drowning in NAV's many different options.
Will it still be possible for C5 users to go add-ons such as C5 Løn (Payroll) and will they be useable with NAV 2013 R2 as well? I ask because I used to use C5 Løn, which is much easier to use than the other payroll system for NAV (Lessor).