April 11, 2024

Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud?


Joerg Rau, Head of Dynamics 365


The triggers for moving to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud are commonly around similar themes: flexibility to scale up and down, cost control, better integration with other core systems and tighter security.

[Updated April 2024]

Benefits of moving to Dynamics 365 Business Central

  • Scalability: As with any cloud solution, scalability is a huge factor. Business Central allows you to scale up and down easily.
  • Accessibility: Business Central and Microsoft Teams integration is only available in the cloud version (NB/ no license needed to read BC data, but required for edit, write, modify functionality).
  • Security: Microsoft has external audits on Business Central security (for their own certification purposes).
  • Integration: Easier to integrate with Microsoft 365, Office 365, Power Platform (including Power BI), so you can start using systems together immediately.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Typically lower upfront costs and cheaper to maintain. Lower IT burden with Microsoft handling maintenance and upgrades.
  • Data insights: Easy access to Power BI & other data visualisation tools. Some exciting updates coming up, including Excel Pivot tables within every list page – allowing you to analyse, filter and pivot within the page.

Plus, a word on Copilot

There’s plenty of buzz around Copilot, Microsoft’s new AI and natural language tool. Its use within Dynamics 365 will no doubt provide productivity and efficiency gains.

Extensions and customisations

  • Extensions are the way to manage customisations in Business Central. They’re available via AppSource (the marketplace).
  • This way of managing customisations is much better. It’s easy to add and remove extensions as you need.

Upgrade scenarios

  • Like For Like vs Clean Start.
  • In Like for Like, we convert all existing customisations.
  • In Clean Start, we move your environment and existing data to the cloud with no customisations, and then you work through your processes and list any gaps.
  • A 3rd option is to start entirely from scratch (a reimplementation). A rapid start data migration can bring over limited history or only Business Central related tables and fields.  

Can customisation be an issue when upgrading?

  • Usually, no, but Microsoft could introduce a ‘breaking change’ in the future that prevents your tenant from upgrading due to incompatible customisations.
  • A sandbox allows us to test your environment before these major upgrades. We also test new features via the feature management page before using them in a production environment.
  • In our experience, customisations are often unaffected. If they are, they're usually fixed in a couple of hours. The benefit of Business Central is that you can schedule upgrades when it suits you.


  • We have licensing specialists to guide you through your optimal set up.
  • See our slides for the full licensing breakdown.

Transition promotions

  • Bridge to Cloud 2 promotion (fixed 3-year team / 40% discount on standard list price). Talk to us about T&C’s.

Your next steps

Every migration looks different, so it’s always worth a conversation about how it can look for you. In terms of what you can expect, here’s some feedback from Accuro Health Insurance NZ:

“As a Theta client currently going through an on-prem NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud upgrade, I wanted to say what a great experience it’s been so far – very quick and easy to set up. I’ve been hugely impressed. We got our hands on the new system today, and it looks fantastic! Still some work to go, but we’re really looking forward to all the benefits the new system is going to give us at Accuro”.

Gain a more in depth look to how the migration process can look for you. View slide deck.

We look forward to helping your business move to Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud.

Talk to us about your migration