Recently, Microsoft announced a new concept related to its Microsoft Dynamics NAV enterprise resource planning platform. The idea is called Project Madeira after the Portuguese island territory – and referencing the previous codename of the next NAV release still in development. It’s a service that will likely take NAV further into the cloud. Many partners of NAV seem upbeat over this development, as reported by MSDynamicsWorld, especially given the developer seems intent on keeping them informed on the creation of this service. With this in mind, manufacturers may have much to gain from Madeira, even if it’s not necessarily a new form of the ERP software.

Productivity and ERP, working together seamlessly
In the announcement, Microsoft described Project Madeira not as the next release of NAV, but an evolution of the Azure cloud computing platform, which the ERP program can run on. It serves as a connection between business platforms such as NAV and the productivity tools found in Office 365. Given its presence on Azure, the project will be Web-accessible and also function through apps on Windows, iOS and Android. It will go live in the U.S. in the second half of 2016, with Canada expected to follow shortly thereafter.

The idea of Madeira is to provide a seamless experience whenever businesses need to complete processes on any of their applications. For example, invoices by manufacturers after a completed order can all occur within Outlook without having to switch between the main NAV application and the mail program. This allows workers to quickly jump on the software without necessarily training for NAV at first. All they need is to understand Office, one of the most common applications on computers today.

MSDynamicsWorld noted that while Project Madeira isn’t Dynamics NAV, it’s built on NAV technology. That’s of no surprise, given that the most recent major release, NAV 2015, began Office 365 integration in the cloud. This will be very helpful for small- and mid-sized manufacturers for a couple of reasons. The first is that it will make it easier to transition from an inefficient solution such as spreadsheets or paper to a full-fledged ERP platform with minimal cost. The second is that it will be much more seamless to complete tasks, especially as it will function with mobile devices and with support from many NAV extensions. Finally, it will help them run operations more effectively by creating new opportunities for efficiency.

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