What Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and Should You Switch?

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Microsoft has long been a leader in business solutions, and their Dynamics solutions: Dynamics GP, Dynamics SL, and Dynamics NAV, have gone through many iterations as they keep up with improving technology and changing business processes. Now Microsoft is offering its newest solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and users are wondering if this is the time to make a change. You might be wondering: Will your current Dynamics solution be supported in the future? How does Dynamics 365 compare to your current solution? What advantages does Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) offer?

The Microsoft Dynamics family

There are similarities between Microsoft’s most widely used ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions, but there are also differences. What you want is the right tool for the job.

Microsoft Dynamics GP

Dynamics GP, purchased from Great Plains Software in 2000, was designed for small and mid-sized businesses. It’s been going strong all these years, and there is no sign that it will be phased out.  Microsoft recently announced its commitment to Dynamics GP referring to future versions as “GP Next,” which will include ongoing development and new features based on customer feedback.

Microsoft Dynamics SL

Dynamics SL is a project-based ERP with a connection to Microsoft Office Project Server. Also designed for small and mid-sized businesses, Dynamics SL helps with managing customer demands, meeting compliance regulations, and delivering timely services. Unlike Dynamics GP, which provides finance, accounting, processing, supply chain, and distribution tools typically used by the retail industry, Dynamics SL is best for businesses that focus on project-based work. Dynamics SL merges project management software with accounting capabilities.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Dynamics NAV, also designed for small and mid-sized businesses, provides full ERP functionality including finance, manufacturing, CRM (customer relationship management), supply chain, analytics, and ecommerce. Dynamics NAV has been Microsoft’s flagship ERP product adopted by businesses in nearly 200 countries. In the spring of 2018, Microsoft rebranded Dynamics NAV as Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) and stopped marketing Dynamics NAV to new clients.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 BC was going to be a whole new offering until Microsoft decided to rebrand Dynamics NAV, bring in Dynamics CRM, and offer the whole package also as a Cloud solution. Now users can have a completely integrated cloud-based solution allowing them to navigate easily between sales (CRM) and financials (ERP).


How to choose the best solution

Now that you understand the Microsoft Dynamics products, you’ll have to decide which path is best for you. Consider the following:

1. If you’d like to remain with Dynamics GP:

You should upgrade to the 2019 version of Dynamics GP. Mainstream support is promised until 2023 and extended support until 2028. Check out Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud Insights, an assisted setup wizard that helps on-premise users configure their own cloud environment.

2. If you’d like to continue with Dynamics SL:

It is believed that Dynamics SL will not be supported in the future, and there will be no new versions. You could upgrade to Dynamics SL 2018 which offers better support and security. You can choose to migrate balances, master data, and open transactions to Dynamics 365 Business Central and take advantage of Business Central’s Cloud capabilities.

3. If like Dynamics NAV:

Dynamics 365 Business Central is the latest version of Dynamics NAV. Dynamics BC is a Cloud solution, but you can opt to keep it on premises, and you will still be able to upgrade your solution.

If you decide to delay the upgrade, you still can purchase new licenses and receive support from Microsoft until 2028.  If you choose not to upgrade and to remain with your Dynamics NAV solution, be sure to keep your Business Ready Enhancement Plan up to date.

4. If you want to migrate to Dynamics 365 BC

Many Microsoft customers are choosing to move up to Dynamics 365 BC. Because it integrates Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM, it provides a comprehensive, easy-to-use business management system that provides better company-wide connections through the Cloud and greater business insights using enhanced data and analytics. Note that there is no upgrade path from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 BC. An implementation rather than an upgrade would be required

As a Microsoft Gold-certified partner, BroadPoint has a team of experienced professionals who can help you achieve outstanding business results with whichever Microsoft Dynamics ERP product you choose. We have expertise with the full range of Microsoft's Dynamics products and can help you choose the one that’s right for your business.

To speak with one of our experts, contact BroadPoint.

By BroadPoint, www.broadpoint.net

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