Cost Comparison Considerations of Dynamics GP versus Dynamics Business Central

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Let's clear some things up.

A lot of people are making cost comparisons between Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics Business Central. But this hot topic is creating a lot of misunderstandings. Rumors are going around that leave users walking away with wrong ideas.

We're here to squash the rumors and give you straightforward answers. So really, what should you consider when comparing the cost between Dynamics GP and Dynamics Business Central?

Dynamics GP vs Dynamics Business Central License Cost

Comparing the cost of Dynamics GP versus Dynamics Business Central is not as easy as comparing just the price of user licenses. There are other factors to consider.

Dynamics GP

Dynamics GP is a concurrent-user license setup at the cost of $3500 per user. 

The Good:

  • You could set up dozens of users, but if you pay for five licenses, you can have five people working in Dynamics GP at the same time.

 The Not So Good:

  • Add-ons in Dynamics GP will be at extra cost.
  • Higher levels of functionality such as Project Accounting, Field Service, and Manufacturing can cost as much as $10,000 above the base price.
  • Dynamics GP is an older product. Therefore, any updates, upgrades, and troubleshooting will need to be done hands-on. This means you will have to factor in the cost to pay your partner to maintain it. This can be a significant cost, especially for companies running payroll in Dynamics GP.

Dynamics Business Central

Business Central is named user license at the cost of $70 per user. User licenses are controlled in Active Directory, and everyone set up as a full user of the system must have a license.

The Good:

  • Dynamics Business Central includes more functionality out of the box. The base price of $70 dollars a month includes the base application and many other tools that Dynamics GP does not include in the base price, such as Project Accounting. Manufacturing and Field Service are available for only an additional $30 per user per month.
  • All updates are done in the background, so no extra cash goes to paying someone to maintain Business Central.

The Not So Good:

  • As a named user license, access can not be shared with other individuals. However, you can have users that only enter time or run reports that do not need a full license. Your Dynamics Business Central can help you get creative and figure out the right licensing types for each user.

Clearing up the Rumors

Rumor: Business Central is a New Product With Limited App Capabilities

The Truth: Dynamics Business Central is not a new or untested product. It is based on a tried and true product called Microsoft Navision that has been around for at least as long as Dynamics GP (initially called Great Plains).

Business Central is a fully functioning and tested application that is ready to use. Business Central is just as capable as Dynamics GP. If you can do it with GP, you can do it with Business Central.

Rumor: Business Central Is an Upgrade from GP

The Truth: Business Central has new technical capabilities making it a more modern solution. But it is NOT an upgrade from Dynamics GP.

An upgrade would be an improvement on a previous product. Business Central is an entirely different software with a different structure and a different configuration from Dynamics GP. That

What this means for you: Being a different software altogether means it is a completely new implementation that requires a full discovery and installation process, just as it would be if you purchased any other new ERP product. Depending on the complexity of your business, you may need to budget at least 40-60 hours just for the discovery process to make sure it is configured correctly.

Should Your Organization Move From Dynamics GP to Dynamics Business Central?

 Maybe: It depends on a number of factors for your organization and should be discussed with your Dynamics Partner. If you say, "Dynamics GP is not working well," try to get to the bottom of why Dynamics GP does not fit your needs before you consider changing systems.

  • Are these changes that can be made in Dynamics GP?
  • Could it be that your consultant doesn't know the software well?
  • Or do you need a more modern solution that is already set up for today's workspace and runs in the cloud without server costs?

Don't follow the crowd! If someone tells you that Dynamics GP can't do something, take it upon yourself to do the research. Dynamics GP, like Business Central, is capable of an incredible amount of things. There is almost nothing that can't be done with a little creativity.

What you need to keep in mind before upgrading: None of Microsoft's applications are "plug and play." Like many other ERP systems, Business Central needs to be configured for use by your organization. So if your current Dynamics GP system has setup issues and you don't do a full discovery on setup processes in Business Central, you will encounter many of the same frustrations.

Don't Believe Every Word

People will give you their advice on just about everything if you let them. But don't naively believe every word. It is up to you to do your research and find a reliable source to tell you what is true and what is not.

It is common to hear things like, "Dynamics GP doesn't do that" or "Dynamics Business Central doesn't do this." In my experience, this is not the case. It may be that the consultant you're working with doesn't know the software and will either tell you it has to be customized, or it just doesn't do it. Make sure that when you are working with someone, they're extremely knowledgeable about the product you are working with and/or evaluating.

It is not easy to give a direct cost comparison between Dynamics Business Central and Dynamics GP. There are many things to take into account. To know what's best for you, talk to an expert -- one that is unbiased and is fully knowledgeable of both products.

Find a Dynamics Partner You Can Trust

Here at Aisling Dynamics, we are committed to both Dynamics GP and Dynamics Business Central. We can offer you advice that you can really trust. We invite you to book a consultation with Aisling Dynamics to take the next step in finding the truth.

By Jo deRuiter, Aisling Dynamics

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