Why To Upgrade Dynamics NAV To Business Central?
Are you still using Dynamics NAV? If so, it’s time to upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Stop dealing with limited system configurations when it’s time for a new system that accepts modern operational practices for greater scalability. Revive your business with advanced finance management, automation capabilities, enhanced security, and one-click integration with apps in the Dynamics 365 ecosystem.
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If you are looking for a way to avail advanced ERP capabilities that can simplify business operations and offer a great customer experience, upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central is the best decision you can make for your business.
Businesses are going through a paradigm shift of changing market demands and customer expectations. Microsoft has been working steadily to upgrade its ERP solutions to align with diverse business requirements.
Offering on-premises ERP to cloud-based solutions, Microsoft understands different sections of ERP users to offer them the most aligned, reliable, and robust business solutions. Dynamics 365 Business Central is one such solution that comes with cutting-edge technologies adequate for small and medium-sized businesses.
With advanced ERP functionality and standard CRM capabilities, Business Central has all the features that you need to grow your business and scale at a rapid rate. Before getting into the details of Business Central and why you should upgrade, let’s understand its history.
History Of Business Central
“Dynamics 365 Business Central is an upgraded version of Dynamics NAV.”
Built on the infrastructure of NAV, Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based ERP solution specifically built to streamline the business operations of SMBs. In 2018, Microsoft released the last NAV version and later redefined it with Business Central.
NAV is an on-premises ERP solution with limited functionalities for modern business processes. Capable of connecting different departments and processes, NAV is flexible and can be customised up to a limited extent to become a perfect fit for a business.
With time, Dynamics NAV has become outdated due to its obsolete tools and features required for modern businesses. Microsoft understands the urgent need for businesses and has introduced Business Central as an ERP solution from the Dynamics 365 suite of applications.
BC comes with some advanced features and benefits for its users that oblige businesses to upgrade.
Business Central Features: Top Reasons to Upgrade
Business Central has a lot to offer for all modern businesses, regardless of the industry. From offering global access to the entire business to lowering the cost of ownership, Business Central can be your perfect ERP solution.
When we compare the NAV with Business Central, there are various features that make the reason for upgrading concise and clear. Below are some of the important reasons you should check out before opting for a Dynamics NAV to Business Central upgrade.
Flexible Deployment Options
Avail flexible server deployment options based on the operations of your business. Choose from cloud, on-premises, and hybrid deployment options to give your business superiority over others.
Access the Data – Anywhere and Anytime
Employ the Business Central cloud to access your data from anywhere and anytime using an internet connection. Business Central is responsive that allows users to access data using a web browser, mobile app, or native application.
Update or Upgrade BC at Ease
Business Central makes system upgrades or updates faster, smoother, and simpler. All upgrades or updates are managed by Microsoft at no cost, eliminating the need to chase and pay the support partner.
Full Security of you Data
Your data is secure with Microsoft Azure, the trusted cloud platform for all Dynamics 365 solutions. Azure has 90+ security certifications to protect your data.
Data Safety That You Can Rely On
Disaster recovery, database recovery, and access to the Microsoft Global Response Team come as standard features in BC, unlike in NAV, where businesses have to pay a hefty amount for these features.
Utilise the Business Central Extension Technology to integrate any application available in the Dynamics 365 ecosystem with just a click. You can even integrate third-party solutions using easy connectors and APIs.
Licenses – Cost Effective and Simple
NAV is available based on perpetual licenses. But Microsoft has simplified the Business Central licencing plans that are available on a monthly subscription basis based on the number of users.
Lower Cost of Ownership
NAV has various additional costs, including the Business Ready Enhancement Plan (BREP) from Microsoft, annual partner support, and other costs associated with running your existing system. Reduce your total cost of ownership by up to 50% by switching to Business Central, as these services come standard with it.
Obtain Higher ROI
Leverage the power of AI to automate tasks and streamline processes to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase revenue, leading to a higher ROI.
Is it necessary to Upgrade to Business Central?
The simple answer is - it depends on the issues you are facing with your ERP and business requirements. However, upgrading or implementing an ERP solution is a matter of proper research and planning that can take days or months to execute.
As per the latest updates, Microsoft has stopped mainstream support for all NAV versions and will soon stop extended support as well. If the support for your NAV version has also been ended, you don’t need to worry, as it isn’t mandatory to upgrade to BC.
Neither Microsoft nor its support partners are pressuring any of the businesses to upgrade Dynamics NAV to Business Central, regardless of the version. We have clients working on Dynamics NAV 2009 who are perfectly satisfied with the performance they are getting.
However, there is always a need for improvement or performance enhancement. For such businesses that don’t want to upgrade but want some tweaks, we are here to support you, irrespective of the complexity of the business.
Maybe the actual issues you are facing are with your partner, not with the solution. If so, you may need to consider switching to a better support partner rather than upgrading your existing solution. Getting the right support will always let you focus on your business's scalability and growth.
On the other hand, you also need to consider a major factor: you wouldn’t be able to get any kind of update or upgrade after the end of mainstream and extended support. It means you wouldn’t be able to get any of the system upgrades, bug fixes, and security patches. Though, in any scenario, we are available to support your NAV version until you are willing to use it.
If you are building long-term growth strategies for your business, considering the Business Central Cloud upgrade for accepting technological advancement and focused business growth is always the best option. You will be amazed at the benefits of utilising the functionalities of Business Central.
What Does Upgrading to Cloud Servers Means?
Cloud technology is the future; we know this and accept it too. Nowadays, cloud technology is booming, and everyone wants to be a part of it. Organisations are adopting such technological advancements to improve their current operational flow and accelerate organisational movements to attain sustainable growth.
Cloud server deployment empowers the business to get a 360-degree holistic view of the business. It centralises the data across different departments, operations, and add-ons, leveraging AI to drive effective communication with customers and vendor partners.
Let’s see how cloud technology can transform your business:
1. Enhanced Customer Service:
Cloud-based solutions enable businesses to provide exceptional customer service by:
- Real-time Engagement: AI-powered chatbots can respond to customer queries promptly, even outside of business hours.
- Seamless Support: Cloud-based customer support platforms streamline ticket management and provide quick resolution to customer issues.
- Personalized Interactions: Cloud-based analytics tools help businesses understand customer behavior and preferences, enabling personalized interactions.
2. Data-Driven Decision Making:
Cloud technology facilitates effective data management and analysis, empowering businesses to:
- Accessibility: Cloud storage ensures easy access to data from anywhere, anytime, enabling real-time insights.
- Scalability: Cloud infrastructure can handle growing data volumes without performance bottlenecks.
- Advanced Analytics: Cloud-based analytics tools provide powerful data analysis capabilities for informed decision-making.
3. Operational Efficiency:
Cloud technology streamlines business processes, leading to:
- Real-time Visibility: Cloud-based systems provide real-time visibility into business operations, enabling proactive decision-making.
- Improved Collaboration: Cloud-based platforms facilitate seamless collaboration across departments, enhancing efficiency.
- Error Reduction: Cloud-based systems automate tasks, reducing human error and improving process accuracy.
4. Productivity Boost:
Cloud technology eliminates repetitive tasks and empowers employees to:
- Focus on Core Operations: Employees can focus on value-adding activities, boosting productivity and innovation.
- Enhance Agility: Cloud-based solutions enable rapid adaptation to changing market demands.
- Empower Remote Work: Cloud technology facilitates remote work, expanding the talent pool and enhancing workforce flexibility.
When to upgrade from NAV to Business Central?
There is no fixed time for the NAV-to-BC upgrade. What you need to do is analyse your existing business requirements. When you feel that it’s time to enhance the system's capabilities to meet the changing requirements of a business, it’s time to upgrade. Analyse the below points to find the right time for the Business Central upgrade.
Increasing Operational Requirements:
As businesses grow, their operational needs expand, placing greater demands on their ERP systems. An outdated system may struggle to handle the increased volume of data and transactions, leading to inefficiencies and performance issues.
Data-Driven Decision Making:
Modern ERP systems like Business Central provide advanced data analytics capabilities, enabling businesses to extract valuable insights from their data. This data-driven approach empowers businesses to make informed decisions that improve operational efficiency and optimise resource allocation.
Streamlined Processes and Integrated Reporting:
Business Central offers a unified platform to manage all aspects of business operations, eliminating the need for multiple unconnected systems. This integrated approach streamlines workflows, improves data consistency, and enables the creation of comprehensive reports that support better decision-making.
Enhanced Sales Forecasting and Supply Chain Management:
Business Central provides robust sales forecasting tools that help businesses predict demand more accurately. It also offers advanced supply chain management capabilities, enabling businesses to optimise inventory levels, streamline logistics, and manage complex supply chains effectively.
Project Management Continuity:
Business Central's project management module provides a centralised platform to plan, execute, and track projects effectively. This ensures continuity across projects, improves collaboration, and enhances project success rates.
What are the strategies for NAV to BC Upgrade?
In general, there are two major strategies you can opt for a successful NAV to BC upgrade. However, choosing the most reliable strategy depends on your business requirements.
Preserve Entire Data
Choose this option if you want to carry forward your entire business data, including integrations and customizations. It means that you can carry over your master data and historical data to the new implementation.
Preserve Selected Data
You can go with this strategy if you want to move the essential business data to the new implementation. It means you can carry the master data as it contains information that includes the data of vendors, customers, items, employers, a financial sheet, and more.
Before opting for a strategy, you need to analyse the existing data available in NAV. Once you finalise what you need to carry forward and what you need to leave, you can move ahead.
Analysing System Requirements for the Upgrade
Every enterprise includes a set of different operational practices and could have specific business goals to be obtained. Hence, analyse your current as well as demanding business requirements in terms of:
- User Analysis: Understanding the number of current and future users, their roles, and access requirements is essential for planning the appropriate licencing and infrastructure.
- Current NAV Environment: Identifying the current NAV version, upgrade history, and the need for a fresh start or data migration is crucial for planning the upgrade approach.
- Third-party Integrations and Add-ons: Analysing existing third-party integrations and add-ons, as well as the need for future integrations or customizations, is important to ensure compatibility and functionality after the upgrade.
- Customizations Evaluation: Assessing the current customizations and potential new ones, considering their impact on operational flow and business requirements, is essential for a smooth transition.
- Data Storage Considerations: Evaluating the current data storage capacity and future needs, particularly with increasing data volumes, is important to ensure adequate storage infrastructure.
Process of NAV to BC Upgrade: Simple and Efficient
The entire process for the Business Central upgrade takes place in five major steps, which are:
Once you move towards implementing Business Central, the first step for your consultation partner is to thoroughly analyse the existing NAV ERP system. We, at Dynamics Square, prefer on-site analysis over remote analysis of the Microsoft ERP system to understand all processes, existing functionalities, and areas for improvement.
Once we have the required data, we will build a FRD (functional requirement document) and GAP-FIT document based on existing capabilities and expected capabilities from Business Central.
- FRD: It is a written document submitted by the client to the partner that contains the data on tools, add-ons, and system capabilities required by the business. You can also understand it as standard business requirements from an ERP solution.
- GAP-FIT Document: It is a document submitted by the partner to the client that states the availability of tools and functionality in Business Central based on the client’s requirements. Let’s take an example where the business asked for 100 capabilities, whereas the standard implementation of Business Central can only supply 90 capabilities. Here, 10 capabilities are the gap, where 90 are fit. Now, the partner and the client will categorise the gap into two different sections: nice-to-have features and business-critical features.
In this step, your Business Central partner will design the technical architecture of the ERP system based on approved documentation. Also, solutions will be crafted on the basis of desired integrations and customizations.
Once we have the design strategy, a set of technical and functional consultants will start to build the ERP solution based on the organisation’s unique needs. After building the solution, we will internally check the solution on different parameters to measure its effectiveness and efficiency.
UAT (User Acceptance Testing)
This is an essential step and requires the involvement of the users. In this, we will ensure whether the users are comfortable with the solution or not. In the event of an additional requirement, bug, or issue, we will eliminate all the issues before handling the solution for testing with the users.
When we find the system perfect for the business, we will offer it to the business in a testing environment so that they can test all tools and functionalities before the go-live process.
Go Live and Support
When you give us the green flag, we will start the process to live in Business Central, preferably on weekends. After the go-live, we will offer you on-site and remote training for 7 days so that they can learn the workings and functionality of all features and tools for proper utilisation of Business Central.
However, in case of any need after making Business Central live, we are just a call away. Let us assure you that there won’t be any need to trace or track us to seek help. Whenever there is an issue, pick up the phone and call us.
Why Choose Dynamics Square as your Dynamics 365 Partner?
With 500+ global clients and 150+ technical consultants, we have become a customer-oriented business that focuses on resolving issues with the best, most reliable, and most cost-effective solution.
As a reputed Dynamics 365 partner, we are proficient in working with the older versions of Dynamics NAV and understand where it needs improvement. With years of experience and expertise in the Dynamics 365 solution, we will align the ERP to support your unique business in all aspects. Our qualified Dynamics 365 specialists will support you in utilising the features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and optimising your business to deliver outstanding results.
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