Why Companies Migrate from Dynamics GP to Business Central
Should you migrate from Dynamics GP to Business Central? Here are the top reasons why companies make the switch. Plus, some factors you should keep in mind.
Since its inception, Business Central has been a modern choice for companies looking to adopt cutting-edge new functionalities. While some companies using Dynamics GP may be satisfied with the status quo, for the time being, others might want to consider Business Central for the added functionality it provides as well as the numerous benefits it offers small and mid-sized businesses. If you’re evaluating a migration from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central, this article will highlight some essential factors and considerations you should consider before making the decision.
Top 8 Reasons Why Companies Migrate from Dynamics GP to Business Central
Some potential reasons to migrate from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central are as follows:
A primary reason to shift from Dynamics GP to Business Central is the latter’s low infrastructure and maintenance costs. Business Central uses a full SaaS ERP model and has a lower entry cost than Dynamics GP (usually provided on a perpetual license paid up-front.) Business Central operates on a subscription-based model that offers greater flexibility in terms of software licensing and eliminates the need for third-party products, dedicated IT resources, costly upgrades, annual maintenance fees, and upkeep for hardware and other components. The costs are also more predictable due to the fixed monthly price.
Business Central is fully integrated with popular third-party cloud applications, including Office 365, Microsoft 365 (Word, Excel, Teams, Outlook, SharePoint), and Microsoft Power Platform (Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents, ML/AI). If there is no integration to an application intended to be used, users can easily build one through Business Central’s development environment. Business Central can also integrate with other Dynamics 365 solutions such as Sales, Customer Service, Human Resources, and more. Though Dynamics GP can also be integrated with Power BI or CRM, specialized resources, tailored implementation, and additional costs are needed.
Robust Reporting Options
While Dynamics GP features standard reporting tools like Jet Reports and Management Reporter, some users have reported operational reporting challenges. In contrast, Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers insights and advanced reporting capabilities with in-built Power BI dashboards, enabling users to consolidate data from multiple sources. Management can view their customized dashboards, analyze data, and generate reports instead of relying on other resources.
Intuitive User Interface
Another reason why many users consider migrating from Dynamics GP to Business Central is the modern user interface. Though the interface of Dynamics GP is easy to use, the user-friendly and intuitive look of the Business Central solution has increased its demand among GP users. This UI unifies the look and feel of all Dynamic 365 products and offers intelligent notifications, role-focused views, and tailored feeds. Pre-configured dashboards are available, or they can be customized on the fly to unique requirements without any third-party add-ons, unlike GP.
Enhanced Analytics for In-depth Insights
Though Dynamics GP can offer analytics for insights when connected to the cloud, Business Central takes the lead. It includes Business Insights, which provide users with predictive insights, powerful dashboards and reports, and more. With the Power Platform, Business Central helps generate more precise forecasts and detailed and valuable analytical insights.
GP has many functionalities to offer, such as core financials, eBanking, Inventory Tracking, Fixed Assets, Payroll, Multi-currency, and Manufacturing and Services. It can integrate with CRM but with much-customized implementation. In contrast, Business Central delivers more flexibility with its core financials as compared to GP and Multiple Entities, Purchase Orders, Warehouse Management, and Inventory Tracking. Users can also gain functionalities with premium licensing, such as service payroll through apps and integrated budget functionality.
Easier, Predictable Upgrades
Among other reasons for migrating from Dynamics GP to Business Central are upgrades. Upgrades are typically expensive and time-consuming with on-premises solutions, especially if the current solution is several versions behind. Being cloud-hosted, Microsoft automatically releases enhancements, bug fixes, and updates for Business Central online. As a cloud solution, you can expect regularly scheduled updates and need minimal time and money to complete. At present, Microsoft is rolling out two major updates of Business Central, in addition to other minor updates. For Dynamics GP, it pushes only one release every two years or so.
IT Teams managing on-premises GP usually juggle security on protecting hardware and software from unauthorized access, managing data backups, and keeping up with security fixes for applications from Microsoft. In contrast, Business Central is hosted in the Microsoft Cloud. So, small and mid-sized businesses don’t have to be concerned about upgrading server software or managing other security concerns as Microsoft’s team handles everything. Sensitive business data is stored in state-of-the-art data centers, owned and managed by Microsoft. Business Central uses Azure AD as an authentication method. In addition, it encrypts the customers’ data using TDE (Transparent Data Encryption) and backup encryption.
To Migrate or Not: Some Factors to Keep in Mind
While Business Central can help you leverage the many benefits of cloud ERP for your business, there are some important considerations that your company should focus on during the evaluation stage.
Dynamics GP’s Future
Before determining whether to continue with Dynamics GP, a company needs to understand the future of Dynamics GP. Microsoft has introduced a Modern Lifecycle Policy for GP, which offers continuous support and services based on your software version. This is to say, it is not discontinuing the product by any means. Dynamics GP can be hosted on-premises or in the cloud. Its users can enjoy continuous support, including the latest features and enhancements, only if they install at least one GP update annually. However, it is not a true cloud ERP, and Microsoft has clearly stated that there are no plans to make it one.
Your Company Objectives & Goals
Your organization should have a clear understanding of its current state and future business objectives. Learn what your business plans to achieve in a specific time period and determine whether Dynamics GP can meet those milestones and objectives. For instance, if you know your business is looking at rapid growth in the near future, Business Central may offer a better solution as it is more flexible and easier to scale.
True Cloud ERP vs. Hosted Cloud
Microsoft has heavily invested in the cloud and made it clear that there will be no true-cloud version of Dynamics GP. A true cloud application has various distinct benefits over standard, on-premises models used by Dynamics GP, such as advanced security, round-the-clock access, reduced cost, better scalability, and easier upgrades. These are some of the many benefits that a true SaaS ERP solution offers and should be considered when deciding to migrate from GP to Business Central.
Perks of Staying with Microsoft
If a company considers migrating from Dynamics GP to Business Central, it gets an incredible opportunity to leverage the capabilities of Microsoft Azure and Power Platform, exclusive offers for existing Dynamics customers, and the technologies like AI and ML. In addition, Business Central’s full integration with other Microsoft products will offer flexibility to address varied business needs. Some tools are also available which enable the migration of GP data and transaction history to the latest Business Central Online version. This makes the process of changing systems quite easy.
Got Questions? Kwixand Solutions Can Help
Migrating from Dynamics GP to Business Central is a big decision. Seek expert help for any questions that may arise during this process. A Dynamics 365 Business Central partner can help you understand what a migration would look like and whether Business Central is right for your company. Even if a company hasn’t decided to migrate yet, a good partner can help you with the ERP selection stage by identifying the current state of your business to preparing a criterion for a new ERP solution, assessing existing infrastructure, and more. Get in touch with Kwixand Solutions if you have any questions or need help getting started with Business Central.