Legacy accounting systems like Dynamics GP no longer cut it for today’s data-driven small businesses. As companies scale to midmarket size and beyond, limitations become painfully apparent – rigid reporting, disjointed workflows, manual double entry producing errors.
Yet after decades on GP, uprooting to modernize financial infrastructure completely sounds daunting despite pressing pains. Knowing when and how to upgrade platforms perplexes even advanced controllers and CFOs.
Cloud competitor Dynamics 365 Business Central rapidly emerges as the next-gen migration path to seamlessly centralize back office functions without sacrificing customizations. In this post, we’ll showcase how Business Central’s expanded architecture, native intelligence, and intuitive interface translate into quantifiable productivity and profitability improvements.
Whether evaluating for scalability, global operations, or overall modernization, we present a business case revealing the operational and financial benefits of finally leaving GP behind. The vital signs point to BC – here’s why it may be time to switch.
The Need for Migration
Many SMBs first adopted Dynamics GP when on-premise servers dominated before cloud ERPs material Requirements Planning existed. Running finance and operations on legacy GP served businesses at stable status quo.
Yet now disruptive events like remote work mandates, ecommerce expansions, or acquisitions surface functionality gaps holding companies back from entering mid-market growth territory. What inherent GP constraints inhibit scaling, and how specifically does Business Central lift limiting ceilings?
GP Scalability Headaches
Limited feature sets suited only for basic accounting preclude advanced needs like project/service management or CX analyses emerging for larger firms. Bolting various disparate apps onto GP usually fails to integrate data flows seamlessly.
Confined customization flexibility makes modifying legacy dynamics cumbersome to match workflow changes, unlike adjusting agile SaaS platforms.
On-prem hosting requires internal IT resources rather than leveraging cloud accessibility and reliability, draining budgets better spent on strategic initiatives versus maintaining servers.
Manual processes like entering the same data across sales/purchase/inventory modules waste employee hours better invested in analyzing insights when platforms automatically sync in real time.
The Future Calls for Centralizing
Today’s anywhere operations demand unified visibility from centralized dashboards versus fragmented data requiring manual roll-ups prone to inaccuracy.
Real-time global commerce needs scalable ERPs consolidating international financials, multi-currency transactions, and on-time tax compliance – areas where on-prem GP falls short.
Integrating predictive BI, IoT feeds, and other intelligent tools requires modern architectures GP lacks as cadaver code.
Mobilizing sales teams through CX-optimized apps surpasses GP’s functionality created before smartphones.
Beyond future-proofing functionality, migrating from GP to Business Central considerably cuts costs through:
No More Perpetual Licenses
Eliminate substantial upfront capital expenditures on client access licenses and disruptive version upgrade purchase fees by switching to BC’s straightforward per-user monthly subscriptions.
Scales to Needs
Right-sized plans are based on specific user count needs rather than paying for full suites only Fortune 500s require. Add/subtract subscriptions fluidly as staffing pivots.
Infrastructure Expenses Evaporated
Forget large installations and hands-on server management by having BC live securely in Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Effortlessly spin more environments for testing without more equipment.
Internal Task Automation
Let BC handle data synchronizations and reporting roll-ups that bog down managers, freeing them to focus on strategic objectives versus manual tasks prone to human error.
IT Cost Avoidance
With infrastructure and updates, Microsoft is now responsible for liberating the budget to support overworked IT departments maintaining GP’s gradually antiquated codebase.
In a 2022 Nucleus Research study analyzing BC vs. GP TCO, the total cost of ownership proved to be, on average, 55% lower over five years. Beyond the price tag bottom line, organizations realized substantial indirect savings through:
- Increased user productivity – $416,000+
- Reduced IT expenses – $250,000+
- Higher revenue gains with scalability – $195,000+
Clearly, once productivity, opportunity costs, and IT demands enter the evaluation, Business Central decisively surpasses GP strictly from a value perspective, even before weighing next-gen performance benefits, elevating enterprises to new heights. The verdict is in – migrating unlocks significant monetary upside.
Beyond balancing the books, Business Central introduces dozens of features to upgrade workflows for maximal productivity:
Error-Free Data Exchange
Natively integrate Excel to input volumes of rows without manual typing or clunky imports. Template past transactions for fast, accurate duplication. Effortlessly export custom reports refreshed automatically versus emailing static exports. Say goodbye to reformatting misaligned data piecemeal!
Optimized Insights Access
Dynamic Power BI dashboards within the interface provide real-time visual intelligence at a glance – no longer waiting days for outdated static reports. Click straight through to the impacted record behind any concerning metric.
Business Central lives on the cloud, so enhancements are consistently released to manage local servers without disruptive patches. Focus on objectives, knowing the system continuously improves.
Unlike confined on-prem apps, securely access BC’s responsive web and mobile experiences anytime, anywhere work move you for consistent communication and documentation.
But above all transformative BC features, Edit in Excel offers controllers a long-awaited gift – directly manipulating live data from appended rows to sales pipeline changes in a comfortable spreadsheet view.
Say an acquisition requires adding 50 new SKUs. Paste all into BC’s item list, then export it correctly formatted without dependency tickets.
Have new hires requiring 10 customized permission trims? Filter to essential fields only; make tweaks en masse before syncing updated access. Especially when migrating data assets or needing mass record creation/editing, Edit in Excel delivers data authority, ease, and accuracy that is nearly impossible within rigid GP.
Cloud-Based SaaS Advantages
The transition from GP (Great Plains) to Business Central brings a transformational shift from on-premises systems to the cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) model.
This move doesn’t just represent a technology change; it’s a strategic decision that can shape your organization’s future. Let’s dive into the advantages of embracing the cloud through Business Central.
Scalability Beyond Imagination
One of the standout features of Business Central as a SaaS solution is its scalability. With on-premises systems like GP, you’re often bound by your hardware and infrastructure limitations. Expanding your operations might mean hefty investments in new servers and IT resources, leading to downtime and increased costs.
On the other hand, Business Central operates in the cloud, offering virtually limitless scalability. Whether your business experiences rapid growth or fluctuating demands, the cloud adapts seamlessly.
Need more storage, processing power, or user licenses? It’s just a few clicks away. Say goodbye to physical infrastructure constraints and embrace a solution that grows with your ambitions.
Anytime, Anywhere Accessibility
In an increasingly mobile and interconnected world, accessing your financial and operational data from anywhere is not just a convenience – it’s a necessity.
GP’s traditional on-premises setup often restricts accessibility to the confines of your office premises. But Business Central, being cloud-based, liberates your data.
Imagine reviewing financial reports while sipping coffee at your favorite café or approving purchase orders from your beachfront vacation. Business Central’s cloud architecture ensures your data is securely accessible from any device with an internet connection.
It breaks down the barriers of location, empowering you to make informed decisions and collaborate in real-time, whether in the office or on the go.
Fortified Security and Reliability
Security is paramount in the digital age, and Business Central doesn’t disappoint. It’s no secret that cloud providers invest heavily in security measures to protect your data. They often have dedicated teams of experts monitoring and fortifying their systems 24/7.
With Business Central, you benefit from the security infrastructure of trusted cloud providers like Microsoft Azure. This means robust data encryption, multi-factor authentication, automated backups, and disaster recovery protocols are all part of the package. Say farewell to the anxiety of maintaining your security systems, and rest assured that top-notch professionals safeguard your data.
Moreover, cloud solutions typically boast impressive uptime records. Downtime due to server failures or maintenance is a rare occurrence. Your data is backed by redundancy and failover mechanisms, ensuring your financial and operational processes remain uninterrupted.
Choosing the Right Partner
Embarking from GP to Business Central is like setting sail to explore new horizons. While the destination is exciting, the ship and crew genuinely determine your voyage’s success.
In this case, the boat is the migration process, and the crew is your partner. Picking the right partner can make all the difference, ensuring a smooth transition to your new financial and operational haven.
Why the Right Partner Matters
The migration from GP to Business Central isn’t just a software upgrade – it’s a strategic transformation that impacts your entire organization. An experienced partner can be your guiding star, navigating the complexities of data migration, customization, and training.
- Expertise and Experience: Look for partners with a proven track record in migrations. They should be well-versed in the intricacies of GP and Business Central, understanding the nuances of data transfer, custom configurations, and process optimization.
- Understanding Your Unique Needs: Your business isn’t like any other, and your migration partner should recognize that. They should take the time to understand your specific requirements and tailor the migration plan accordingly. From industry-specific regulations to unique workflow demands, your partner should have the expertise to address them all.
- Seamless Data Transition: Data migration is often a daunting task. Your partner should have a well-defined strategy for transferring your financial and operational data from GP to Business Central without glitches. They should ensure data accuracy and integrity throughout the process.
- Customization Capabilities: Business Central allows extensive customization to align the software with your unique business processes. A capable partner should have in-house development expertise to tailor the solution to your needs, ensuring a seamless transition.
Evaluating Potential Partners: Tips and Considerations
Choosing the right migration partner is akin to selecting the perfect co-pilot for your journey. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:
- Check References: Don’t hesitate to request references from the partner’s past clients. Speak to these references to get insights into their experience. Were they satisfied with the migration process? Did the partner meet their expectations?
- Assess Industry Knowledge: Industry-specific expertise is invaluable. A partner who understands your industry’s unique challenges and regulations can provide tailored solutions that generic partners might miss.
- Clarify the Migration Plan: Ensure the partner outlines a clear migration plan that covers every aspect of the process, from data extraction to post-migration support. Transparency is key.
- Training and Support: Ask about their training and support offerings. A good partner won’t leave you hanging after the migration; they’ll ensure your team is proficient in using Business Central.
- Flexibility and Scalability: Assess the partner’s ability to adapt to your changing needs. Your business will evolve, and your partner should be able to grow with you.
- Cost Transparency: Understand their pricing model. Are there any hidden costs? Ensure you have a clear picture of the financial aspect of the partnership.
- Compatibility: Ensure the partner’s expertise extends to integrating Business Central with other tools or systems your organization relies on.
Remember, your migration partner is not just a service provider – they’re your collaborator in shaping your business’s future. Take your time to choose wisely, and your journey from GP to Business Central will be smoother and more rewarding.
The transition from GP to Business Central is not merely an upgrade; it’s a transformation that can revitalize your financial and operational landscape. The economic and operational benefits of this migration are substantial and far-reaching.
By embracing a cloud-based SaaS platform, you unlock scalability, accessibility, and enhanced security. Your organization gains the agility needed to adapt to an ever-evolving business landscape.
Moreover, the ‘Edit in Excel’ feature empowers your team with a familiar and efficient tool for data management, while transparent pricing simplifies cost management. However, achieving these benefits hinges significantly on choosing the right migration partner. A partner with expertise, industry knowledge, and a customer-centric approach can make this journey seamless and successful.
So, as you consider the move from GP to Business Central, remember that it’s not just a software change; it’s a strategic shift that can position your organization for a more agile, efficient, and data-driven future. With the right partner by your side, the voyage becomes an exciting adventure filled with opportunities for growth and success.