Dynamics GP vs Dynamics 365 Business Central

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Many of you may be asking themselves, “Which Dynamics ERP system is best for me?” Although Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV are very similar, there are a few key distinctions.

I’ll offer you an overview of each solution, a table of comparisons, and some remote work concerns below.

Both of these programmes are geared for small and medium-sized enterprises and are best used to manage a company’s essential finances. However, there are several important distinctions in terms of licence, hosting, upgrades/updates, and functionality.

Microsoft Dynamics GP

With Microsoft Dynamics GP, you have options in both licensing and hosting to choose your solution to suit your needs.

GP Licensing Options

  • Perpetual licensing — you own your licensing.
  • Subscription licensing — you have the flexibility of paying monthly.

GP Hosting Options

  • On-premise hosting — you maintain your own servers.
  • Cloud hosting — your servers are hosted through Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas).

You pay the full licencing expenses up front with perpetual licencing, which starts at $5,000 USD for 3 users (or $6,167 CAD). After that, you must pay Microsoft an annual charge. Customers who sign up for Encore typically pay 18 percent the first year and 16 percent the following year. Subscription licencing eliminates the need for a substantial upfront investment.

You may avoid the cost and risk of replacing your servers every 2–3 years by using cloud hosting. Cloud hosting also offers better security and allows for more remote work possibilities. Additional cloud benefits, like as 24-hour monitoring, weekly server updates, break-fix assistance, and automatic backups, may be available through your Dynamics partner.

Companies with particular data rules or those in places with poor Internet connectivity, on the other hand, may find that the on-premise alternative is better suited to their needs.

GP Packs and Add-Ons

You may extend the capability of Dynamics GP with two additional Microsoft “packs” and a large pool of ISV add-ons that has accumulated over time. Since its release in 2018, Dynamics 365 Business Central has added a number of options to enhance its capabilities.

For example, you may have heard that payroll is one of the most important features of GP that Business Central / Dynamics NAV lacks out of the box. However, a Dynamics 365 software may now be purchased to address this void. An experienced partner can assist you in making a strategic decision about which solution is ideal for your company’s payroll needs, as well as how to properly execute that option.

Is Microsoft Dynamics GP Going Away?

No, it isn’t going away anytime soon. Microsoft has stated that it values all of its GP customers and will not force any of them to abandon the platform. The most recent version of GP was launched in October 2020, and service pack upgrades are released several times a year.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft’s latest financial management software is Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV. It is not intended to replace GP, although it is designed for the same target market.

The most important thing to remember is that Business Central / Dynamics NAV is typically licenced on a “SaaS” basis (Software as a Service). You pay monthly subscription licences and are hosted in the Azure Cloud with a full SaaS model. Microsoft automatically pushes out enhancements, bug fixes, and updates for your solution as part of the SaaS model — no more upgrades! There are no upfront costs for hardware, servers, or other components, which is ideal for businesses with limited or no IT resources.

Business Central / Dynamics NAV On-Premise is also available for firms that require it. However, data security is not as strong, and you must pay for servers and other services.

Business Central / Dynamics NAV Licensing and Apps

Business Central / Dynamics NAV allows you to select whether to licence your users with critical or premium capabilities, whereas GP offers two Microsoft packs that increase its functionality. (You must have the same user type for all of your users.) For further information, see our Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV | Licensing and Pricing blog.

Business Central has apps for third-party extensions. Business Central / Dynamics NAV 3rd-party apps and GP add-ons are generally identical from the user’s perspective. Learn more about how Dynamics GP add-ons are handled during the migration to Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV.

However, because the apps are much easier for third parties to produce and sell, you should expect a steady stream of them to appear on Microsoft AppSource.

Overall, Microsoft considers Business Central / Dynamics NAV to be “the future,” and it will receive the lion’s share of its future development efforts and attention. Although Dynamics GP will not be replaced, cutting-edge new capabilities will be deployed in Business Central / Dynamics NAV much ahead of Dynamics GP.

GP vs Business Central / Dynamics NAV Functionality

When it comes to functionality, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV are very comparable. Both provide means to split the general ledger account structure, as well as budgeting, reporting, fixed asset management, and eBanking support.

Below is a table with some comparisons between Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV:

GP and Business Central / Dynamics NAV provide similar functionality for

  • Bill of Materials
  • eBanking
  • Fixed Assets
  • Inter-company Processing
  • Inventory Tracking
  • Multiple Currencies
  • Multiple Entities
  • SQL Server Reporting Services

The dimensional accounting in Business Central / Dynamics NAV, on the other hand, makes examining your records much easier. Dimensions allow you to set analytical categories and then “tag” your data, allowing you to easily review trip expenses across multiple departments, for example. In our infographic, you can learn about the new features in Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV as well as the advantages of using a cloud ERP.

Remote Work Capabilities in GP and Business Central / Dynamics NAV

Remote work is possible in both GP and Business Central. The optimal way to use them depends on whether your ERP is on-premise or in the cloud.

If you have an on-premise deployment of either ERP, you can set up your team for remote work by (1) establishing up RDP or VPN connections back to your head office for your team members, or (2) setting up an internet-facing deployment for your ERP.

It’s easier to get started with remote work if you have a cloud deployment in GP or Business Central / Dynamics NAV: connecting to your ERP is as simple as going on to any website. (You log in with your Microsoft account.)

If you’re thinking about switching ERPs, keep in mind that cloud deployment is easier with Business Central / Dynamics NAV, however it is doable with GP as well.

GP or Business Central: Which ERP Solution Is Best for You?

Because each firm is unique and has its own demands and requirements, there is no single perfect response.

Should I Transition from Dynamics GP to Business Central?

Many Dynamics GP users are considering making the transfer to Business Central / Dynamics NAV. Users will find Business Central / Dynamics NAV’s interface to be very similar to that of Microsoft Dynamics GP.

If this is you, you may want to read more about the GP roadmap and check that you satisfy several of the following conditions:

  • You feel Dynamics GP is too expensive on a yearly basis.
  • You want to reduce cost and/or risk by hosting your data and application in the cloud.
  • Any critical business process for which you currently use a 3rd-party add-on has an equivalent Dynamics 365 app available in AppSource. (A partner can help you find and vet the apps for your needs.) Or it’s possible that the functionality is available out the box in Business Central and you may no longer need an add-on.
  • There is a particular difficulty in GP or a feature in Business Central / Dynamics NAV that makes you want to switch. Here are 4 common ones:
  • You want Business Central / Dynamics NAV’s dimensional chart of accounts, which makes the reporting more meaningful and powerful than in GP.
  • You want your finance team to work more smoothly with your operations team, using project accounting (“jobs”) in Business Central.
  • You want faster and more flexible analysis of all your data.
  • You want to let your staff configure their own interfaces without having to purchase add-ons or hire consultants.

Try out our Price Calculator if you’re thinking about switching to Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV. It’s a tool that lets you easily construct a bespoke fixed pricing bundle in Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV by selecting the capabilities you desire. Now is the time to try it out!

Why are Dynamics GP Clients Transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV in the Cloud?

Some of the main reasons Dynamics GP clients are transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV in the cloud include:

  • Predictable and flexible cost
  • Always on the latest version of the solution
  • No more infrastructure management
  • Security managed by Microsoft team
  • Seamless integration with other Microsoft products
  • Work from anywhere, on any device
  • Gain features in Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Centralized data
  • Predictive analytics, AI, and data visualizations
  • Be ready for the future and what’s next.

Predictable and flexible

means that there is a predictable monthly price that includes maintenance and infrastructure costs. There are no more surprise upgrade costs. Customers can scale license types for current business needs which means you can add or remove users as needed.

Always on the latest version of the solution

because two major updates are automatically pushed out during the year for Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV, one in the spring and one in the fall. This eliminates the need to upgrade, which is something that cost additional time and expense in Dynamics GP.

No more infrastructure management

with Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV in the cloud. With cloud technology, you’ll never have to manage or purchase new infrastructure and you’ll never have to upgrade or patch your ERP solution.

Security managed by Microsoft team

because your sensitive business data is stored in highly secure state-of-the-art data centers that are owned and managed by Microsoft. With a cloud solution, security monitoring and threat management are handled by the Microsoft team. This allows your business’s IT resources to focus their efforts elsewhere by decreasing the dependency on IT. There is peace of mind that your data will be there when you need it thanks to a 99.9% uptime service level agreement.

Seamless integration with other Microsoft products

such as Excel, Outlook, Word, the Power Platform (Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents), and other Dynamics 365 solutions such as Sales or Customer Service.

Work from anywhere, on any device

This empowers a mobile workforce with access to the same tools found in desktop application versions. The user experience is consistent and secure across all devices and operating systems (Android, iPhone, etc.). The user experience is consistent and secure across all devices.

Gain features in Dynamics 365 Business Central

which include Dimensional Chart of Accounts, Financial reporting capabilities, search capabilities, Excel Publishing, and Microsoft 365 integration.

Centralized data

from Accounting, Sales, Purchasing inventory and customer interactions to give an accurate end-to-end view of your business, spot trends, and deliver greater customer experiences.

Predictive analytics, AI, and data visualizations

can help users analyze business data and make informed decisions.

Be ready for the future and what’s next

because your system will always be current so you can take advantage of the latest technology.

Dynamics GP Is Still Powerful

Dynamics GP provides a user-friendly interface and solid business rules. It’s straightforward and follows best practises in business and finance, which is ideal for traditional businesses. It also has a large range of add-on capabilities from a number of ISV suppliers. This is what makes Dynamics GP such a vital tool, and it will continue to be so.

Dynamics GP has been around for almost 20 years and is still one of the most widely used ERP systems today! Despite our excitement for the launch and future of Dynamics 365 Business Central / Dynamics NAV, and Microsoft’s focus on future SaaS solutions, Addend continues to assist hundreds of Dynamics GP customers.

If you would like more information or have any questions about what ERP solution is right for you, please contact us. If you are already an Addend customer, please reach out to your Account Manager or our Client Engagement team at kamal.sharma@addendanalytics.com

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Addend Analytics is a Microsoft Gold Partner based in Mumbai, India, and a branch office in the U.S. Addend has successfully implemented 100+ Microsoft Power BI and Business Central projects for 100+ clients across sectors like Financial Services, Banking, Insurance, Retail, Sales, Manufacturing, Real estate, Logistics, and Healthcare in countries like the US, Europe, Switzerland, and Australia. Get a free consultation now by emailing us at kamal.sharma@addendanalytics.com or Contact us.