ArcherPoint Provides OXCO’s a Textbook Transition From Dynamics NAV to Business Central
Externally, most of OXCO’s challenges are sourcing products from around the world. This involves working with domestic and international mills, customs, and various manufacturers with different production cycles. “There are also technical aspects to the products,” said Diane Shytle, Office Manager at OXCO. “Our customers have technical requirements that must be met. These have to be tested thoroughly.”
Internally, OXCO was finding it difficult to maintain their in-house Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 implementation. They were reaching the limits of their servers, and their growing number of users required restarting their servers once or twice a week, sometimes during the middle of a production run. OXCO realized they must either purchase new hardware to maintain their growth and user accessibility, or move to a hosted environment in the cloud, which would give them better uptime and more user accessibility.
ArcherPoint, OXCO’s NAV partner, recommended an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. OXCO was somewhat reluctant: Their previous upgrade was late and ran over budget. Joe Shields, ArcherPoint’s project manager for the OXCO engagement, assured them that ArcherPoint’s upgrade team was well prepared and that the project would be executed as planned.
The ArcherPoint team reviewed the project with Shytle’s team, outlining the upgrade process in detail, including the costs and the timeline. “The ArcherPoint upgrade team was very responsive and answered all my questions,” Shytle said. “They talked about the project at a level that made me comfortable with the process.”
OXCO also consulted with their IT partner, NDSE (ndse.net), who recommended that OXCO proceed with ArcherPoint. OXCO decided to use ArcherPoint to upgrade them to Business Central using virtual machines running on Azure. This allowed them to keep their customizations intact for now while giving them access to the application in the cloud using a standard web browser.
The project went live on time. According to Shytle, “The go-live support was excellent and any issues that came up were addressed quickly.” “We win or lose in the testing, and the more invested the customer is in testing, the more successful we will be at go-live,” said Joe Shields. “Issues always come up with an upgrade, but if the customer is really invested in testing and knows what their processes are, it is much easier to uncover issues early on so there are fewer to deal with at go-live. Diane was excellent about reporting OXCO’s issues, which made it easy to work through them.”
ArcherPoint was also on point when it came to owning the entire project—even issues outside what ArcherPoint was doing. For example, one of the third-party add-on products OXCO used in their NAV implementation is only available for Business Central as an extension, but OXCO had written customizations into the old extension module. The ArcherPoint upgrade team took OXCO’s customizations and wrote them as an extension of their own. By doing so, new versions of the third-party add-on can be applied without requiring changes to OXCO’s customizations. “This incident shows that ArcherPoint has the upgrade process down and the expertise to work around any issue, including those around ISV add-ons,” said Shields. “ArcherPoint took point on an area that could have been a problem,” said Shytle, “and that was not part of their responsibility. They did a lot to help get that resolved and working.”
For now, Shytle says OXCO will be staying on this implementation. The company is looking to make some process improvements internally to help them get more benefits from the version they are currently running. After that, they will move the rest of their NAV customizations to Extensions so they can take full advantage of Business Central. “We do have some process improvements we need to make internally that will require additional customizations to our system,” continued Shytle. “We have already started discussing next steps with the ArcherPoint upgrade team. Moving all our customizations to events is the goal. I know that’s going to mean some more testing cycles, but given this most recent experience and that we’re on ArcherPoint’s upgrade subscription plan, I feel good about it.”
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