When Is It the Right Time to Move From Microsoft Dynamics GP to Business Central?
If you are a Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains Software) user, you have read or heard plenty of reasons by now of why you should move to a new ERP solution. If you’re hearing from Microsoft or a Dynamics partner, you also know why you should migrate to Dynamics Business Central.
If you have not heard, or if you’d like a “one-stop” resource that sums up everything you need to know about moving from GP to another ERP—particularly Business Central, download our free eBook, Moving from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. If you have decided that a change in ERP is right for your company, the next question is, when? In this post, we discuss our recommendation and the factors that support it.
Our Recommendation: Move As Soon As Reasonably Possible
Making a move to a new ERP solution is not an overnight endeavor, nor should it be. You need to do some discovery and planning on several fronts, including:
- Business analysis/roadmap and goals. Depending on how long it’s been since you purchased an ERP system, you need to come up with a new set of requirements, and that means analyzing your current state, including determining if your current processes are working as they should, as well as your company’s roadmap and goals. This will give you an idea of how much time it’s going to take to get a Business Central solution planned out and implemented—including re-engineering business processes where necessary.
- Business patterns. If your business fluctuates seasonally or for any other reason, you need to plan your move around busy times. Start looking at your calendar now for the best times of the year to migrate to a new ERP solution.
- Business events. Is your company planning on any big changes, like acquiring another company or moving physical locations? Make sure those events are taken into account.
- Budget. When will you have the funds to purchase and implement a new solution?
- Implementation partner. Do your research and get one on board sooner than later. The earlier you have a partner involved, the better. An experienced Dynamics Business Central partner will help you answer questions and determine timelines.
- Database cleanup. The cleaner your database is, the easier a move is going to be. Determine a database cleanup schedule to establish when it will be completed.
Why You Should Move Sooner Than Later
Microsoft has committed to supporting Dynamics GP with three releases every year through 2024, and it is likely they will continue to support the product beyond that. These releases will consist of security enhancements, additional features, Intelligent Edge enhancements, and top features requested by users. So, why should you push to move sooner than later? Here are some very good reasons, all of which benefit you:
GP Is Not Designed For The Cloud Or The Long Term
GP can be hosted in the cloud and accessed with a web server, but that does not mean it’s designed to be run in the cloud—and there are no plans to do so. The longer you stay on GP, the longer you miss out on the advantages of using a true cloud ERP solution. These advantages include:
- Better security, including protection from ransomware attacks – if you’re hit, your data is safe
- 24/7 access from anywhere, on any device
- Lower IT costs (no longer need to buy, maintain, or upgrade servers)
- Scalability to resize quickly based on changing needs (you only pay for what you need, when you need it)
- Flexibility to meet your changing requirements, including growth
- Easier—and easier—upgrades
These advantages are more necessity today. For example, if your employees can’t easily work from any location, you are at a disadvantage. Without the benefits offered by the cloud, you are losing money and opportunities.
You’re Missing Out On The Benefits Of Business Central
You might have already decided to move to Business Central at some point, but until you have actually made the move, you are missing out on its benefits, including:
- Easy to customize – With a visual drag-and-drop interface, you can customize your solution much more easily, and with the no-code/low-code tools in the Power Platform, you can match your ERP solution exactly to the way you do business.
- Support from a large developer community – There are nearly 1,000 specialized applications that extend the capabilities of Business Central. You can find an app for nearly any need—all easily found in Microsoft’s AppSource.
- Easy integration with external applications. Business Central comes with integrations to popular third-party cloud applications, and if it doesn’t, one can easily be built using Business Central’s development environment. Whatever your systems of record are for CRM, payroll, HCM, or other, Business Central can integrate with it.
- Superior manufacturing and distribution capabilities – GP has been famous for solid manufacturing and distribution features, but Business Central has it beat, including real-time manufacturing and distribution capabilities that can be easily extended to perform complex functions, including bills of materials, warehouse and inventory management, supply chain management, lot and serial tracking, bar coding, and more.
- Better support for branches and multiple entities – Business Central comes with more robust capabilities than GP to handle multiple branches and entities within your organization.
- Features not available in GP – Business Central comes out of the box with integrated features such as Microsoft (Office) 365 integration, dimensions, built-in CRM, and extensive financial reporting options.
Talk To A Business Central Expert Today
You’ve made the biggest—and smartest—decision when you decided to make the move from GP to Business Central. The next step is to talk to the Business Central experts at ArcherPoint. We will help you with a plan and a reasonable, responsible timeline that gets you onto Business Central as quickly as possible so you can start taking advantage of the benefits.
Learn more by reading The Top 10 Considerations For Migrating From Dynamics GP To Business Central.