Considering the switch from Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) to Business Central needs a defined business case
Every organization should have a 3-5 year plan that maps out the future investments and optimization of their ERP, CRM and core business applications. Such a plan should also include a business case to justify either staying on their current systems or migrating to a new platform. In the following point of view, we will discuss the variables to consider for users of Microsoft Dynamics GP (on-premise ERP) who may be considering a migration to Microsoft’s new cloud-based mid-market ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
As an experienced Microsoft Dynamics partner we believe that there is an immense value that clients can realizethrough their digital transformation and move to the cloud with the Dynamics 365 platform and Business Central (Microsoft’s latest cloud-ERP for the mid-market). Such benefits are further accelerated when clients can unify silos of information such as integrating CRM with ERP for a more streamlined end-to-end process. However, such a cloud migration and unification of processes typically requires significant investments in time and effort both internally and externally via the assistance from an experienced partner such as us.
When looking at an ROI – Return on Investment, the foundation for any solid business case, you need to look at both the potential returns and the associated investment. Migrating from one ERP to another, clients typically look for improvements in the following: Better operational data capture and analytics, reduced manual data entry, better financial reporting, stronger security, reduced IT management costs, and ultimately the improved productivity of the finance team, as well as improved productivity and decision making across other Line of Business teams.
With these improvements in mind, users of Microsoft Dynamics GP should identify and evaluate whether there are deficiencies in their current configuration and whether addressing any short-comings are warranted and can be resolved with minimal effort. If not, the associated investments in moving from Dynamics GP to Business Central (ball-park 50-70% of a new ERP install) may include: business process mapping and optimization, setting up a new Chart of Accounts and reporting structure, Business Central implementation and configuration costs, report development costs and finally change management and end-user training.
Outside of the internally effort and consulting services, the final component of the Business Case would be the SaaS software subscription vs Annual software enhancement and internal hosting costs. Through special promotions via Endeavour and Microsoft, GP users may qualify for specialized pricing that would see the Business Central software subscription costs significantly reduces to align with the current Dynamics GP annual software enhancement for up to 3 years, thus receiving the equivalent of free hosting and security, as such costs would be included in your Business Central SaaS subscription.
In conclusion, if Dynamics GP is meeting your current and future needs, you should keep Dynamics GP on our 3-5 year roadmap as your related Business Case for change may be weak. However if your team finds a significant delta between your current configuration and where you want to be, and you can justify the investment, then a migration from GP to Business Central should be on your roadmap.
About GP Support North
GP Support North is a large team of GP consultants at Endeavour Solutions, dedicated to supporting clients using Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) ERP. We are your safe-haven for long term GP support and consulting services. We will not force you to change platforms, but if and when you are ready, we can help migrate you to the cloud.
We love Dynamics GP (Great Plains) and have more than 550 active clients across North America predominately in the USA and Canada. Over the years, our team has been named multiple times to the Microsoft President’s Club – The top 5% of Microsoft Partners Worldwide.