Thursday, September 19, 2019
Today, Microsoft Dynamics NAV/365 Business Central On-Premises customers see Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) as the Eldorado (a destination of gold and eternal bliss). Therefore, the biggest consideration is discerning how to successfully move customers from Microsoft Dynamics NAV (any version) or Dynamics Business Central On-Premises to Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS smoothly, timely and safely.
The three paths to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central SaaS
1ClickFactory offers three upgrade options for moving to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central SaaS:
- Clean Start
- Lift and Shift
In this blog post, we will discuss the lift and shift upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS, which is suitable for organizations that have made the decision and are ready to move to Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS, but are experiencing one or more of the technical limitations listed below:
- Add-ons are not yet available in Microsoft AppSource
- Integrations with non-SaaS-ready software are required (software that you cannot integrate through web-services)
- Budget challenges when the technical limitations for Extensions or SaaS versions require significant re-design/investment
- The need to manage your own requirements for availability and backups
When choosing the lift and shift upgrade, the migration happens in two phases over a 6-month – 2-year period, allowing a move to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central On-Premises and then to a SaaS deployment from there, smoothly resolving limitations along the way. This is an ideal way for larger and more complex installations to transition to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS.
Transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central: “lift” phase
In the “lift” phase, we would:
- Execute a scope clarification workshop to determine what modifications need to be moved.
- Execute a full upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central including objects upgrade, data migration, reports upgrade and transformation to Web Client.
- We would execute preparation work for migrating customizations to Extensions and SaaS, by moving code customizations into Events using the standard Events Publisher in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. For the modifications that are left in the standard code, we would request that Microsoft create Publisher Events in the standard code, so that these can be utilized in “Shift” phase of the project.
- After executing the test data migration, we would then create a testing environment in 1ClickFactory self-provisioning on the Azure platform, so all testing by partner and customer can be executed in a test environment.
- After executing the live data migration, we then upload the migrated database to the 1ClickFactory self-provisioning on Azure platform and the customer can start using the Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud version until they get ready for the “shift” to Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS.
RESULT: On-Premises version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (this can be on Microsoft Azure), with minimized touch and ready for updates.
Transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central: “shift” phase
When everything is ready for “shift” phase, we would:
- Execute the Extension Scoping Workshop first. This is necessary for reviewing customizations that were not moved from the standard code. We then review the limitations of the SaaS product and agree how we can best reimplement these kinds of conflicts.
- We execute upgrade tasks (object merge and data migration) to get to the latest version of Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- We then move the remaining code to the Events that Microsoft has added, and execute the remaining work to create an Extension out of all the customizations and get ready for the transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS which involves:
- Redesigning the functionality that is not supported by Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS,
- Implement all agreements made during the Extension Scoping Workshop
- Automated test development.
- Last is the go-live which includes Intelligent Cloud Sync after which, customers can use the Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS version.
RESULT: The customer is live on a SaaS version of Dynamics 365 Business Central with customizations as Per Tenant Extension.
The advantages of the Lift and shift upgrade
- Managed risk. The lift and shift upgrade is spread over two phases, and is generally less risky for the customer because not only is the full, complicated transition to SaaS split into multiple phases, but the risks are also split into two phases.
- Reduced upgrade price.Requesting Microsoft to add Publisher Events in the places that you require them is a game changer and decreases the total transition effort to the point that it renders transitioning in two phases more efficient. To understand the difference in pricing, you can compare the time it takes to move customizations to the existing Standard Event and the time it takes to reimplement customizations. To move a customization to the existing Standard Event takes 5 to 10 minutes of work. Reimplementing a customization without having Microsoft Standard Event Publisher can take more than 10 hours of work.
- Cost control.The cost of upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS might be difficult to estimate for larger and more complex installations, because a lot of reimplementation work can be required when moving customizations to Extensions. Choosing the ‘lift and shift’ approach gives you the benefit of controlling the cost, as the bulk of the upgrade is charged at a fixed price up front, and the redesign work is minimized.
- A smart way to invest. If you move to Dynamics 365 Business Central On-premises as a first step of a ‘lift and shift’ project, any investment you make will count as an investment towards moving to the SaaS version, because upgrading to the newest Business Central On-premises version is a mandatory step when upgrading to Business Central SaaS.
Start planning lift and shift to Microsoft Dynamics 365 SaaS now
Upload a .FOB or AL file with some key information to get an estimate for each upgrade path through 1ClickFactory Upgrade Analyzer.