Today, Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Microsoft Dynamics Business Central on-premises customers see Dynamics 365 Business Central in the Cloud (Microsoft’s Software-as-a-Service solution or ‘SaaS’ for short) 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 transition paths for moving to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central SaaS:

  1. Clean Start;
  2. Upgrade;
  3. Phased transition.

Today, we are going to introduce the Phased transition path 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
  • Other…

When choosing the Phased transition path, the migration  happens in two steps (phases) over a 2 – 4 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. Choosing this option from 1ClickFactory gives you the benefit of having control over the cost, as the bulk of the upgrade is charged at a fixed price and the redesign work is minimized.

Transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central: Phase 1

In the first 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 Phase 2 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 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 Phase two migration and migration 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: Phase 2

When everything is ready for phase 2, we would:

  • Execute the extensions 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 Extensions Scoping Workshop and develop basic automated tests.
  • 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 the tenant extension.

Risk Mitigation for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS

A phased transition is less risky for the customer because not only is the full, complicated transition to extensions and SaaS split into two phases, but by default, all risks are spread across the two phases. Perhaps you think that an approach with two upgrade projects is more expensive than trying to build an extension straight away? However, this is often an incorrect assumption. 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.

Start planning the Phased Transition to Microsoft Dynamics 365 SaaS Now

Upload a .fob file with some key information to get an estimate for each upgrade path through 1ClickFactory Upgrade Analyzer.