Thursday, July 11, 2019
I might be dramatic, using this parallel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To be or not to be?”, where Hamlet is considering whether to live or take his own life. But on the other hand, the change that Microsoft is introducing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is pretty dramatic. The changes that Microsoft have made not only encompass changes with the basic concept (the solution is now also available in the Cloud, without losing any strength in customization), but there have also been significant changes to the core of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which is changing the application development language, basically for the first time since 1990. This will bring a lot of advantages for customers but also requires Microsoft ISVs and partners to rewrite a large portion of the code that has been built into their customer base since 1995. Many partners and customers are probably wondering whether they will survive this change (see, my title is not too dramatic 😊), but I can already reveal now that there are many options when it comes to identifying the best way to move forward with Dynamics 365 Business Central, all depending on what your specific needs are. And contrary to general belief in the market, these options can be quite affordable.
Confusion is a Reality, Let’s Deal with it
It is a reality, though, that some confusion exists in the market. In my conversations with Microsoft partners and end-customers since the release of Dynamics 365 Business Central in April 2018, Microsoft’s business solution in the Cloud, there has been confusion with everything from the naming to the technologies that are now available and how to actually move to Dynamics 365 Business Central. However, now it’s clear for most people that Dynamics 365 Business Central is really just the next version of Dynamics NAV, not unlike the many other frequent releases we have experienced with Dynamics NAV since the product was first created in 1987. Communicating this message to customers greatly helps to demystify Dynamics 365 Business Central.
New Versions – A Key Strength
The fact that new versions have been released consistently for so many years elevates the value offered by the Dynamics business solution platform, continuously equipping partners and customers with new functionality and access to new technologies. This is important information to communicate to your customers and prospects: Most competitors to Dynamics 365 are lacking this kind of history and continued dedication to innovation. Did you know, that the core of Dynamics NAV was rewritten twice before, resulting in large success for both partners and customers? So I am sure this third re-write will also prove fruitful for partners and customers alike.
Confusion Happens as Messages Change
So where does the confusion come from? The confusion occurs because answers to the same questions change over time. When partners and customers ask the same question within say, a three month timeframe, the answer to the same question can change significantly, perhaps from a “NO, this cannot be done”, to “YES, this can be done”, due to developments or new releases from Microsoft.
This is especially prevalent when it comes to finding the best method for moving to Dynamics 365 Business Central. The best upgrade path for transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central changes as new roads that are easier and faster become available. Is this bad news? No, not at all, it just means that technological developments are moving forward fast, resulting in the availability of more streamlined methods for moving to Dynamics 365 Business Central.
How to Eat an Elephant… Piece by Piece
Now back to the questions that I get asked again and again. Let’s group them into four main categories:
- What alternatives are there for my future on Dynamics 365 Business Central? Microsoft has released both an on-premise version and a Cloud version of Dynamics 365 Business Central. Which version should I pick for my environment? The good news here is that customers have a choice, unlike other competing platforms. They can stay on-premise (even hosted on Azure) and/or they can go with the Microsoft Business Central Software as a Service solution (SAAS).
- How do I successfully move to Dynamics 365 Business Central and how much does it cost?
- What benefits will my organization get out of moving to Dynamics 365 Business Central and how can I leverage this investment?
- Can I, as a Microsoft Dynamics partner or ISV, make any money on Dynamics 365 Business Central?
The first three questions are relevant for both Microsoft Dynamics partners and end-customers. The last question is only relevant to Microsoft partners with Dynamics Business Central practices.
I am not going to attempt to answer all of these important questions today, as covering all of these would be like eating an elephant. What I will do, though, is release a blog about once a month until Directions EMEA, clarifying my views on these burning questions. I hope that with this series of blogs, I can help to clear up some of the confusion in the market and simultaneously, help to make myself feel good about doing something useful on the 10th anniversary of 1ClickFactory. And I’ll leave you guessing on the upcoming blog titles …. Yes, to be or not to be?