Smarter upgrade options are in your future to provide you with valuable time-cost savings and great value for your customers. In December, we hosted a technical webinar for Microsoft Partners detailing the methodology and steps for smarter, time-saving upgrades to Dynamics NAV 2016 that receive outstanding accolades. In this blog post, we will share key insights from this webinar to provide you with the three top upgrade options.

To watch the “Smart Upgrade Options for Dynamics NAV” webinar, click here.

1. Your Upgrades Frequency Decision

Before starting an upgrade project, you need to decide on the upgrades frequency most suitable for your customer’s solution.

With Microsoft Dynamics NAV’s yearly release cycles, the usual every other major version upgrade method is now less predictable and reliable than before. With the more frequent release cycles, bypassing upgrade versions can create problems in functionality overlaps as well as depreciated support for older versions, such as Microsoft Dynamics 2009.

Another factor that should be considered would be for highly customized customer solutions, should you skip upgrading a single version, it would be a very complex and arduous process to get the solution back up to speed. Alternatively, you could save time, energy and resources by utilizing an upgrade subscription.

2. Your Upgrade Strategy Plan

Now it’s time to evaluate the current version and the functionality changes to pick the right upgrade strategy.

When planning your upgrade strategy, you need to compare the functionality changes and analyze what transformations were made for the customer to identify which modification level and what method you should use.

There are four major upgrade methods:

  • Technical Update – a suitable option for cumulative updates and for some major releases, if you are moving only from the latest version to the new version.
  • Full Upgrade - the best option in most cases, but may be not the best option if you are upgrading from a version older than the last three release where there were many customizations that are overlapping with the new functionality. If this is the case, consider another option or mix full upgrade with another method, unless most of customizations are standard in the new version.
  • Re-implementation – the best option/method to use when migrating from another application (e.g. from Microsoft Dynamics AX to NAV) to facilitate data migration and redevelop from all the functionality of the previous version. This is also the best option if you have to deal with outdated data as remove many items or customers.
  • Clean Start – an especially suitable option when moving from a very old, outdated version where there were many customizations that overlap with new functionality. When doing clean start, you are migrating full data and you need to be on the same product.

3. Your Upgrade Strategy Components

You must also consider your strategy components. There are some activities (e.g. Forms, Reports with Classic layout) in the upgrade process that take the most time and have the least return on development resources as they are intricately complicated.

Reports: Upgrading reports from Classic Client to RDLC represents the biggest upgrade challenge most Microsoft Dynamics Partners face as it is the costliest and most time consuming. Our recommended approach to decrease the number of reports to upgrade and improve overall transformation process:

  1. Track and monitor usage of reports with the FREE 1ClickFactory Report Usage Tracking Tool. Those that are not being used shouldn’t be upgraded.
  2. Research options to use Standard RDLC reports and discuss layout flexibility.
  3. Identify reports that are the essential part of NAV (e.g. transformed to RDLC) as well as which reports would be more efficient in other reporting formats.
  4. Choose an option to Transform and develop identified reports to RDLC. You can minimize the time invested by your development recourses and maximize the upgrade benefit with very little manual work using 1ClickFactory Classic Report to RDLC Transformation service.

Utilizing the Top 3 Smartest Dynamics NAV Upgrade Options

Planning the strategy for upgrades using these key 3 steps can significantly reduce time, cut costs and improve the overall upgrade process. Decide on the upgrades frequency most suitable for your customer’s solution, evaluate the current version and the functionality changes to pick the right upgrade strategy and choose how you will execute the upgrade the components in the most efficient way.

To learn more, watch the full webinar, “Smart Upgrade Options for Dynamics NAV”, now.