Thursday, September 12, 2019
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As we have heard many times before, it is likely your Dynamics NAV and Dynamics Business Central On-Premises customers are confused and raising questions surrounding the Dynamics 365 Business Central latest release, asking you such matters as:
- "Is it time for me to upgrade now?”
- “Does this version meet my needs?”
- “How do I get it started and implemented?"
Well, simply ask them if they were sleeping beauty, would they want to be woken up this fall or wait years and years to eventually be awoken?
A Day in the life of your Dynamics sleeping beauty customers
We agree, the situation is tricky. Life kind of looks tolerable for sleeping beauty – her vital organs are live and functioning, she is placed safely on a bed in the highest tower under a powerful spell. But can you imagine all that she is missing with the latest technological developments which she could be using to her advantage? And let’s be fair – sleeping or not, she is still getting older every single day that she spends asleep.
Thankfully, the latest technological shift to modern client and AL, allows even the oldest NAV or On-Premises version of Business Central to get upgraded to the latest version, or at least enter the transitional phase (we will talk about this a little later). The challenge as a Microsoft Partner is to help your customers understand, that there’s no reason to stay asleep or remain in the dark – there are many ways to upgrade by taking advantage of the latest technology (and hurry, before a competitor swoops in as their prince charming).
The tale of Dynamics NAV/Dynamics 365 Business Central sleeping beauties
Ok, let‘s cast the fairy tale aside for a moment and step back to reality. In the event that you have some solid customer convincing to do, below are some reasons why NAV or Business Central On-Premises customers should consider transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central:
- The Total Cost of Ownership of Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS is decreasing - it's a huge financial improvement for customers.
- There are no upgrades in the SaaS (only automated updates).
- Infrastructure costs are included with the SaaS version.
- Security and compliance are significantly enhanced in the cloud, for data access and data retrieval. Security is an important topic, particularly over the last few years. Not only in Europe thanks to GDPR, also in general, because cyber breaches are so widely reported in the media.
- Reap the benefits of having access to the latest technology.
- Dynamics 365 Business Central enables customers to leverage technology to enhance productivity, output and operations, before the competition does.
- Access to solutions such as Microsoft Flow and Power BI deliver significant value and provide access to different types of artificial intelligence to solve more complicated problems for customers.
- Attract and retain talent and staff that cares about technology and values having access to the latest tools to enhance their roles and workplace experience.
- There is now a much wider choice of apps and ways to extend your Dynamics Business Central solution than ever before. It’s not only easier to move your current solution forward, but it’s much easier and affordable to find, test and implement new standard apps with the functionalities you need.
Experiencing the aforementioned benefits can be achieved simply by moving the On-Premises solution to the cloud infrastructure.
Alternate “Happy Endings” to the Dynamics 365 Business Central fairy tale
For the customers who are in a very deep sleep (cue revival of the above fairytale!) and not ready to wake up from their slumber to start reaping the benefits of Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS yet, it is not the end of the story. There are several paths how your customer can move forward with the transition to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central:
- Clean start (moving data to Microsoft Dynamics Business 365 Central Saas);
- Upgrade (moving data and customizations to Microsoft Dynamics 365 SaaS with Extensions in one go);
- Phasing transition by moving data and customizations to Microsoft Dynamics 365 SaasS with Extensions and therefore minimizing the risk:
- Phase 1: upgrading your solution to Dynamics 365 Business Central On-Premises version and moving it on Azure with 1ClickFactory Self-Provisioning for NAV/Business Central on Azure.
- Phase 2: moving data and customizations to Microsoft Dynamics 365 SaaS with Extensions.
As you can see, there are many different roads that can liberate all of the sleeping beauties, merely existing on Dynamics NAV/Dynamics 365 Business Central on premises... It’s important that partners have a conversation with their customers to explain the reasons why they should move to Business Central and how they can successfully make the transition, such as:
- What Business Central version can they seamlessly move to?
- What’s not technically or economically feasible right now (if any)?
- How to get to Business Central and also how to be successful there?
The morale of the story is, be proactive in having a conversation with the customers not only about the reasons they should move to Business Central, but also on how the transition should be made.
Awaken sleeping beauty with Dynamics 365 Upgrade Analyzer
It doesn’t sound easy and as we all know, real life is no fairy tale! That’s where 1ClickFactory steps in to ease the transition with the online Upgrade Analyzer tool. This magnificent tool supports each and every one of the paths to Dynamics 365 Business Central (from upgrade to clean start and phased transformation).
The free Upgrade Analyzer asks only for key information and a .fob file to prepare the analysis, saving you a lot of effort and time. 1ClickFactory’s Upgrade Analyzer provides several out-of-the-box upgrade plans that are tailored for your solution and are white-labeled. These easy-to-understand technical upgrade options including fixed costs, enable you to discuss different upgrade paths to provide accurate upgrade estimates to your customers. Our Upgrade Analyzer enables you to become a better advisor to truly help your customers make smarter decisions.
Added princely armor with Dynamics 365 Extensions Analyzer & Maintenance
Our Upgrade Analyzer is not the only tool that can help. One of the biggest issues when considering a move to Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS pertains to customizations. Questions range from how efficient is it to move our customizations to Extensions and is it even possible to move them to Extensions? Moving customizations to Extensions can isolate these changes from the standard application which makes it easier to perform upgrades and to reduce the TCO if the solution is a hard wired modified solution. 1ClickFactory is releasing a C/AL to Extensions Analyzer, which will scope that effort required to fully execute the transformation in-house and it can also be used as a checklist when looking to outsource help.
Ensure your Microsoft Dynamics customers’ “Happily Ever After”
Finally, it’s important to note that when a customer solution has successfully transitioned to Business Central SaaS, you become responsible for the solution. One of the SaaS benefits is a free upgrade service but don't underestimate the maintenance work that is required on an ongoing basis. To maintain the solution on Business Central SaaS, you should be ready to adapt to all updates released by Microsoft.
It’s important to validate that the solution is still working when all these new features are released to ensure your sleeping beauty achieves, “Happily Ever After”. 1ClickFactory’s Extensions Maintenance Service ensures that the solution complies with new Microsoft releases and that the automated tests are working as planned, giving you peace of mind for a fixed monthly fee.
If you want your customer story to be akin to a fairy tale, upload a .fob file to our 1ClickFactory Upgrade Analyzer to find the best upgrade path.