Dynamics 365 Business Central Overview (Video)
Below is an overview and a demo of Dynamics 365 Business Central. This webinar recording is intended for Dynamics GP or Dynamics NAV users who are evaluating Dynamics 365 Business Central and would like to see it in action.
In this session you’ll learn about and see role tailored user interface, general navigation, integration with Office 365, financial reporting functionality, and Core Finance functionality.
Topics discussed during this session include:
- What is Dynamics 365 Business Central – 1:25
- Dynamics 365 Business Central Features – 2:15
- Dynamics 365 Business Central Migration – 10:10
- Start of Dynamics 365 Business Central Demo – 12:25
- Role Center Overview – 13:25
- Power BI Integration – 19:30
- Financials Overview – 20:50
- Chart of Accounts – 21:10
- Dimensions Overview – 23:00
- Income Statement and Dimensions – 25:10
- Dimensions and Income Statement Details/Review – 25:10
- Entering Data – 30:15
- Copy and Paste from Excel – 33:00
- Edit in Excel – 34:15
- Preview Posting – 36:55
- Outlook Integration – 38:05
- Create Sales Quote from Outlook – 39:40
- Dynamics 365 Business Central App on Mobile Device – 42:10
- Q&A – 45:00
To see an end-to-end process from a Salesperson, to Order Processor, to Warehouse employee, to an Accountant, please see our Dynamics 365 Business Central | Next Level Functionality video.
For a quick highlight of 5 new financial features released in the 2021 Wave 1, please see our What’s New in Dynamics 365 Business Central 2021 Release Wave 1 (Video).
Contact us if you have any questions about transitioning to Business Central or if you’d like to see a deeper dive into some of the functionality of Business Central.
Tracey: Good morning, everyone. And we’re super excited to do this presentation for you today. Joining me, we have Rico Dammann and Tony Hemy, who are going to be doing a presentation on the overview of Dynamics 365 Business Central. Good morning, guys.
Tony: Morning, Tracey.
Rico: Morning. Hey.
Tracey: All right. We’ll…
Tony: So, thanks, Tracey…
Tracey: Go ahead, Tony. Go ahead.
Tony: Thanks for the intro, Tracey. Yeah. So, Rico, myself and Tracey, we’re excited to give you guys an overview demo of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. This is something that we’re planning to do on a regular basis just so people can kind of come in and out as they please. We have a lot of existing GP and NAV customers who I know are very interested in what Business Central looks like. And so having this regular meeting that kind of goes over the core features and what you can do with Business Central kinda allows everybody, as I said, to jump in and take a look in their own time rather than kind of having to engage us. But obviously, if there is anything you see here or you are interested in continuing a conversation after viewing this presentation, do reach out to us and we’d love to talk some more to you about Business Central and what it might offer your specific business. So, why don’t I get right into it.
So, what are some of the features? It is fully cloud-based. So, what we mean by that is there is no back-office hardware required. You don’t need to have servers in a server room. You don’t need to have kind of hosting with a hosting provider. It is all up in the cloud. There’s no setup. You don’t have to go and install floppy disks or CDs or download files and install them. You provision the Business Central application within your Microsoft Cloud tenant and you’re good to go. Very relevant for kind of what the world is experiencing right now. You can access it from anywhere. There’s no additional work that you need to do. You turn your laptop on, you got an internet connection, you’re connected to Business Central.
So, I know with COVID going on right now, this has been a huge benefit for a lot of our clients already use Business Central is that they can send their staff home and get connected right away. There’s no overhead, no need to talk to IT. You open up the web link and you’re good to go. There’s minimal administration. There are a couple of little bits that Microsoft likes you to do. They’d like you to provide an email address so that they can update you of changes that have happened as well as kind of upcoming changes. And they’d also like you to tell them a good window during your day where when there are updates, they can apply them without impacting your day to day operations. But outside of that, that’s really the majority of the administration that you need to do.
It is all managed by Microsoft on as your specifically so in terms of performance, backups, disaster recovery as your Active Directory multi-factor authentication. That’s all plugged right there into the Microsoft as your stack. And there are global data centers to host your Business Central system, specifically, U.S. and Canadian. So, if you have concerns about data sovereignty, I know some Canadian businesses do. There are Canadian data centers to house your Business Central implementations, so you don’t have to worry about that.
And in terms of that continuously updated by Microsoft, there are major releases provided by Microsoft twice a year in the spring and the fall, and that’s when they typically introduced the big features and functions they wanna roll out. And then there are minor fixes every month. So, mostly for those monthly updates, they’re just fixing bugs that have been reported in the software. Occasionally, they’ll put a feature or a function there, but for the most part, we’re seeing those in the twice a year update.
Talks about comprehensive software. So, Business Central does come with a very long list of base functionality in terms of financial management, sales and purchase order processing, inventory, which stretches from basic right up to advance warehousing. There’s assembly and manufacturing, supply chain management, jobs and project management, service order management, human resources, contact relationship management. Quite a plethora of functionality right there that you get with the products right out of the box.
That being said, if you decide that you wanna customize the product, you can do so. It’s done via extensions. We can do customer-specific extensions for you, which are called PTE or Per-Tenant Extensions and that’s like what a partner like Encore would do, would come in and make specific changes for you as a customer and they will just affect your tenant as well as a large and growing pool of add-on apps that are available in app stores, what would typically be known, I think, in the old GP and the app world as the ISV. And there’s definitely a number that we deal with on a regular basis. So, payroll was not core product, so there’s an add-on from Primo that we use quite regularly, warehouse enhancement, things like barcode scanning, shop for insights. So, we use Insight Works quite regularly for that. E-commerce connecting up to Magento or maybe, you know, Amazon. So, we work with Dynamics eShop and Sana. Expense management, Continia and Concur are a couple that we’ve used. POS, LS Retail which they’re in the market for a really long time. Credit card collections, iPayment. And the list goes on and on and on. AppSources, you can access it and take a look and browse for the add-on so that you can plug into your Business Central product without being a Business Central user. Just go look for AppSource and the app specifically for Business Central.
What’s really cool about the way Microsoft is doing this, is it’s very similar to the experience you have today as a user on a smartphone where you can go to the App Store and plug in an app and get some features and functions and try them out. If you don’t like them, you can simply unplug them. And the other cool thing is that they don’t impact on your upgrade path. And that’s why Microsoft is calling them extensions. They sit outside of the core functionality and that’s what allows Microsoft to continuously keep the background application updated despite adding all these customizations in via extensions.
We talked about it being Office 365 and Power platform Integrated. So, some of the kind of really cool features that we like and our customers do too is the Outlook Add-in. So, I can manage contacts, relevant Business Central data writing outlook. So, what we mean by that is, there’s a little window within Outlook depending on the email that you’ve received. Is it a vendor or is it a customer? I can see directly with an outlook information relevant to that master record. So, I can see if there’s any open orders, I can see what their balances are, I can change orders, I can with the posted invoices, I can send them, orders, all without actually having to open up the Business Central application itself, which is super great.
In Excel, I can export any page to Excel. I know a lot of our customers when they’re looking particularly at detailed ledger entries, they like to filter them out and then send them to Excel and then take a look. And then the other cool thing with Excel is, as long as you can write to the table, obviously, ledger entries are not something that Microsoft is gonna let you write back to. But for example, maybe an item list, you can edit and then make modifications and publish that back into the application from Excel.
In Word, you can, again, export any page to Word. But one of the really cool features with Word is that you can create document layouts using words. What I mean by that is, you know, it reminds me of the old mail merge days. If I wanna create a sales order or a purchase order, I can do that using Word which pretty much most users know how to change and edit and format. And then I can use a mail merge style integration with Business Central to create those documents without having to get a partner like Encore involved to do a true report.
And then from a Power platform standpoint, Power BI reports are embedded directly within Business Central. And again, they can be context-sensitive as well. So, if I wanna look at the history of an item, for example, as I go through the item list, I can have my Power BI report update to just show me that item’s information. As well as there being some prebuilt Power BI apps around finance and inventory and also a pre-built connector to really quickly get your data into Power BI if you want to be a citizen developer and create your own reports. And then also Power Automate, previously known as Flow. The most common use of that within Business Central is workflow or approvals, but all of this is buried right in there. It’s fully integrated in the stack.
If you want to, and we don’t typically recommend it, there is an on-premise option available. One of the reasons why we don’t recommend it is you do have to do those updates manually or in conjunction with a partner like ourselves. There is an infrastructure overset associated with that as well. Being on the SaaS, the cloud version is what we suggest all our clients do. It really lowers that total cost of ownership, automatic updates managed by Microsoft. So, that’s really where we think all our customers should go, but if, for whatever reason, you really want to stay on-premise and have an installation local, then that is an option that’s available still.
So, we know Business Central is definitely a hot product in the marketplace right now. We also know that existing Dynamics users like the NAV and GP users are interested in, how would they get to Business Central and keep us our initial, if not all of that data in that migration? Business Central, effectively, is the NAV product put into the cloud and rebranded. So, from a look and a feel and a functionality and common data and names and nomenclature, Business Central and NAV are effectively the same thing, just in the cloud, managed by Microsoft and in a web browser. So, for migrating previous versions of NAV to Business Central in the cloud, that’s really easy to move all of your data and we do that via upgrading temporarily to Business Central on-premise, and then Microsoft provides a set of tools to uplift all of your data into a SaaS tenant. And you’ll maintain all of your history just like you would have in a typical old NAV upgrade from version to version.
From GP, Microsoft has tools to move from GP version 2015 and onwards. And in that tool, you get Chart of Accounts. It now takes your segments and converts those two dimensions. Customers and vendors get uplifted as well. And you can filter on inactive or not. And it’s now including the addresses in the recent April update from Microsoft. Items can come across as well. And some new features there are locations as well as lot number and serial number data gets uplifted into Business Central. We can’t move the transactional data in detail from Dynamics GP. So, the way Microsoft is doing that is net changes per month by GL and by dimensions or what would have been the segment in the old version in GP. And there is no time limit to that. You can do unlimited years and you can do the open years as well. So, no need to worry that you’re not gonna get toward the data.
So, I have just quickly tried to cover what we think are some of the core features, kind of give you a bit of an intro to what Business Central is, how you might be able to get to it from some previous dynamics products. But I’m sure really what you guys wanna see is a demo of the actual product itself. So, I am going to hand over to Rico and he’s gonna walk you through the product itself.
Rico: Perfect. Thank you, Tony. Let me share my screen with you. So, you can see what I’m going to demo to you today. I hope that you can see my screen now. Maybe one of my fellows can confirm that you can see Business Central right now.
Tony: I can see it perfectly, Rico.
Rico: Perfect. Thank you. Yes. So, I’m a consultant with the Business Central practice at Encore here and I’m going to give you a little bit of an intro on to Business Central this morning or in the evening depending on where you are across this country. So, what you can see on my screen right now is one of the start centers or one of the role centers that you can see when you open up Business Central. So, the entire context that you see on the start screen here is depending on your user and it is role-based. Depending on who you are in the company, you will see several things on your start screen. And this enables you to have access to your frequent tables, frequent reports, frequent documents that you use on a daily basis.
First of all, I wanna show you a couple of things that are, like, most important under all centers. So, you have quick shortcuts to create certain activities which are related to your business. So, I’m logged in as the business manager, so I should be able to create a sales quote, sales order, but also should be able to create a purchase quote and a purchase order. If I was just in the purchasing department, of course, I wouldn’t see all the sales activities on the screen, but I will have more on the other side.
In the next section, we see a couple of KPIs and a couple of outstanding documents. This gives me a little bit of insight on, how is my business doing? Is something stuck here? So, for example, if I had like 100 sales quotes sitting here and they are not processed, maybe I want to open up the sales quotes table and see who’s dealing with them and phone up the sales guy and ask them, “Hey, what’s going on? Why are these sales quotes not processed? Why didn’t they turn into orders yet?”
So, that is the first section. Then we have another section in here, which is kind of a little bit more insights. And that’s what it also says actually. So, you can see like, a built-in charts that give you a little bit of insight saying, “Okay. I have, like, sales with this customer in my local currency of almost 350K.” I can have a favorite list of GL accounts that I wanna watch. For example, if I’m interested, how is my bank balance or how are my sales doing from day to day, I can pin a couple of GL accounts here and then I will see the most recent numbers coming in right here without, like, on my start screen. The next section here, you can see directly on your start screen is a trial balance. So, this entire screen that you can see here is totally customizable. In the end, it is an account schedule, which is one of the reporting tools that we have in the system. And if you wanna have, like, more lines or more columns, that’s totally on you to define what you want to see in here. And this trial balance here comes just out of the box.
The next section on the start screen here is the self-service section. So, for example, if you’re doing timesheets against jobs, against service orders, you can see timesheets that are submitted that wait for your approval. You can reject times, you can approve times. All of these pieces are in regards to timesheets, but there’s also a section where you can actually go and approve documents that you have to approve in the system. So, as you can see here right now, I have two pending approvals. So, if I click on that screen, it opens me a list of the things that I should approve. Let me make this a little bigger. So, I have a purchase invoice here that I need to approve so I can see where it’s coming from, as you can see the amount. And if I wanna open the records, I just need to click this button and then I can review the document and see what’s on the actual document. So, I can see, like, the actual invoice, I can see the items. If I wanna go even deeper in detail, I can go and see what was attached to the document, so, in this case, there is the vendor invoice. Somebody attached it here for me. So, if I wanna see the actual invoice that was sent to me a little bit earlier, or maybe it was scanned, this is also available. Yeah. And then I can either… I can approve the document directly from here or I can go back and close the document and approve, reject or even delegate the document to somebody else. So, that should be quite easy.
And then we have two parts here which are kind of super interesting. At least from my experience when I talk to customers sometimes I get the requirements, “Hey, I want to have an income statement always printed at a certain time and date.” So, for example, the CEO always wants to see how are we doing the first day of the month. Even though within month and it’s not technically done, he still wants to see, like, a rough number. And that’s what you can do. You can basically specify report and you can schedule it. So, as you can see, these reports have been run until midnight last night. And this is because I set the report should always be run the first day of the new month, and it will print the report as a PDF and it will store the current state of that report in here. So you can always come back and reopen the report and see what the numbers are at the time when it was run.
Same thing for an item list. So, let’s say you wanna have, like, actual numbers on the spot, like, what is my inventory at midnight on the month-end? Without any change and any things that can affect dates, everything, you can still have this report, it will sit here, wait for you, and it will always be available even months later. You can still see, “Okay. That was my inventory at May 1st midnight, so these are my inventory numbers for each of the items.” I think that’s kind of a nice feature. Without having any customization or any schedule, somebody needs to wake up in the middle of the night and run a report just for the sake of having a report with the most recent data at a certain time. So, that’s what I like about this feature.
And one more feature which is really handy is the Power BI Integration. As Tony was mentioning, there is integration into multiple products within the Microsoft stack. So, this is one where you can actually see, like, a couple of reports that are actually built-in Power BI. And if you wanna go deeper, you can expand report from here, and then you can see these numbers building up from Power BI. Of course, this morning I just woke up the machine, so maybe it’s a little bit slow here. But the report is basically pulling everything from Power BI live. You can drill down. And so if you wanna see how is Open Ski House doing, you can see the numbers and how they are affecting all the other BI reports. And this is all coming from Power BI itself. So, in Power BI you get, like, different packages for sales, for CRM, for financials, and they will be available for you out of the box. So, I didn’t customize any of those. This is just what came out of the box provided by Microsoft.
Okay. So, that’s it about the role center and the different screens that we have on the role center. The next topic I wanna show you or I wanna present to you is the financials because I think most of you are interested mostly in, like, how is financials reflected in Business Central as opposed to your current system, which might be GP, which might be NAV or which might be a totally different accounting system. So, what I wanna do is go to my Chart of Accounts. And as you can see on the first glance already, my Chart of Accounts is pretty short. So, I don’t… If you compared it to a GP Chart of Accounts, I don’t have any segments in here. What we are doing with the segments is actually we’re converting them or the logic we convert into dimensions.
So, what you can see here is really just a plain vanilla Chart of Accounts, which is usually the first segment if you compare it to GP. And if I wanna create a new account, it’s as easy as clicking on the New button, defining an account. So, I wanna create a new account, “Petty Cash” for my new office. It is a balance sheet account. Of course, it is an asset account and it belongs into my subcategory of cash. So, let’s just assign it to this group here. And it is direct posting because I wanna directly post into the account. And that’s about it. So, now I just set up a new GL account. As you can see, here’s my new account just created like that.
So, you may wonder now, “How do I record anything in regards to a project?” or, “How do I record anything for a department?” When you have segments, when you enter a new project, what you need to do as far as I understand because of GP consultant, as far as I understanding is, you have to create a whole set of new accounts. You have to create like a revenue account for that job. You have to create a Cox account for that job. You have to create all the accounts that you wanna use for that particular job just to be able to pull a report. What we are doing is using a dimension.
So, dimensions work in the system similar to hashtags. So, imagine you had a lecture which had a couple of hashtags saying, “Okay. This sale was recorded by my salesperson, Mark. This was recorded for my customer who is in the small and medium business area, and the region where the customer sitting is in Canada, British Columbia. And I was selling a specific item to this customer, which is a pipe. So, now I would be able to split apart my entire sales numbers by any of these categories here.” And you can add them manually while you are in transaction or, and that’s actually the cool feature about this whole thing is, you can already default those dimensions to your master records. So, for example, you have a salesperson, so everything that is tracked from Mark should have the hashtag for Mark. Everything that is tied to this customer should have these two hashtags, my customer group, SMB, and the region, Canada, British Columbia. And my items that I’m going to sell also have dimensions, so in this case, it would be an item, a group, or item type, a dimension. In this case, it’s a pipe.
As soon as I’m creating a sales invoice all these dimensions will be gathered attached to my document, in this case, the sales invoice, and when I’m posting them, all these dimensions will be carried over to the ledgers and you can use them for reports. So, the beauty of that is, if I just have a new salesperson, I wanna record that. I just need to add one more dimension of value, attach it to the master record, and all from here is still the same. I didn’t create any new GL account. All I did was creating a new dimension value. So, that is the concept of dimensions. I know it was a little bit fast, but when we discuss a project with you, we will totally go into the deep and we’ll discuss the differences where it should be a GL account, where it should be a dimension for you. So, don’t worry if you didn’t get all my quick-talking right now.
So, I wanna dive a little bit more into the Chart of Accounts to see what the dimensions are actually helpful for. So, what I want to do is filter, first of all, to my account that is in the income statement section. So, I wanna see only my income statement accounts. I’m filtering on this field, income statement. And now I see only the income statements. And I don’t care about all these blank lines. That’s why I wanna filter on my net changes. So, let me find my net changes column. If I can’t find it here, I just need to start typing “Net Changes” and it should not be equal to blank. So, now I see kind of a short list of my income statement for all the accounts that have a balance in here. The quick piece is I can store these few, I can say, this my income statement with values. If I save it, this is now a new view. Whenever I come back to my Chart of Accounts, I can select it from my Views already. So, it’s just a new view that is available to me.
Okay. So, let’s now look a little bit deeper into job sales. So, let’s dive into the $61,000 that we have right here. And we can see a whole bunch of invoices that were posted. But what you can see as well is that all these transactions are tied to either a department or a job or both. In this case, it’s both. So, what I can do now is I can split the number that I have in this account by these dimensions. So, if I wanna run my income statement or my trial balance and show me all the sales for a particular job, I can totally do that. So, let me just put a filter here on a particular job and say, “What are my numbers for this job, job number one?” And now I can see I filtered the entire list. Of course, all the other filters still apply. Since I only had the values in this GL account, I don’t see anything else except this account and all the subtotals and total account. But if I scroll down, now I can see the same level of detail, but now we can see it’s only for these particular jobs. And of course, I can do the same thing not only for the job, I can also do that for a department.
So, I can go even further and say, “Show me the total for anything that is tied to this particular job and was handled by this particular department.” So, of course, the number got a little bit smaller again because I’m filtering down my invoices. So, this is when I wanna see that for one particular job and one particular combination. But there is another tool, which is kind of handy, which is, like, I can actually run reports on that on my own and have this with all the details already baked in. So, let me go back and run a report from here. Reports, financial statement, income statement. And without applying any filter except the date filter, and remove that top filter here, I can preview this report. And what I can see is my income statement with all the numbers for everything.
But I thought, “Hey, maybe it would be a great idea to actually split my numbers by these dimensions.” Why don’t we just do that? So, we go, and this is just another… It’s the same, same tool in the background, but what I’m doing is now I’m not showing my net changes here. I’m actually showing this entire thing by departments. So, my report is still the same, but I changed my columns that I wanna see. So, now I’m running this, still, for the same, for the entire year, but now I’m getting a report that actually strips apart my numbers. So, my total are still the same, but I can see that my admin production and sales for the jobs income is actually split into the departments, and everything else which is not tied to dimension is still showing up, so my total is still the same.
And I can go even further and say, “Hey, let’s run this entire thing, but I wanna apply a job filter.” So, now I wanna see how are my departments doing for a particular job? So, even combinations of these dimensions are possible and now, of course, my total will change but you can see I can have my job totals for this particular job split by department. It’s super easy to run reports like this from Business Central.
The next thing I wanna show you is how you’re actually entering all these data. So, for example, I know that a couple of people in the GP world are used to working in infused where it’s similar to documents. Like, when we enter data, we can do that in documents or we can do that in journals. So, there is a few which is, I guess, kind of similar to what you’re doing currently where you see… Come on. Where you see your entries based on documents. So, you have, like, a debit account or you enter your debit amount, you have a credit account, you enter your credit amount, and then you have multiple documents. I can just pin that and go to the next one here. So, we have the next document numbers that have accrued salaries, have salaries and wages, and have all these here, and now I could post them or review them and let them sit, or I can just create a new one. And it’s as easy as that. So, I can start and say, “Okay. I wanna enter my wages.” So, I have accrued wages that, say, for this account, it’s an $800 credit and for my actual wages that I wanna enter, I just go here, enter $300. And let’s say we also have salaries. As you can see, I don’t even need to know the exact account number. I just start typing and then select the account that I want and now I’m basically done with my entry for my accrued salaries and wages and putting them into my expense account. Just easy as that.
To be honest, I don’t use this view quite often because I’m more… I kind of like the other way Microsoft allows you to enter data into the system. And this is more on line by line level. So, let me just show this to you. I created my own batch here, which is blank. And let me just flip the few to my preference of you because it kind of saves a little bit of space because I don’t use debits and credits. Debits and credits in this view are used with the amount column. And then you would put a plus for a debit and a minus for a credit. So, if I wanna enter something, I can do that all in one line and I don’t need to have these, like, the different columns, but I have space for other columns that I may wanna use in my journal.
And one thing I wanna show you as well is you don’t even need to enter all these manually. What you can do is basically, for example, copy and paste from an already prepared Excel spreadsheet. So, just Ctrl+C. Now I go back, Ctrl+V. And if everything goes right, yeah, I have all my numbers in here now. So, you can see everything came over. It had all the dimensions applied and everything that was in Excel already came over. And one more feature that we have available in here is that we can tie this to currencies. So, for example, if I change this to the U.S. dollars, the system will automatically pull the FX rate from the Bank of Canada since I set it up that way and convert my local amount of 100… It’s not [inaudible 00:33:43] amount. The invoice amount of 100 U.S. dollars into $150 Canadian which is my local currency here. So, this is another feature that is available to you, so you don’t need to mess with the FX rates and everything. You can totally leave the system, pull the rate, and apply it as you go and enter the data in here.
Another very interesting feature is that you can now, since you see I don’t have any values in here, you can actually edit this journal in Excel. Let me just do that. So, I’m basically clicking on Edit in Excel. It opens in Excel for me or downloads an Excel for me. Of course, I love it. I didn’t press the demo this morning, maybe that’s why. Okay. Let’s try it again. Okay. Here we go. Just need to enable the editing. And in the background, Microsoft is applying a little add-in which basically connects with my credentials from Excel into Business Central. This is also another beauty of the integration between Office 365 and Business Central that now it will retrieve the data from my journal. So, what I will see in a second is all the lines that I have in my journal and it could be thousands of lines. It would work the exact same way. Come into Excel here.
So, all I need to do now is to, in my case, enter the amounts. I just need to find the Amount field like minus-200. Let’s make it a little bit easy for me here. And now, I just clicked the button, push or publish. And now it’s moving everything into Excel. If I close this… And we can interchange or minimize it. So, minimize this guy. If I refresh this page, so let me just go out and back in again, it will have all the values coming over from Excel. If I had populated the currency code, it would also do the conversion already for me. So, I could even do that outside of the system. I think that’s kind of a cool feature because now you are able to have, like, mass uploads pushed into the system without even… You could do that with copy and paste or you can use the Edit in Excel function. If you already have a couple of lines in here, you just wanna change descriptions. Mass change descriptions, or mass change amounts, or whatever you wanna change on mass, you can surely do that in Excel. It should be easy enough.
Okay. So, that’s what I wanted to show you. Oh, hang on. I wanted to actually show you another cool feature. It’s posts…the preview posting. So, instead of really posting it directly into your lectures, you can have a preview on the posting, so you can see if I would post this journal, you would see already what would be the implication on my GL entries. And you can see that I have a customer on my line, but in the background, the system was converting it into my actual AR account. So, you can review what AR accounts will be affected if I would post this journal before I even posted it. And you can also see the customer ledger entries that would be generated. And depending on the payment terms of the customer, the system will already calculate the due date for that invoice for you if you let the system calculate it. So, depending on the customer and the payment terms, based on the posting date, it will calculate the due date and post that into your customer ledger entries. So, quite easy to handle, I guess.
Okay. That’s about it on the financial side and how you would enter data. Now let’s flip over into the operational side for a second. Tony mentioned already that there is a tool that is available for you in your Outlook. And it’s actually the same thing on the web app or in your local installed Outlook. I just demo it in the web app, because I think it’s kind of cool and it’s even emphasize more how cloud-based this entire solution is.
So, if I go to a specific email, which in this case is a demo email, which is coming from one of my customers, so, system could recognize this and I have a couple of sample data in here. So, let’s say this customer wanna buy, like, seven of these chairs and two of these tables. What I could do is could go to Business Central, open up the account, create a new document and then enter these items here. But there is another option and this option is actually right here for you. And it comes with the solution.
So, first of all, it connects to Business Central, it recognizes the customer’s email address, and will pull up the customer details for you. So, without even opening Business Central, you can already see the balances. If you want to see what the balance is already, you just click on the amount and you can drill down and see all the invoices for this particular customer without even leaving the system here. You can see ongoing sales quotes, posted sales invoices, you have statistics and whatnot. So, everything is right here for you without even leaving your browser for Outlook.
And one cool thing is I could actually create another sales quote from here. So, I just click and say, create a new sales quote. It recognizes these two items. If I say, “Yeah, please add those two of the quote,” hit OK. The system will create a sales quote for me for the customer. It will have the items with the item number, the description, the quantity, prices are coming from my system, so they already defaulted. Since it’s a Canadian customer, it’s also calculating the sales tax and effort thing. So, you can see there is sales tax calculated and that was basically creating a quote. Let’s just shoot it over to the customer, shouldn’t we? So, we can do that directly from here, say, “Okay. Send an email with the quote attached.” And the system will now process a report and create an email for me, which is sitting right here saying, “Hello. Thank you for your business. Attached you’ll find a quote and has like short description, so will have a quote and the total number.” And in the attachment you have an actual quote generated from Business Central for you without even going to Business Central.
And of course, they have a sent that and it comes back, the system again will recognize the quote, the customer saying, “Yeah, please convert it.” You would find the quote, click of a button, it converts it into an order, then, again, you can send an order confirmation and the operation can actually start within the system to figure out what needs to be shipped when and accord… Like, your whole business can start right from here and you didn’t even open the system at this point. Right? So, I think that’s kind of handy and helps you a lot. And as I told you, this entire thing is also available in Excel, sorry, in your actual email account. So, if you go over here, you can, of course, see the sales quote, if I would send it that would go out the door. But I have the same features in here. So, I could go and create a quote directly from here or I have the contact insights also available in my full installed Outlook client. Also, that piece should work.
Okay. One more thing that I wanna show you is how this entire thing works on mobile. So, what you can see already in the background is my actual mobile phone. So, this is my private mobile phone. And I kind of screen notes, it’s to my computer here. So, there is a Business Central app. As you can see, I have, like, a whole bunch of Microsoft apps, but this doesn’t really matter because all I care is Business Central. And you may recognize that this looks pretty familiar to what we had seen in the beginning on my start screen. Same functionality. If I wanna drill down, I just click on the sales quotes, and it opens the screen and shows me the sales quote. If I wanna dive deeper, I can click on the sales quote here and it will open the sales quote for me, showed me all the lines, and everything that is related to that. Of course, it takes a second because, of course… Okay. So, it’s thinking. So, you can see the lines, you can see the other pieces and you can send emails and everything from here already. So, it’s super easy. You can even go into more details for this customer and everything that’s related to that. Super easy to navigate as I feel.
But as you can imagine, it’s on my phone, right? So, this phone is not super big. So, how would I actually enter a purchase order? And here is where Microsoft really invested and it actually helps you to identify, for example, if you’re creating a purchase order, it helps you to identify, “Hey. There are a couple of more items that you may wanna buy for this particular customer.” So, there is AI applied that figures out, “Okay. Usually, you’re buying these items from this customer and you’re running low on those in regards to inventory,” so the system will suggest you to buy even more. So, we can see here. And of course, it isn’t loaded, so why did not suggest. So, usually, you would get some buttons in the upper corner saying, “Hey, usually you buy more items from this vendor at this time because they’re running low.” So, you would just click on a button and the system will fill the lines for you in here so you don’t need to go into the list and type them in manually because you could imagine, it’s a little bit cumbersome to do that on your phone. It’s possible, but if it’s an easier way, Microsoft actually helps you on that.
Yeah. So, that is basically what I had in my demo. And I see that I just ran over by one minute, which I think is like spot on. So, I wanna hand over, again, to Tracey.
Tracey: Fantastic. Thank you so much, Rico. All right. Well, we’ll open up for any questions. You can type your questions into the chat or I’m not sure, Tess, if we can just open it up so that people can ask questions. I’m not sure how we want to approach it today.
Tess: Yeah, they can type their questions into the side pane or you could raise your hand and I can unmute you.
Tracey: Awesome. Okay. Thank you so much, Tess. That was a great presentation, Rico. You really, really gave us a good overview of that. And I’m sure we’ll just wait here for a few moments because I’m sure there are going to be some questions come up from the group or things they might wanna see or functionality that potentially if they’re a GP client that they have that they’re curious about in that new environment in Business Central.
Tess: There’s a question here that says, “Is the email functionality only available for full users or is it available for people with limited access?”
Rico: I’m not 100% sure. I think… No. I don’t wanna put a false statement there. We can totally find out and come back to you on that one because, as you mentioned, there are two types of licenses for Business Central, a full user and a limited user. And the limited user is usually used, like, he has around full data read access and several tables that he can write into. For example, this user is good if you wanna use it for approval and everything. So, you get an email that you need to approve something, you go into the system on your phone, on the browser wherever you want it, and then you could approve. But I’m not 100% sure if the email sending function for quotes is already available for limited user or for team user, how they are called these days.
Tracey: I can follow up on that, Rico.
Tess: Sounds good. Thank you. The next question is, “Does this come with a test environment?”
Rico: Yes, it does. So, per tenant, we have at least one production environment and an environment that is called Sandbox. And you can have up to three sandboxes available. So, usually, when we do an implementation, we have at least two sandboxes, one that we use for developments that we need to do for you. So, it doesn’t affect your testing immediately. So, we run it against this development environment, then the consultant is using to test it, and then it goes over into your sandbox. So, you can test it in the sandbox, and once you approve, the entire changes go to your production environment. And you have full control over these environments. So, whenever you feel like, “Hey, I wanna take a new snapshot from my production and convert it into a new sandbox, you just need to manage, like, you need to stay within the limits of the three sandboxes but you can delete the sandbox on your own and recreate a new one, which is a snapshot of your current production. So, totally, a yes.
Tess: Awesome. Next question is, “Does business central able to compute the EOQ quantity for manufacturing MRP?”
Rico: I’m not 100% sure how to answer that because I’m not 100% sure, like, if I understood the question correctly. So, if Tony may wanna chime in here, otherwise, I need to follow up on the question. I think it’s [inaudible 00:48:36]
Tony: Sure. I’m not sure I totally know what you mean by EOQ, but…
Tess: Economic Order Quantity. So, it’s gonna take intelligence and determine what you should be ordering.
Tony: Okay. So, like usage [inaudible 00:48:51] type of stuff. Is that what it is, Tracey?
Tracey: Yeah. So, what’s [inaudible 00:48:56] and what’s your message?
Tony: Yeah. So, Business Central does come with a fully functioned MRP and a bunch of requirements, some planning parameters that you can put into the system to dictate kind of how to purchase and when to purchase and what and how many quantities and safety stock levels and all of those things. And you can also start pulling that into, you know, some of those ISV add-ons that’s not using Cortana Business Intelligence, AI to even help with the MRP. So, there is core functionality and there is the ability to add on to it too, but that person would get their contact details. We can definitely talk a little bit more about that specific requirements and see if Business Central can fit them.
Tess: Yeah, I can share those with you guys after. The next question is, “Is there an upgrade path from GP2013? I saw on the first slide that GP2015 support this but not sure if it’s available in 2013.”
Tony: Microsoft is actively working on making all versions of NAV and Business… Sorry. And NAV migration tools to Business Central SaaS. Today with the tools that are here today, it’s GP2015 only, so you’d need to upgrade to 2015, and then from 2015, you could use those tools. But I believe on the roadmap, Microsoft has all versions of GP migrating directly to Business Central.
Tess: Thanks, Tony. The next question is, “How long does it take to deploy Business Central for a small company?” Just a rough estimate.
Rico: So, there are a couple of options on how to deploy. Like, we have two packages, which you can find on our website for super small and super standardized implementations. They have, like, a fixed price and they also come with, like, a fixed implementation period. From my experience. If you have changes and you wanna read or discuss how your business is running and everything, what I’m usually doing, what I need for an implementation time is something between three and five months depending on how complex your business is in the end. But these rapid implementations could be even below… And usually, it’s like three months, but I think they could be below three months if you really just need standard implementation with no changes, no specifics of Chart of Accounts, and no weird or unusual setups for APAR.
Tess: Thank you. The next question is, can forecasts be entered manually to translate to planned orders?
Rico: There are forecasting tools in the system. So, first of all, there is a forecast in regards to GL. So, there’s a budgeting function. But there’s also a sales forecast for items and there’s also a production forecast in the system which allows you to enter what you think you’re going to produce to run the MRP and to create, like, the production orders and everything. So, yes, there are a couple of tools available. It depends on what you wanna forecast, which tool to use.
Tess: Sounds great. And that is all the questions that have been submitted so far. Thank you, everyone, for submitting those questions. And nothing else has come in.
Tracey: Fantastic. Well, thank you so much, Tony, Rico, and Tess. That was awesome. Great overview. And thank you, our audience, for all your great questions and we look forward to our demo in a couple of weeks. So, again, be able to invite your colleagues and coworkers and anyone else that might be interested in seeing an overview of Business Central. And if you do have any questions, you have our email, you can reach out to anyone of us and we will talk with you soon.
Tess: And we will be sending out a recording afterwards. Thanks, everyone.
Rico: Thank you
Tony: Have a great weekend.
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