Many Dynamics GP, NAV, and AX customers want to transition their businesses to a cloud solution like Dynamics 365 Business Central or Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, but a few common barriers hold them back. This article will address how clients can overcome these challenges in their transition planning.
Encore’s priority is to provide guidance for clients to make informed decisions while exploring the business value that Cloud technology can bring to your organization. Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 cloud ERP applications offer increased security and productivity, more predictable costs, and other benefits.
If you would like to learn more about the path forward for your specific Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, or Dynamics AX solution, please visit our From On-premise to Cloud ERP page.
Table of Contents
- What is Holding You Back from Transitioning?
- Why Microsoft?
- Next Steps
What is Holding You Back from Transitioning?
According to a survey conducted at our virtual event, Encore Vantage, we asked Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, and Dynamics AX users what was holding them back from transitioning off their on-premise solution to the Cloud. The top concerns holding users back from a move to the Cloud are:
- Business disruption – 55%
- Budget – 46%
- Lack of transition strategy – 29%
- Lack of skilled team members – 28%
- Security and privacy – 20%
On average, respondents selected two reasons holding them back. Fifty-five percent of respondents felt that business disruption was an area that resonated with them, closely followed by budget and a lack of transition strategy.
Business Disruption – What Will Happen While you Remain On-Premise?
Traditional upgrades for on-premise solutions could take anywhere from two days to a week. You must also consider whether or not you have access to a test environment or, will the upgrade simply go-live? Additionally, hardware updates must be done, where there is an associated risk of server outages. Potential ransomware and disaster recovery are all things that can cause a business disruption and must be considered while remaining on-premise.
Clients who experience ransomware often face downtime that can extend for weeks. Encore has assisted a client’s recovery from ransomware, dedicating over two hundred hours to restore their systems and get them back up and running. Another client had their AWS server, where GP was hosted, go down. It took over a hundred hours to restore their systems and get them back up and running.
Another side of business disruption could be thought of as disruption to your business during the transition to the cloud. The timing of projects is vital in mitigating business disruption. We understand how significant this topic can be. Our team will always make sure projects are done at the appropriate time, to avoid disruption right before a significant business event. Having delivered thousands of successful projects, our dedicated project managers are experienced in helping you succeed. Encore can support you and your current solution, as well as supporting your new Cloud solution.
Budget – Resource Allocation Changes
In the planning stage for a transition project, budget is an important factor.
With a transition to a Cloud ERP like Dynamics 365, the resource allocation changes compared to on-premise ownership and maintaining the solution. With a Cloud solution, all resources needed both internally and externally for on-premise upgrade services will be eliminated. We avoid having to replace any infrastructure and eliminate the need for resources to manage and maintain it, eliminating the costs of supporting that infrastructure. Maintenance plans for both ERP and CRM software, as well as all supplemental software solutions changes. The investment for upgrade services is no longer needed with a Cloud ERP. Additionally, clients could have dedicated funds put aside for disaster recovery.
For example, when we compare on-premise vs. cloud solutions, the costs will continue to significantly decrease over time. The three-year and five-year cost savings will be significant. Encore can work with you to build out your business plan and show your organization’s decision makers how you can save money over time. Each client will have different factors that contribute to their costs, but here is an example below comparing on-premise to cloud total cost of ownership:
Cost – Cloud vs. On-Premise
On-Premise: Majority of the costs associated with being on-premise are hidden. We tend to think of the costs of the annual enhancement plan, which can be quite low, but there are other cost factors associated with the server environments and the hosting environments that are not necessarily factored in. Buried costs can be upgrades, maintenance, the costs to manage and maintain the server environment, and the associated SQL environments etc.
Cloud: The cloud environment will serve the majority of the major cost factor associated with on-prem for you. Microsoft has a full server facility. It maintains all Windows server environments, all of which will be included with the price of an ERP or CRM cloud solution. Annual fees will be higher, but all of the hidden costs will be taken care of.
Skilled Team Members
We understand that there may be uncertainty with introducing a new ERP solution to your team that is currently familiar with GP, NAV, or AX. The exciting part with Cloud solutions is that it is a Microsoft application. When you choose to transition, you’ll encounter a familiar interface and a similar user experience.
Encore can help you leverage your existing skills and train you in the new application. The Encore team continues to create blog articles and YouTube videos to support your team and their learning. There is also a whole host of resources on Microsoft Learn to help with training.
Here are a few video resources:
- Dynamics 365 Business Central Training Playlist
- Dynamics 365 Business Central New User Training
- Navigating Through the Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations Interface
Security in a World of Change
We understand that there is a lot happening in the world right now.
Business disruptions and uncertainty are affecting a lot of organizations, and they are affecting all businesses very differently. Technology is an enabling factor to improve your business processes, improve how you interact in a more streamlined and efficient manner with your customers, and provide that customer with a great customer service experience.
Likewise, customer expectations have shifted, they expect just as much, if not more, from providers, distributors, vendors, etc. This has transformed the way we communicate and requires us to rapidly adjust to changing customer expectations. Microsoft has enabled full omnichannel communication for customers, allowing users to interact with both customers and vendors through portals and other means.
There has also been a shift in work culture. Where you work, when you work, and how you work have changed. Cloud technologies allow you the flexibility to use technology at your fingertips, from any place, at any time.
With over 785,000 clients, Microsoft is dedicated to developing data security solutions. Microsoft continues to invest $4 billion a year to ensure your data security is protected. Over 8,500 people at Microsoft are dedicated to watching, protecting, and attempting to hack into the system. For example, Microsoft has developed a blue team and a red team. The red team is made up of professional hackers who attempt to hack into the systems to identify weaknesses. The blue team works to prevent the red team from getting into the system.
We want you to trust that your data is being stored in a security source you trust, Microsoft has taken significant steps to ensure that you have peace of mind when it comes to your data security.
When you begin to think about transitioning, it is beneficial to establish a company plan defining a particular timeframe and key milestone. This allows you to evaluate the ways in which a cloud solution, such as Business Central, can meet those requirements in ways that your on-premise solution cannot, due to architectural constraints.
Encore is here to help you build out your transition strategy. We begin by looking at your current environment, outlining your current Dynamics procedures and processes, including what works and what you would like to see in your new environment. We evaluate when was the last time you archived your history and what is blocking you from success. By having this information, you can document what a successful transition looks like for you.
To be proactive about your business’ future, your organization should be planning and preparing to change ERPs within the next few years. Building out a roadmap of expectations, plans, and budget for your organization can help pave the road for successful transitions. Connect with your account manager or contact us to help you begin to build out your technology roadmap.
It’s common, as you evolve and grow and your company processes evolve and change, that certain divisions and departments within the company will have different processes. This can cause disconnected systems and data that is not internally linked. It can become a cobweb of systems, tools, and data of things being stored that are not being used efficiently.
When searching for ERP and CRM systems, the Microsoft suite has unparalleled feature functionality, setting us apart from other options on the market. The complete Microsoft stack allows you to have data security through Azure, the powers of AI through Power BI, and Azure Cognitive Services. You can effectively collaborate within your company through the tools that come with Microsoft Office and the Teams environment, for example. Having all your data in one source, the Cloud, allows you to manage your data and make decisions based on all the data available to you. Microsoft is a fully integrated platform.
Announced earlier this year, customers can harness the technologies of ChatGPT to interact with data in an easy manner using the new tool, Microsoft Copilot. Dynamics 365 Copilot allows you to get information quickly and easily without having to manually search for the information.
Based on Microsoft’s recent survey on business trends, nine out of ten workers hope to use AI to reduce repetitive tasks in their jobs. With Dynamics 365 Copilot, organizations can empower their workers with AI built tools built for sales, service, marketing, operations, and supply chain roles. These AI capabilities allow everyone to spend more time on the best parts of their job, and less time on mundane tasks. These capabilities will be available in Cloud solutions.
Once you’ve identified barriers in your transition, you can begin to think about the next steps. Start the discussion in your organization about what a transition strategy looks like for you.
Encore can help you plan out the timeline, technology choices, and cloud strategy that will unlock growth for your business.
Through the decision-making process, it’s important to consider the full technology roadmap for your business. As your Dynamics Partner, Encore takes the time to understand your business needs, goals, and strategy, in order to create a technology plan going forward. We can identify how you can bring existing solutions together and leverage the current and future capabilities of the full Microsoft business stack: Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365 (Office 365), Power BI, and more.
For more information about overcoming barriers in your transition planning to Dynamics 365 watch this recorded webinar between Tracey Santos from Encore and Mike D’Arcy from Microsoft.
If you have any questions about your transition to Dynamics 365, please contact us.
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