Dynamics GP customers can choose to transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central, gaining the advantages of a cloud ERP with modern functionality in a familiar Microsoft interface.

Encore can help you design the future of your business technology and processes, and perform the technical transition to Business Central. We can also guide you through change management, user training, and adoption.

Who Is This the Right Fit For?

Moving from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central may be the right decision for your company if you want to:

  • Move your business systems to the cloud.
  • Enable your remote and mobile workers to be more productive and collaborative.
  • Save on expenses for server maintenance and replacement.
  • Have modern security and disaster recovery built in to your ERP, with your data being stored in highly secure state-of-the-art data centers owned and managed by Microsoft.
  • Have your ERP costs be more predictable and flexible (licenses based on users per month).
  • Always be on the latest version of the solution, eliminating the need for future upgrades.
  • Leverage more seamless integrations with other products in the Microsoft business stack, like invoicing from Outlook, streamlining business processes with Power Automate, and more.

Read a more detailed comparison of GP and Business Central.

When Is the Right Time to Transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central?

The right time to transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central will be different for each business. The factors you should consider when determining your business’s right time include:

  • Timing with your business’s seasonality.
  • How soon you want to gain the benefits of a cloud ERP for your workforce such as more flexibility and mobility, easier collaboration, easier integration with Microsoft 365 (Office 365).
  • Budget, including both financial and resourcing.
  • Availability of internal resources to assist with planning and testing.

For deeper detail, watch our video on the topic:

Two Approaches for Transitioning from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central

The approach we take for transitioning from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central depends on which of two strategic intents you have for your project:

Option A

To get your existing business processes up and running in the new ERP software. In option A, you are keeping all your processes and procedures as close to the same as possible. This allows your team to focus on adapting to the new software.

Option B

To update and improve your business processes as well as your ERP. In option B, there is an opportunity to address outdated processes or ongoing pain points, and to have your new solution implemented in a way that matches what your business truly needs.

Your preparation in documenting your existing processes and pain points will help to clarify your intent for the project.

Steps In a Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central Transition

A Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central transition proceeds in four steps. Importantly, the analysis step provides essential information that will be needed at all later steps.

  1. Analysis: Determining your business processes, pain points, and business needs.
  2. Solution modeling: Configuration, design, and development.
  3. Deployment: Training, user acceptance testing, and any needed reconfiguration.
  4. Operations: Go live and load final balances.

For our existing customers, because Encore is already familiar with your business, the analysis step begins with collaboration between our GP and Business Central resources to review your environment, data, and history of projects and support cases.

During the transition process, there is no downtime for GP. Once the set cutoff date is determined, besides closing month entries, there should be no more entries entered or posted in GP. During the Operations phase, user access will be set to read-only in GP.

Note that you can keep access to GP after going live, so that your users can look up past transactions if your server is up and running. The GP license is in perpetuity and clients often choose to maintain access to their legacy system for historical purposes.

How Long Does It Take to Transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central?

A transition from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central takes between three months and a year, depending on the size of your project. Project size is broadly defined by the number of modules used, as well as factors such as the complexity of your business processes, volume of data, and any third party/ISV add-on products.

A small project typically takes 3 to 5 months. A medium project typically takes 4 to 6 months. And a large project typically takes 6 to 9 months.

These size classifications are general guides, and there are other factors that can impact a project, resulting in a change to its classification. For instance, some companies needing the jobs module have a level of complexity that means their project is categorized as large, but other companies needing the same module with less complexity might have a medium project.

Also, of the two different approaches to this transition described above, option B — which includes updating and improving your business processes — generally requires more time invested. Here’s an overview of what a small, medium, or large project usually includes:

Small project contains General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Management. Medium also contains Purchasing, Sales, Inventory, and Jobs. Large also contains Manufacturing and Warehousing.

How to Prepare for Transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central?

There are four important steps you can take to prepare for transitioning from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central:

  • Document your processes. This may identify inefficiencies with your current procedures and processes, and that will help clarify the strategic intent of your project.
  • Review your data. Close inactive records, merge duplicates, and verify subledgers are in balance to the GL.
  • Consider your pain points. What are the recurring problem areas in your business processes? Are there some manual processes that could be automated?
  • Make a wish list. Are there features in Business Central or the rest of the Microsoft stack you want to explore?

Differences in Dynamics 365 Business Central Licensing Compared to Dynamics GP

The two most important differences in how Dynamics 365 Business Central licensing works as compared to Dynamics GP licensing are cloud hosting and named licenses.

Cloud Hosting: In Business Central, there is no fee for hosting your ERP in Microsoft’s Azure cloud. You don’t buy or license a server. The user licenses include that hosting for free. Furthermore, you never have to pay annual enhancement plan fees again.

Named Licenses: In Business Central, each license is assigned to a named individual user, and licenses are billed on a per user, per month basis. There is no minimum number of users, and furthermore, you can quickly scale up and scale down your number of users.

For the prices of the three main license types, review this table:

Dynamics 365 Business Central License
Price Per User Per Month
Business Central Essentials Full User
$70.00 USD ($95.00 CAD)
Business Central Premium Full User
$100.00 USD ($135.70 CAD)
Business Central Team Member
$8.00 USD ($10.20 CAD)

For more information, please see Dynamics 365 Business Central | Licensing and Pricing Answers.

How Encore Can Help Build Out Your Technology Roadmap

Through the decision-making process, it’s important to consider the full technology roadmap for your business. 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.

At Encore, we are experts in both Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central. We have teams dedicated to each product, with a deep history and experience. These teams work together and understand both products, so the people implementing Business Central for you can draw on the familiarity that our GP team has built up with your business and others like it.

We combine technical skill in Microsoft products with experience in the essential change management and training aspects of an ERP transition. This means we can guide you through testing, training, and user adoption – which are as important to your success as the technical implementation itself.

Furthermore, we provide guidance tailored to your specific situation. 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 help you plan out the timeline, technology choices, and cloud strategy that will unlock growth for your business.

If you’d like to discuss your cloud strategy, or get started on a transition to Business Central, please contact us with the form below. We’d love to help.

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