Dynamics 365 Business Central completes you customer dialogue
In my last blog I suggested that it will take some time for customers to migrate to Dynamics 365 Business Central. Recently, I had an interesting discussion about this topic with a Marketing Manager at Microsoft. Based on qualitative research they did, they found that customers in the Mid-market tend to make a decision as an entire company to go to cloud with their IT. So, they no longer look at ERP in isolation but consider all their business solutions in the overall context of cloud migration. At that moment, they are likely to not just consider an upgrade of their ERP solution, but to evaluate their entire business solutions for new. If we look at the typical life-cycle of an ERP solution, it makes senses, after 5-10 years, that your business has changed and your organization has changed as well. Therefore it is likely your business processes, that your original ERP solution modelled, might no longer be the same.
Even more drastic, many customers were looking at their existing ERP solution being legacy and representing “old ways” of doing business, so they are even more inclined to favour a completely new solution, that represents what customer perceive as being their new or evolved business. So, by the time the customer makes a decision to platform their ERP, they might not even consider an upgrade but rather go for a new vendor. If customers then add more standardization into the equation, it could change the dynamics of the ERP buying cycle massively.
This might also drive an analogy to your Dynamics NAV or GP solution. If customers demand a modern ERP solution with greater user experience, mobility, cloud delivery and standardization, will it become more economical to upgrade your existing solution or to build an entirely new solution with Dynamics 365 Business Central? If you consider that your upgraded solution might not meet the customer criteria 100% and appear as being old wine in a new glass, it might even make more sense to start all over again. With your industry expertise enjoy the benefits of the new development platform that Dynamics 365 Business Central provides, extend functionality and enable new user scenarios with technologies such as Power BI, Power Apps or Flow. Of course, this is a very complex decision to take, but one you should take seriously – NOW!. We can now take it for granted that customers will request a modern cloud solution for their business processes, it is no longer an option or only true for part of your customer base.
Starting from scratch with a cloud solution, is arguably one of the advantages that some of the “born in the cloud” platforms like Netsuite enjoy. Partners that build solutions on top of these platforms are cloud SaaS solutions by definition and for sure, they will do their best to make any legacy NAV solution look like a Dinosaur. But again, the biggest risk is that customers might not even consider your NAV solution as a viable alternative. So, addressing the opportunity to re-platform the existing solution to cloud becomes a mandatory conversation. A conversation that we can now confidently enter into. With Dynamics 365 Business Central customers will get a modern, scalable cloud solution, even if they decide to deploy that solution on-prem (from fall 2018). They can switch to a SaaS deployment any time in the future.
From a QBS perspective, we would like to have that important discussion with you and consult you with insights we get from other partners. In the end, however you decide to upgrade your existing solution or to build a new one, we can offer services that will help you bring that decision to a productive and successful outcome. As part of the ‘Ready-to-Go’ program, we offer workshops that help you assess and then evaluate the opportunities with existing solutions and how to re-platform or build new IP for Dynamics 365 Business Central. With the upgrade services, we can partly automate the process of upgrading your NAV solutions. Our training and enablement services can help you build the capabilities you need to create a modern, compelling ERP solution that none of your customers will consider being a Dinosaur.