We are receiving questions from our clients and others about Dynamics 365 BC and Dynamics GP. Many of those questions are prompted based on marketing materials from Microsoft and others. This article attempts to counter some of the marketing myths out there.
Let me start by stating I am not a BC denier. I stipulate that:
- Microsoft is focused on its cloud-based subscription ERP products and will spend more money developing and marketing these applications than their on-premises perpetual licensed offerings.
- Microsoft will discontinue support for Dynamics GP at some point in the future.
- I don’t know when Microsoft will discontinue support for Dynamics GP.
I also don’t know when Microsoft will discontinue support for Dynamics BC.
- Dynamics BC is a good choice for many Dynamics GP customers desiring to move their ERP application to a cloud/browser-based environment.
- There are happy, successful customers running Dynamics BC.
10 Dynamics 365 BC Myths and Facts
1) Myth- Microsoft has announced the end of support for Dynamics GP.
This is the most common piece of disinformation we hear, and Microsoft only has themselves to blame. The lack of publicity for the support lifecycle and roadmap has given Microsoft's competitors a fertile environment for spreading disinformation.
Microsoft has published a roadmap showing support and ongoing development for GP through 2028 and beyond. See for yourself what Microsoft is reporting. That announcement can be found at this Microsoft link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics-gp/terms/lifecycle
2) Myth - Dynamics BC is the new version or the latest release/upgrade for Dynamics GP.
Again, Microsoft is to blame for the root cause of this disinformation. The remarkably poor branding of all Dynamics products and lack of clarity in Microsoft's own marketing material creates confusion.
Dynamics BC is a completely different product than Dynamics GP and will need to be implemented as a new product. Users will require retraining, a gap analysis will be required, and third-party products used in GP will need to be reviewed to determine necessity and availability.
3) Myth - Dynamics BC is the best/only choice for Dynamics GP companies looking to move to the cloud.
Microsoft has positioned BC as the new ERP for all GP companies regardless of size, industry, or specific requirements.
There will be functionality and/or performance limitations that will prevent some Dynamics GP customers from successfully migrating to Dynamics BC. Some of the functionality limitations may be overcome with 3rd parties or customization but some GP customers will find better fits with BC's big brother Dynamics Finance and Supply Chain or outside of Microsoft. In addition, Microsoft did not design BC to replace GP for mid-market companies. If a GP client is $100m+ and has a medium to high transaction volume (e.g., 500 sales transactions per day), then Microsoft will recommend their Finance and Supply Chain product.
4) Myth - Dynamics BC can be implemented for any company in 6-8 weeks or less.
Microsoft has positioned BC as an ERP commodity and priced it accordingly. With such a low price for the software licenses, Microsoft and certain partners have developed an implementation "methodology" focused on repeatability and speed. In other words, make the implementation a commodity to match the product.
Implementing a new ERP system is difficult, time-consuming, and dangerous to a company's health. Nothing in Dynamics BC has changed this fact. To make short implementation timelines, partners are forced to cut corners in planning and training which are the most time-consuming elements of an ERP implementation. Meaningful discovery sessions are replaced with questionnaire spreadsheets and company-specific training is replaced with generic videos and self-study.
5) Myth - All of your GP data will move to BC automatically using the migration tool provided by Microsoft.
This marketing message has been created to overcome hesitation by GP clients that do not want to lose data or go through an expensive, time consuming data migration project.
After some cleanup and review, some of your data will move from GP to BC using the Microsoft provided migration tool. Some of your data will not move from GP to BC using the Microsoft provided migration tool and will require queries to be written in SQL server and configuration packages to be created in BC. Some of your data might not move at all. It may be better to move your data to Azure Data Lake and use it as a reporting source.
6) Myth - Dynamics BC is so intuitive and easy to use that little to no training will be required for your GP users.
This message is promoted as part of the rapid deployment positioning by Microsoft and some partners.
This is the lie that would be the best fact. Unfortunately, Dynamics BC is just as hard to learn as Dynamics GP and in some cases, it may be more difficult. The world needs a truly intuitive ERP solution but unfortunately BC is not it. Whatever your company spent in time and money training users in GP, expect the same or more cost for your BC implementation.
7) Myth - With Dynamics BC, upgrades are automatic and require no effort by the client or partner.
This is attractive to GP clients especially now that Microsoft requires at least one upgrade per year to remain on a supported version.
Even though the upgrade is pushed out automatically, it still requires effort to plan and train for the changes included, review third party compatibility, and determine if any custom code or reports need to be updated. You will be notified when your instance will be updated and there are some options to delay if necessary. The actual installation of the updates has been automated by Microsoft but the other work in an upgrade remains the responsibility of the customer and partner.
8) Myth - Dynamics BC will be faster and more scalable than an existing Dynamics GP installation.
There is an expectation by clients that when a technology change is made, performance and scalability will be improved. No one buys a new computer and expects it to be slower than their old computer.
The performance of on premises GP was reliant on server hardware and network speed. The performance of BC is based on Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure and internet speed. This article explains more about how BC performance is managed. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/business-central/dev-itpro/performance/performance-overview
We have clients processing thousands of sales transactions per day in GP. When more capacity is needed, the SQL server or terminal servers are improved or increased. With BC, this is not in the hands of the customer. BC performance is controlled by Microsoft.
9) Myth - Dynamics BC can be self-implemented by most companies and does not require an implementation partner.
This is another area where Microsoft markets to the Quickbooks users but does not quite have the technology to meet this expectation. Many Quickbooks users are successfully self-implemented since the application was built to be self-implemented.
While Microsoft continues to improve their onboarding process, Dynamics BC is still too complicated for most companies to self-implement. There are hundreds of setup and security options in the BC application. Securing a knowledgeable implementation partner can reduce overall implementation time and improve efficiency in daily work.
10) Myth - If your company is a "Microsoft shop" then a Microsoft ERP is the only/best option.
This is a justification for only reviewing BC by more companies that one would expect and there are some advantages to running a Microsoft ERP with other Microsoft packages.
The advent of the cloud has made local client hardware and OS a non-issue when selecting applications. Users will access and use BC and other cloud applications from Windows, Mac, phones, and tablets. While BC integrates with Office, Teams, and other Microsoft products, those integrations also exist to non-Microsoft products. Microsoft is not going to lose Office or Teams business because they are missing an integration to a competitive ERP.
Dynavistics is here for you
Do not worry, you have Microsoft and Dynavistics Support for years to come. You can plan what is right for your firm and select the timeframe that works for you.
We realize some companies may want to review browser-based applications like Dynamics Business Central or even Netsuite. We stand ready to assist in those reviews, demos, and implementations; however, we want our customers to have full and accurate information when making those decisions.
Dynavistics is happy to provide full and accurate information so you can make the right choice at the right time for your firm. If you have any questions or want to discuss your future ERP plans or want help with ERP planning, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
About Todd McDaniel
Todd McDaniel is a partner at Dynavistics, a Microsoft partner and software development company. Todd is a financial and MIS professional with a successful record of applying new and existing technology solutions to enterprise-wide operations. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Florida Southern College, as well as Certified Public Accountant, Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Certified Trainer, and Microsoft Dynamics GP Master Certifications.
Todd has a broad range of computer and accounting experience including: hardware and software implementation, help desk management, software and database development, systems consulting, technology planning, tax preparation and planning, and general and cost accounting.
Todd began his Dynamics career in Atlanta before working for Ideal Solutions, ePartners, and ACE Microtechnology in Tampa, FL. Todd currently manages the development and sales operations for Dynavistics including the design of new software features, production of sales collateral, management of partner relationships, and customer relationship management. He founded Enterprise Software Podcast in May of 2014 and is a periodic podcaster emeritus.
If you have any questions about Dynamics GP or BC or general questions about how we can help you, contact Dynavistics today!