When is it Time to Migrate from Dynamics GP to the Cloud?


Business Central ERP Selection & Management

Table of Contents

By Chris Young
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With the investment in Microsoft’s cloud-first ERP and CRM platform heavily underway, it’s no wonder why many companies currently running their business on Microsoft Dynamics GP on-premise are considering a move to the cloud.

While Microsoft continues to service and support the Dynamics GP product line, almost all of their energy is going towards building up Dynamics 365. It says a lot when the next upgrade path for the ever-popular products lines, Dynamics NAV and Dynamics AX, is Dynamics 365.

So why does this matter? Microsoft is the now offering 40% upgrade discounts to Dynamics GP customers to switch to Business Central. It’s an enticing offer for any company currently struggling to upgrade their system to the latest version. Business Central should be considered as a part of any GP upgrade because it is an integral part of the Microsoft roadmap where it will continue to concentrate its cutting-edge features.

Why Move to Business Central?

Dynamics 365 Business Central is a flexible, end-to-end cloud ERP and CRM solution built for the growing small and midsized business market that Dynamics GP caters to. Business Central’s Essentials version includes core business process management functionality: Financial Management, Customer Relationship Management, Project Management, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources Management, and Warehouse Management. The Premium version is all that plus Service Management and Manufacturing.

For existing Dynamics GP customers, making the transition to Business Central will give them a modern cloud-based ERP platform that works the way Dynamics GP has in the past. It’s similar in its’ set of core functionality and its’ familiar in the way it connects with 3rd party applications to fill any specific business process or industry requirements.

The major difference is that with Business Central, it is a true software as a service (SaaS) offering and delivers a ton of efficiency and productivity enhancements that Dynamics GP does not. Even if you are running Dynamics GP in an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environment, IaaS is merely a different venue for your data to live and it’s not built to perform the automatic upgrades, web and mobile accessibility, and seamless integrations that come with Business Central.

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some other additional benefits of moving from Dynamics GP on-premise to Business Central:

      • Reduced Overhead and Costs: You get a low priced per user/per month, hosted financial management system, without the time-consuming and costly upgrades, without the server and hardware maintenance, and without the reliance on a technical IT team.
      • Reduced Risk: You can upgrade from Dynamics GP to Business Central with all of your GL data intact – and never have to worry about data loss or server crashes again.
      • Better Business Visibility: With Business Central, you gain mobile access, enhanced reporting, Power BI, and cash flow projections.
      • Time Savings: Say goodbye to the manual accounting process tasks of Dynamics GP and hello to automation and scheduled reconciliations in Business Central.
      • Streamline Operations: Optimize your supply chain with Business Central’s seamlessly integrated apps and systems, including barcoding, scanning, and shipping.

4 Signs You’re Ready to Migrate to Business Central

If you are running on an old version of Dynamics GP or you’re simply taking precautions over the uncertainty surrounding the future of the product, you might be ready to transition to the Dynamics 365 cloud. Here are 4 signs that you are ready to upgrade from Dynamics GP to Business Central:

  1. Your users are demanding mobile access. Dynamics GP isn’t really built to work in web browsers or on mobile devices. In contrast, Business Central is a complete mobile and browser-enabled platform so you can access the application and your data through any device, from anywhere. This “work from anywhere” capability is essential for remote workers, like your sales team or field service employees, to remain responsive and competitive in today’s fast-paced and connected marketplace.
  2. You want access to Microsoft’s new, innovative features. If you’re looking at ways to better leverage your existing resources and have access to rapidly growing, innovative features, you should know that Microsoft is pouring the lion’s share of its development resources into the Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud solution over its more legacy offerings like Dynamics NAV or GP. Business Central tends to show its cutting-edge advantage by offering automated and scheduled reconciliations, cash flow projections, and seamless integrations for warehousing capabilities with barcoding, handheld scanners, and shipping. These capabilities can streamline operations in a significant and tangible way.
  3. You’re looking for better visibility into your data. If you feel like your outgrowing your reporting capability and data visibility at every turn, it might be an indication you’re ready to migrate to the cloud with Business Central. Management Reporter, Dynamics GP’s primary reporting tool, is in the process of being tossed by Microsoft – who has announced no further development of features moving forward. SSRS, another common reporting tool, is a technical reporting application that requires coding and IT resources. While you have the choice of going down the ISV route, Business Central can easily integrate with Power BI out of the box. Plus, it’s got a ton of other great Excel-based reporting and built-in analytical at your disposal.Another compelling reporting capability in Business Central is that it changes how accounts are setup using “dimensions.” Dimensions can be defined on every transaction across things like customers, vendors, and items, which then leads to detailed dimensional based reporting that you can slice and dice on in nearly limitless ways. You can also do this with cash flow projections!
  4. The cost of upgrading your Dynamics GP system is more than it cost to implement it in the first place . No matter where you house it, Dynamics GP upgrades are going to require complex data migrations and integration updates that can be more costly, risky, time-consuming, and disruptive than you can prepare for. If you have skipped a Dynamics GP upgrade or release because of these obstacles recently, then you know what we’re talking about. Similar to other cloud solutions, Business Central upgrades are automatically pushed through by Microsoft twice a year so you are always running on the latest and greatest version.

Start Planning Your Business Central Upgrade

Microsoft has been very transparent about the fact that Business Central is the future of its SMB business applications. At the end of the day, it will get the largest proportion of resources, development time, and overall attention. While Dynamics GP isn’t going away and will continue to be supported, its’ 5-year roadmap is uncertain, and you won’t get to take advantage of all the innovative new features that Business Central will. Dynamics GP is just not built for it.

At Clients First, we provide a risk-free, fast, and comprehensive migration to Business Central. While there are plenty of reasons to consider switching from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365, it’s important to do your due diligence and make sure your business is ready for the transformation. Read our latest whitepaper for more information on upgrading and deployment options!

Should You Move from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Find out if you should upgrade from Dynamics GP to Business Central and what deployment options you have to choose from.


Chris Young

Chris Young

Partner, Clients First Business Solutions New Jersey

Chris Young is your go-to resource for all things Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central at Clients First. Highly skilled in ERP solution architecture and financial planning, Chris has spent the last 30 years helping clients select and implement the right financial, manufacturing, and distribution software for their needs. When he’s not presenting to captivated crowds or sharing his knowledge through product demos, you can find Chris in the garage working on a car or fixing something around the house.