In today’s competitive marketplace, you need a powerful ERP system to facilitate streamlined business processes. SAP Business One was first released in 2002 and has since become one of the most implemented ERP systems with more than 60,000 customers across the globe. Of course, as with any successful software, it undergoes regular upgrades to meet the changing and expanding needs of users.
“SAP continues to add more features into their core product, requiring less enhancements or add-ons,” explains Ryan Howe, Managing Partner at Clients First. Here’s what you need to know about upgrades to Business One.
Why You Need Business One Upgrades
At Clients First Business Solutions, we recommend that you don’t miss more than two upgrades to your Business One application for several reasons:
- Every time you skip a version, upgrading becomes more complex and expensive due to the large amount of change that needs to occur. For some businesses, the costs become so high that they avoid upgrading altogether. In contrast, if you invest a little bit in your system each year, the costs are more manageable, and you keep your version current.
- Microsoft frequently releases new operating systems, or OS. Unfortunately, there’s never a guarantee that an outdated version of Business One will work on a new OS — and it’s not advisable to have your business forced to use an old IT infrastructure simply due to your ERP system. Plus, if your hardware fails, you’ll be forced to purchase new equipment that runs on a new OS. This situation means you’ll also have to upgrade your ERP solution, adding to your costs.
- You already pay an annual maintenance fee so that you can get the most up-to-date features SAP develops. It just makes good business sense to take advantage of what you’ve already paid for.
Benefits of Working With Our Clients First B1 Upgrade Group
We created our Business One upgrade group soon after the software was first released. Since then, we’ve implemented numerous upgrades for a wide range of businesses. Each of our SAP Business One consultants has successfully earned the series of SAP certifications required to become an SAP Gold Partner. This elite status is only ever achieved by top VARs and SAP Business One Consultants — and it gives you the assurance that we have the knowledge to ensure your system is fully leveraged.
We use an exclusive methodology to implement a seamless process. After performing a pre-analysis to determine what add-ons, integrations, modifications, infrastructure and third-party components you have in your current system, we’ll establish how to handle these features.
“After going onsite, we deliver a requirements analysis and pinpoint how we’re going to implement the changes in SAP Business One,” says Howe. “Along with that, we provide an implementation plan and budget that can be executed. It’s a detailed blueprint that lists every area of Business One and how we’ll go about meeting the client’s requirements. This outline determines what our project plan and estimated hours are.”
This pre-analysis is especially helpful, as it minimizes the chance of unexpected surprises that can occur during an upgrade.
Migrating Earlier Upgrades and Add-Ons to Your B1 Upgrade
Our pre-analysis process allows us to determine where changes have been made to the standard software. We review all core screens, dashboards, workflows, alerts, XLReporter reports and Crystal Reports you use. In addition, we review all validations, user-defined fields and queries, as well as any third-party applications that are installed and in use. After this, for every area where there are modifications to the standard software, we ask two questions:
- Are the add-ons that are installed or modifications we’ve found now replaced by native functionality in the software? For example, version 9.0 offers true multi-bin functionality, whereas you previously had to use a third-party application.
- Are the modifications still in use? In our experience, many businesses make changes to add a specific functionality, only to find later that they’re not used or even necessary — especially when it comes to reports. Of course, there’s no need to upgrade features nobody uses.
In some cases, we determine that certain modifications are no longer necessary post-upgrade because the features are now native to the software or the company simply no longer needs them. In these situations, we’ll help you convert your old data into the new functionality and take you through testing and training to ensure it works as expected.
In the event that modifications need to be migrated to the new version, we’ll test the upgraded versions using virtualization technology that has no impact on your daily operations. We’ll also work with your team to instruct them in all the functionalities of the new version. Then, after determining which of these functionalities are important to your business, we’ll implement them in your organization.
Note that the primary reason upgrades can be complicated is that the changes weren’t properly recorded, which means it takes a lot of time to analyze what customizations were made to the standard software. In contrast, we always fully document any changes that are made, which greatly facilitates any future upgrades.
How Long Will Your Upgrade Take?
When your SAP Business One upgrade is performed correctly, it will require very little system downtime. In general, we find that most upgrades can be completed in a matter of hours or overnight so that you’re ready for business the next morning. And if you want to know exactly how your ERP system will function after the upgrade, you can use our EverSafe! Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Solution as a virtual test bed.
Clients First Business Solutions — Quick and Efficient SAP Business One Upgrades
Upgrading your ERP system is critical to your organization’s daily operations — and, by extension, its bottom line. You can’t afford to entrust your upgrade to just anyone. At Clients First, we have the experience and expertise to properly perform an analysis of your current system and determine how any customizations will impact your upgrade. In addition, we’ll perform the upgrade quickly and efficiently — and with the least possible amount of disruption to your business.