Your Questions Answered: Microsoft Dynamics GP to Business Central Migration

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We get it. Making the move from a tried-and-true solution like Microsoft Dynamics GP to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a big decision. A really big one. But if your system is no longer keeping up with growth, you are tired of making decisions based on gut feelings rather than actual data, and you’re increasingly worried about data security and compliance, then it’s time to seriously consider migrating from GP to Business Central. We took the liberty of answering some of the most common questions asked about making the move from Dynamics GP to the cloud-based Business Central. If your question isn’t here, reach out and let’s chat.

Is Great Plains the same as Microsoft Dynamics GP?

Yes, it is. Great Plains Software was an accounting software focused on small and mid-sized businesses. Microsoft purchased Great Plains in 2001. The products are now known as Microsoft Dynamics GP. Dynamics GP continues to be a popular accounting and ERP software package.

Is Microsoft Dynamics GP going away?

There’s been a lot of conflicting information about whether Dynamics GP will stop receiving support from Microsoft in the next few years. The short answer according to Microsoft is no. Governed by what Microsoft calls the Modern Lifecycle, the latest version of Dynamics GP, version 18.x, will receive continuous support and servicing, including bug fixes and the latest tax updates. Customers stay current by taking at least one of the three yearly planned Dynamics GP releases. Learn more from Microsoft about Modern Lifecycle. Older versions of GP that are on the Fixed Lifecycle are no longer receiving Mainstream Support and Extended Support will retire for all versions by 2025.

Is Microsoft Dynamics GP available in the cloud?

Microsoft Dynamics GP can be hosted in the cloud, but it was designed to be an on-premise solution. It is not a “true cloud” ERP. A true cloud is not limited by the number of users or storage, is hosted in a shared environment and managed by a cloud service partner. A hosted solution such as GP in the Microsoft Azure Cloud does hold some of the same benefits. But you miss out on continuous software updates, modern functionality and user interface, scalability and seamless integration with other Microsoft and third-party applications.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s suite of business applications covering every aspect of your organization, including customer data, supply chain management, finance and accounting, sales, customer service, field service, human resources, marketing, project management, and more. In short, Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps you run your entire business.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, sometimes referred to as BC, is a cloud-based ERP system that unifies your finance, sales, operations, supply chain, analytics, and more. Business Central is the new evolution of Microsoft Dynamics NAV—same functionality, better user experience, and built to support SaaS updates. Business Central was designed to help small and mid-sized businesses:
  • Boost sales
  • Improve customer service
  • Unlock productivity
  • Uncover insights
  • Finish projects on time and under budget
  • Improve financial performance
  • Optimize their supply chain management

Why would I upgrade from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central?

A Forrester Total Economic Impact study on Business Central found that businesses generated 162% ROI with Dynamics 365 Business Central over three years, experienced a less-than-one-year payback and reduced finance and operations hiring needs by 10%. Here are some of the reasons that businesses migrate from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central:
  • Business Central is native to the cloud.
  • Automatic and free updates pushed out twice a year, with minor updates made throughout the year. That means you can say goodbye to arduous software updates that drag on.
  • Improved functionality, with hundreds of options for industry-specific features provided by Microsoft, Sikich or Microsoft’s AppSource.
  • Greater data security and compliance, with easy-to-create audit trails and Microsoft’s top-notch security infrastructure.
  • Integrated AI-enabled business intelligence tools, including predictive technology.
  • Centralized data for greater reporting and insights, including out-of-the-box dashboards.
  • Modern and intuitive user interface.
  • Seamless integration with Office 365 and Power Platform (including Power BI), as well as numerous other Microsoft products and third-party solutions.
  • Eliminates the costs of purchasing and maintaining onsite servers.
  • Easier data exports and imports, reducing manual and third-party solution workarounds.
  • Scalability based on your business needs.

How does Dynamics 365 Business Central pricing work?

Business Central is based on a subscription model. When you purchase Business Central, you pay a monthly license fee for each user. Pricing varies based on the access levels you provide to your team members. This includes view-only access to essential business data to full access to financial management, sales and customer service functions, as well as extended functionality such as supply chain management. Pricing ranges from $8/user/month for view-only access, to $100/user/month for Premium access. Other Microsoft solutions such as Power BI require additional subscription fees on top of the Business Central pricing. Learn more from Microsoft. Licensing is done through Dynamics 365 partners like Sikich, which has expertise not only in Dynamics 365 Business Central but across several verticals. We have built industry-specific solutions on Business Central to support needs in manufacturing, associations, engineer-to-order, and construction. Learn more about our HeadSTART approach to ERP implementations.

How do software updates for Dynamics 365 Business Central work?

Software updates are evergreen for Business Central, which means that they are regularly pushed to the cloud ERP. They are free. Two types of updates happen in BC:
  • Minor updates: These critical updates include bug fixes or tax updates.
  • Major updates: Microsoft has two major releases a year that feature not only any required fixes, but updated features and functionality. This adds a lot of value for your Business Central software.
You are allowed to schedule major updates for your organization in the Business Central Admin Center. Minor updates happen within an Update Window; because of their importance, you cannot stop them. We advise you work with an expert partner like Sikich to ensure that any major updates are compatible with third-party software solutions you’re using or customizations you may have made to BC. Sikich can also support testing before any updates are pushed live.

How difficult is the migration from GP to Business Central?

Migrating to Dynamics 365 Business Central doesn’t have to be difficult or disruptive when you work with a partner like Sikich that understands your industry and your on-premises Dynamics GP environment. In fact, if you’re primarily using GP for GL and accounting, with Sikich’s GP to BC HEADSTART services, you can be up and running on Dynamics 365 Business Central in as few as 8 weeks. If GP plays a more robust role in your organization, Sikich’s HeadSTART industry solutions, built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, could be the right fit for you.  Sikich’s HEADSTART solutions are preconfigured industry solutions based on best practices, to help maximize your Business Central investment, reduce project duration and cost, and let you focus on operational excellence through enhanced visibility and insights, streamlined process flow, and enhanced decision support. Are you ready to learn more? Our team would be happy to walk you through the benefits of migrating to Business Central, as well as answer any other questions you have about GP vs. Business Central. Reach out today.
This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


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