Gone are the days when companies have to undergo the torture and high costs of periodic ERP system upgrades. For many companies, this could mean consulting costs of as much as 75% of the original implementation costs, if they had heavily customized the system. Upgrades typically happened every three to five years, depending on the preference or requirements of the customer.
Automatic, convenient, FREE ERP upgrades
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central online ERP systems are updated automatically twice per year by Microsoft without any intervention by users, even if there are third party apps or customer-specific customizations applied. For most updates this will cost the customers absolutely nothing. For more extensive updates a customer could choose to contract some additional training if there were extensive changes, but otherwise the update is will cost nothing. The highly optimized process runs in a manner of minutes at a time acceptable to the customer.
Let’s look at an example. If a company spent $100,000 in services implementing an ERP system and upgraded it every three years, it could easily spend $50,000 for a moderately complex upgrade. This number does not take into account the cost of new servers or the internal costs of training staff. Over a period of 15 years, this would entail a cost of $250,000 just to maintain an existing ERP system. On Business Central, the customer would not only save the $250,000 in upgrade services but they would probably pay much less to implement the system in the first place because of the simplified user interface and implementation process. Statistics from one Business Central reseller show that 15% of new customers did not require any assistance at all while others only required minimal help.
ROI (Return on Investment) is often a number that is difficult to prove. With Business Central, these savings are real numbers and are easy to validate. What’s the ROI on an ERP system that only cost $50,000 to install instead of $100,000 and saves you $250,000 in upgrade services over a 15-year period? Perhaps that’s a hard number to calculate, but it’s a great problem to have!
Easy customizations specific to your business
So how does Microsoft do this? The online version of Business Central runs in what is called a multi-tenant environment where everyone shares the same source code. This makes it very easy for Microsoft to update periodically or rapidly roll out periodic bug fixes or enhancements between the semi-annual updates. Customers can enhance their Business Central system by downloading certified app’s from Microsoft’s Appsource website or by applying customer-specific customizations, neither of which interfere with the upgrade process or cost.
After Microsoft has updated the core Business Central system, the process checks for current versions of any applied app’s and applies them, as well as re-applies the customer’s customizations – all in a matter of minutes, at no cost! Customers who want to install their Business Central system on an on-premise server can do so and, as long as they keep their database synchronized with the online version, they can update their system when they choose.
Did you read our blog about how to prepare your ERP system for an unanticipated disaster? Learn more here about five proactive measures you can take now to protect your business from the worst case scenario.