One of the ongoing challenges of having a computer system is going through periodic upgrades. They tend to be very expensive and often can be as painful as the original implementation of the software. And they just keep happening, every three to five years.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central changes all of that. Many people have heard about Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the most popular midmarket ERP system in the world with over 200,000 customers. As good as that system was (more news on that below), it wasn’t optimized for rapid or painless upgrades. Upgrades would cost anywhere from 25% to 75% of the original implementation cost, depending on the level of customizations.
Microsoft upgrades the upgrade process
Business Central utilizes a concept called “multi-tenant” to bring free upgrades to rental companies. The design means all customers, online or in-house, can share the same database structure. Because of this, Microsoft has been able to upgrade the upgrade process – April 2018 client database upgrades for the online Business Central product averaged 30 seconds each! This outstanding performance is possible even if the system has had third party apps or customer-specific customizations applied to it.
Free upgrades, what a concept! If you have an online license for Business Central, Microsoft will automatically update it twice per year, with no cost. Free upgrades… did I say that already? It’s no joke. They are available today.
This feature is possible because of the design of Business Central. As illustrated below, third party apps from Microsoft’s Appsource or customer-specific customizations are layered on top of the core Business Central application. All three are compiled together to create a single user experience for the end user.
For upgrades, Microsoft un-applies the top two layers, updates the bottom layer, updates any apps if newer versions exist, and recompiles the three layers for a new user experience. With Dynamics NAV, modifications were usually embedded in the core system, which complicated upgrades.
You might be wondering where Business Central came from and whether you can trust your rental business to it. A couple of years ago Microsoft took a copy of Dynamics NAV to create Business Central and optimized it for online use. Originally, Dynamics NAV and Business Central were to go in different directions but that direction changed in late 2017. Dynamics NAV 2018 and Business Central were merged together into one product as of October, 2018 with deployment options for online, in-house, or hybrid use. The functionality is mature and proven with the Dynamics NAV base. Reliability is a given with a guaranteed up-time of 99.9%.
Implement Business Central the way it makes sense for you
Implement Business Central or upgrade your Dynamics NAV system to Business Central and you are done with expensive, difficult upgrades. Twice a year for online customers – free. In-house databases can upgrade on their own schedule and as long as you maintain the basic design structure, upgrades will cost little to nothing, depending on how much you ask your partner to assist you.
For further information on how your rental business can sign up for a single system for rentals, service, and financials, AND get free upgrades, please contact us.
Did you read our blog about how to prepare your rental business for an unanticipated disaster? Learn about five proactive measures you can take now to protect your system from the worst case scenario.