A migration or an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS will give you powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that can help your business run more efficiently.
If you aren’t a tech head, you may not have ever heard of the phrase “multi-tenant” before, and why should you care? The fact that Business Central is multi-tenant has enormous implications for the future if you are considering a new accounting or ERP system.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages of multi-tenant environments so you can make an educated move in your upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS and the cloud.
Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS: Let’s Work Through the Terminology First
“SaaS” stands for software as a service and basically means you are renting the software on an ongoing basis instead of purchasing a software license outright and then paying a yearly maintenance or enhancement fee.
“Multi-tenant” applies when multiple businesses or customers share the same code base, but with separate logins, access, and configurations. Think of your banking software as an example, or even Netflix. Your accounts are distinct, your settings and associated services may be unique, but you’re accessing the same platform as everyone else, and updates are able to happen regularly and seamlessly without you initiating them. This does not preclude having customizations, which we’ll explain later.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the new name and cloud-first evolution for what was formerly called Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the most popular mid-market accounting or ERP system in the world.
The Advantage of “Multi-Tenant”
You can easily configure the system and add customizations and apps to be applied to the multi-tenant code base without affecting future upgrades. The three layers – the base multi-tenant layer, apps, and customizations (called “code extensions”) – are all combined into one presentation layer for the user. For example, Equipment Rental companies can have a Business Central system specially made to address and centralize the contract, servicing, equipment tracking, and other important operational aspects required in their industry by leveraging an application like ODT Rentals and ODT Service.
Free or near-free upgrades means your Business Central system will be automatically upgraded by Microsoft twice per year for no or minimal cost. For most upgrades, you will pay nothing. If there are new features you need training on, or perhaps you want changes to a custom report or screen because of something new, you might want to engage the help of a trusted Microsoft partner.
Incremental changes are much easier to intake and handle than periodic major upgrades. The disruption to your organization and staff is much lower and in most cases, will not impact the users at all.
Your system will never be outdated and you will always have the latest technology. Gone will be the days of bringing all of the stakeholders together to discuss the existing ERP system and what will be needed in a new system. The ability to expand and configure the system means you will be able to grow the system to meet current and future requirements. In other words, you are able to invest in an ERP solution for the life of your business. It should be noted that failed ERP upgrades have cost many an IT manager their job. Never again with Business Central.
The long-term ROI on a system with no annual enhancement and minimal upgrades costs is invaluable. Yes, you pay for monthly users, but these can be scaled up or down based entirely on what you need for your organization. Once you have made the move from periodic massive capital expenditures with annual recurring operations costs to a fully operational model, both expense and cash flow will be more predictable and manageable.
You will have IT savings you might not expect. No more fancy servers, tape backups, extra air conditioners, or database analysts. Any remaining hardware can be set to patch automatically, meaning you need far fewer database and IT resources. Some companies also notice a difference in power consumption.
Your system will be far more secure. When we started down the cloud road, we often heard of customers who said they felt more secure having control over their own data. With the increasing danger of malware, ransomware, and viruses, this is not necessarily valid anymore. Would you rather have your small in-house or outsourced IT department responsible for making sure everything is up to date, including the latest in security hardware, or would you rather have Microsoft looking after it?
Managed Services Make Your Life Easier
Many organizations find they really don’t have the same level of demand for internal IT services once they have moved their office applications, data storage, and ERP systems to the cloud. Some are converting their phone systems to IP phones, which means you can take your calls wherever you are in the world, including on your cell phone if you are out of the office. Managed services means you can put all of your IT requirements under one umbrella, and have it managed in the cloud with some great self-service options for user configuration, etc.
Is a Migration or Upgrade to Dynamics Business Central SaaS Right for My Business?
Now that you know the benefits of the multi-tenant structure of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, you may still have questions about the functionality, licensing, pricing, and what implementation looks like to determine if it’s the right fit for your business.
We have you covered.
Download Open Door’s All-Inclusive Guide to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. This is our complete free, comprehensive handbook to everything you need to know about Microsoft’s leading cloud ERP solution.