If you aren’t a tech head, you may not have ever heard of the phrase “multi-tenant” but it has enormous implications for the future if you are considering a new accounting or ERP system.
Let’s work through the acronyms
“SaaS” stands for software as a service and basically means you are renting the software instead of purchasing a software license.
“Multi-tenant” applies where all customers share the same basic code base, which means the system can easily be upgraded by the software owner. Think of your bank software. Updates just regularly happen without inconveniencing the customer. This does not preclude having customizations, which we’ll explain later.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the new name for Dynamics NAV, the most popular mid-market accounting or ERP system in the world by far. It can be deployed in the cloud (SaaS) or on an in-house or hosted server.
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.
Free or near-free upgrades means your Business Central system will be automatically upgraded by Microsoft twice per year for 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 partner.
Incremental changes are much easier to handle than periodic major upgrades. The disruption to your organization and staff is much lower and in most cases may not impact the users at all.
Your system will never be out of date and you will always have the latest technology. Twice annual updates will keep your system up to date. Gone will be the days of bringing all of the stakeholders together to discuss the existing 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. 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 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? I know my answer.
Managed Services can make your life much easier
Many organizations find they really don’t have much 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.
*Did you know our ODT Service 365 app can help you easily keep track of all your equipment preparation, return inspections, repairs, and planned maintenance? And it can be utilized with or without integration to the ODT Rentals 365 app, so now non-rental companies can also take advantage of the advanced service and planned maintenance functionality. Learn all about the Service app advantages in our previous blog here.