Man's hand moving chess pieces around on a chessboard

Running your business is a lot like a game of chess. It is challenging. It is strategic. And your winning strategy must be flexible enough to handle any unforeseen moves your opponent might make or any other curves in the road you have chosen.

You cannot possibly predict everything that might come your way. But you can mitigate those unforeseen risks by choosing an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software system that is both robust and agile.

If you do not already have a strategic plan for your company’s future, there is no time like the present to sit down and develop your moving forward strategy. If you need help pulling a strategy together, Strategic Systems Group (SSG) would be happy to assist.

With over 30 years of experience implementing ERP software solutions for our clients – primarily wholesale distributors and manufacturers – we have the know-how required to sketch out a workable strategic plan for your enterprise.

Strategic Systems Group provides both ERP Consulting Services and ERP Implementation Services. Our ERP Consulting Services include:

  • Strategic and Visionary Executive Consulting
  • Project Management for ERP Migration, Implementation, and Upgrade Projects
  • Process Improvement, Analysis, and Optimization
  • Cloud Migration Consulting

And that, dear reader, brings us to the topic at hand, namely…

Moving from Microsoft Dynamics GP or NAV to Business Central: Why and How

It feels like it was just yesterday that Microsoft acquired Great Plains and Navision, two highly regarded, immensely popular ERP software systems. Under Microsoft’s ownership and with Microsoft’s deep pockets, Great Plains and Navision were enhanced, expanded, and renamed Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

However, it was not yesterday. It was more than two (2) decades ago. Technology never stands still. Technological innovations emerge literally every single day! And Microsoft has never been a company that allows the status quo to deter innovation. In 2016, while still supporting GP and NAV, Microsoft launched a new, native cloud ERP solution (drumroll please): Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

At the same time, Digital Transformation (DT) was sweeping the business world, as companies realized the imperative to innovate for survival. Business Central was enthusiastically welcomed as a modern, cloud-based ERP system, the perfect fit for companies embarking on their digital journey.

Why Should Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV Users Migrate to Business Central?

In 2019 it was estimated that 47,000 companies were running Microsoft Dynamics GP, and 110,000 were running Dynamics NAV. That represented a significant and loyal base of users that Microsoft would not want to lose. Not to mention the fact that those well-established customers were happy GP and NAV campers.

Why would they ever want to leave their beloved GP and NAV? Indeed, why would they want to migrate to Business Central? I can think of a least a few good reasons:

  1. The time has come to move from on-premises ERP systems to the cloud, which by the way, offers so many clear business benefits at so many levels.
  2. The handwriting is on the wall. Microsoft is not likely to support GP or NAV forever.
  3. Microsoft can offer those users a modern cloud solution – Business Central – with more features and functionality than they currently have, with monthly per-user subscription pricing that makes it easier to afford.
  4. From Microsoft’s perspective, migrating to Business Central keeps those GP and NAV customers in the Microsoft Dynamics fold. So, Microsoft is going to make a move extremely easy and financially attractive.

There’s a reason why Business Central is seeing a 200 percent annual growth in users. Much of that growth is coming from small to mid-market companies that had been running GP or NAV. But some of that growth is also coming from larger companies with 200 to 500 seats or more.

What Are the Benefits of Migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

When you make the intelligent move from GP or NAV to Business Central, you will:

  • Finally, get rid of that dusty server room and the extensive maintenance it always requires
  • Move to a modern cloud platform that is the logical next step in your company’s journey to comprehensive Digital Transformation
  • Do away with “forklift” upgrades
  • No longer need to buy to purchase expensive hardware
  • Trade the uncertainty of high upgrade costs for predictable monthly costs
  • Always be on the latest release of Business Central
  • Enjoy more features and functionality
  • Benefit from the integration of Business Central to the Microsoft family of
    • Cloud productivity applications such as
      • Office 365
      • Outlook
      • Teams
    • Cloud business applications such as
      • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (formerly CRM)
    • Advanced business intelligence (BI) tools such as
      • Power BI
    • Enjoy higher levels of security
    • See immediate improvements in financial reporting, inventory control, and manufacturing operations

I could continue, but I think you get the point. The benefits of migrating to Business Central outweigh any trepidations you still have about giving up your Dynamics GP or NAV software. And now that we have covered the “why,” let us move on to the “how.”

How Do You Migrate from Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV to Business Central?

The answer is that the migration process is straightforward because Microsoft has developed tools and wizards specifically for that purpose. If, for example, you are on a supported version of Dynamics GP, meaning any version released in 2015 or later, the migration tools will work for you.

Dynamics GP versions released in 2015 or later, with the latest build deployed, have additional code units that allow you to export data from GP into a separate zip file that is compatible with the migration tool. Once you have exported your data to that zip file and saved it, you can Lunch the migration using the migration tool. The migration path consists of a detailed set of steps for you to follow.

You can also download our GP to BC Migration Brochure without signing in or sharing any personal information. Just click here.

There You Have It: The Why and the How of Migrating to Business Central

Strategic Systems Group (SSG) has been quite busy performing migrations to Business Central for our GP and NAV clients and new customers who have reached out to us because of our expertise. We are ready whenever you are. Call Strategic Systems Group (SSG) at (310) 539-4645 or reach out via our contact form today!

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Do you Want to Migrate Microsoft Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central: It’s so easy!