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Are you thinking of moving from Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Business Central?

If you didn’t know this already the mainstream support for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and 2012 R2 ended back in October 2018. 

Essentially, it also highlights the fact that security hotfixes will only be available for the above versions until October 12th 2021 at the point in which the extended support ends. Following this end, Microsoft will no longer be providing any fixes for major issues with AX systems. 

Many AX customers are being encouraged to look to upgrade to a pricey enterprise level solution, Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations. However, this isn’t the only option available as Dynamics 365 Business Central might be a more cost-effective system for your business to implement & use. 

What this means is the fact that there are now two ERP based solutions on Dynamics 365 – Business Central and D365 for Finance & Operations. 

It goes without saying that the Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations offering is the out and out replacement for Microsoft Dynamics AX. However, it is important not to discount Dynamics 365 Business Central, the all-in-one business management platform aimed at SMEs which was brought as an evolution of Dynamics NAV. 

With this in mind, let’s look at the reasons why you should consider moving from AX to Dynamics 365 Business Central. 

Discounted Transition Licensing 

If you choose to move to Business Central from Microsoft Dynamics AX before June 30th 2021 you will receive a 40% discount for transitioning, making this option much more cost effective. Furthermore, after you have made the move, if you decide to buy more licences you can still get the 40% discount as long as it’s completed before June 30th 2021. This makes it even cheaper to make the transition to Business Central instead of the more costly move to Finance & Operations. 

The AX system may be hugely underutilised 

It is safe to say that the majority of Dynamics AX users will not be maximising their use of this pricey system and therefore it is likely to be the case that certain aspects of their system haven’t even seen the light of day. If your business falls under this category then there is little point in spending money on a solution that you aren’t using completely, when you can source out a much more cost-effective option that you can maximise to its full potential. 

Looking at a ERP solution like Business Central could be the way to go as it will allow you to use the whole solution you are paying for, get a better ROI at a heavily reduced price. 

Significant reduction in one-off annual costs 

It is important to note that the annual costs of running Dynamics 365 Business Central are very significantly cheaper than running Finance & Operations. Furthermore, consultancy expertise for Dynamics 365 Business Central are typically far lower than Finance & Operations. 

Features & capabilities 

As we mention above, Finance & Operations is Microsoft’s enterprise solution and therefore has greater scope to do more but with a significantly higher price tag associated with this. Furthermore, the Finance & Operations application has advanced features and capabilities across finance, operations, manufacturing & supply chain.  In addition to this, further features are available in HR, sales, projects as well as through customer service via the Dynamics 365 full stack. However, as you can see from the above, Finance & Operations is much more suited to enterprise level businesses that require enterprise capabilities which come at enterprise prices. 

You will find that Business Central has the core functionality in finance, operations, supply chain, CRM and project management as well as the additional functionality of service management and manufacturing if required in the premium offering. Furthermore, Business Central can provide your business with everything it requires at a fraction of the cost of Finance & Operations. 

Minimum number of users 

It goes without saying that the number of users needing to access your new system has a significant bearing on not only the access rights but the scale of the system required for your business. 

The downside of Finance & Operations is the fact that you have to have a minimum of 20 full licences which demonstrates the scale needed to be able to consider Finance & Operations. 

Whereas on the other hand, Business Central doesn’t have a minimum licensing limit which means if you are a small business you could just purchase one full licence. Following extensive research, Microsoft has stated that the average number of Business Central users is 10-15 with the larger customers having over 60 full users. 

CRM Functionality 

The good thing about Dynamics 365 Business Central is the fact that it has inbuilt CRM functionality which provides you with Outlook integration along with opportunity management and customer service functionality. Furthermore, you can also seamlessly integrate with Dynamics 365 Sales if you need deeper CRM functionality.  

It is important to note that Finance & Operations doesn’t have any built-in CRM functionality, however Dynamics 365 Sales is included within the full Dynamics 365 stack plan. 

The amount of transactions 

The number of transactions that are processed in your ERP system is another core thing to take into account when choosing an ERP system. The vast majority of businesses will process thousands or tens of thousands of transactions which will mean that Dynamics 365 Business Central will be the best option to meet these specific requirements. Furthermore, this will also give you the accuracy required to both manage and report on these correctly and effectively. 

A small minority of businesses will process greater amounts of transactions than the tens of thousands so in this particular case it would make more sense to go for Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations. 

Next Steps? 

If you have read the above article and are looking to make the move to Dynamics 365 Business Central from Microsoft Dynamics AX or if you are looking to get started quickly on a Dynamics 365 Business Central system with Advantage then please get in touch with one of our Business Central specialists today to discuss your specific business needs. 

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