The musings from an Implementation Consultant
This year over 2200 attendees and sponsors converged at the World Forum in The Hague for Directions EMEA 2018, with yet another attendance record broken! This statistic itself provides an insight to the huge community support around for the product we know as Dynamics 365 Business Central. During the spring of this year Microsoft announced the name of ‘Business Central’ which in effect replaces the brand names of NAV, Tenerife and Finance & Operations Business Edition (FOBE). It was interesting to see that hardly anyone, attendees and sponsors, mentioned the name ‘NAV’. Wow. Remember this has been part of the community language for decades. Looks like Microsoft finally got a brand name right!
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Roadmap
Being in the Microsoft Partner community, we are always keen to know what Microsoft are intending to do with the product we all know and love. This slide was flashed up frequently during all the sessions including the Key Notes.
The notable messages to takeaway are:
- Web Client Only; In other words, there will be no Windows Client application to install. This ties into the Microsoft’s ‘Cloud First’ driving force.
- CDS/Data/Intelligence; Again, this is all about being in the Cloud where customers can leverage the benefits available to them. This includes Power Apps, AI Predictions, Seamless Integration choices.
I like this word ‘cadence’ because has links to cycling which I enjoy plus it can translate to choices we make about the business path we all take. There are still two main choices partners and customers can adopt right now.
Steady as she goes; Business Central is available ‘On Premise’ and will be for the foreseeable future. But that depends on the Roadmap of the Web Client only by 2020. So this provides a natural/traditional upgrade path to access the latest product offering with not too many bumps in the road. Dare I say this is like upgrading from NAV2013 to NAV2019 Business Central. The minor fork in the road though is that Licencing changes a little. That’s better discussed away from these musings.
Get out of the saddle; Business Central is available as a Cloud SaaS offering. This is where Microsoft are investing big to get everyone. There are many benefits to be had here; it’s about being fully integrated to the Dynamics 365 family. The Dynamics Team at Microsoft have also thought about how to give you a little nudge to jerk you out of your saddle. They are calling this ‘Intelligent Edge’. This means from an On Premise solution you can spin up a Business Central Cloud Tennant that will synchronise your ground level data; one direction only. The idea is that hopefully you will see all the benefits being in the cloud and may decide to spin up that gear up the hill. I should say like all hills, once you reach the summit you sit back down, enjoy the ride in the clouds and feel that sense of achievement which no doubt will translate to business success.
Customisations and Apps
You might be asking ‘what about my customisations?’. That’s an interesting question. Depends on the amount of customisations made to your system naturally. For heavy customisations, then the ‘Steady’ route might be a better route for now. However, if light then it might be worth evaluating the quicker ascent to the Cloud. Part of that evaluation is considering the ‘App’ route which covers converting your customisation into an App (done by TVision) and/or seeking 3rd Party offerings on the AppStore for Business Central such as our Personal Data Encryption offering. It’s a different way of thinking indeed!
If you’re still unsure about what gear to run in, then drop us a line for a chat.
By Jason Bradley – Implementation Consultant