Top 5 things you need to know about: Why move to BC SaaS
Welcome and introductions
Welcome – thank you everyone for attending today our Webinar on the Top 5 things you need to know about why move to Business Central SaaS. Just before we start the Webinar just a few housekeeping rules. All attendees will be on mute and will remain for the whole webinar. Please use the question box to ask any questions related to the topic, and all questions will be answered after the demo. If we run out of time or if your question requires a longer answer then the question will be answered offline directly. Use the chat box for questions related to the webinar such as if you can’t hear the audio or if the presenter is going too fast.
This is our monthly webinar on key areas of Business Central SaaS – you can sign up for as many as you like on our website. I’ll show you the list of upcoming webinars at the end of this session. We also send out regular emails to register for the next one.
My name is Tiziana, also known as Deetz and I will be facilitating the demo today. I am an Account Manager here at TVision, I’ve worked here for 2 and half year and my background is 18 years in sales, marketing and partner management. Ian will be doing the demo today, and he is a support consultant at TVision. He’s been working at TVision for 4 years and has been using NAV / Business Central since 2000.
Today, we’ll be showing you highlights of why you should consider moving to Business Central SaaS. For many, the future world of SaaS raises questions that could have a big impact on the way business is done. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS is essentially the latest version of NAV and a true Software as a Service offering. Business Central SaaS is hosted in the Microsoft cloud, ensuring consistent updates and new features without the hassle of having to complete a full upgrade. It is still an all-in-one business management solution that is easy to use and adapt. As you would expect from any Microsoft product it has strong integration with the rest of the Microsoft 365 stack. We can’t show you every feature, but we will show those we believe are the most useful and applicable to the majority of companies.
So these are the 5 Top Things why you should consider moving to Business Central SaaS that we are going to discuss and show you today:
Office 365 Integration – The integration with Office 365 is a real game changer, it provides so many time saving benefits when using Business Central. With this integration you can optimise operations, empower employees with better productivity and insight, and engaged your customers faster and more accurately. You will find a familiar look and feel across the entire Microsoft platform.
Edit in Excel – users will be able to use the edit in the Excel function across the system. Edit in Excel allows users to copy and paste data into columns and fields to then import back into Business Central SaaS, rather than manually entering data.
Outlook Integration & Insights – Outlook will recognise email addresses which are registered in Business Central SaaS. This means that Outlook will understand the company the contact is from and you will be able to view insights of that company all within outlook. Also, your users can process orders with clients and suppliers directly in Outlook without having to open Business Central SaaS. With outlook integration we can actually create a sales order, a sales quote, a purchase order and much more! The great thing is that it looks like we are just running an application of Business Central.
Business Insights – Business Central SaaS provides users with predictive insights, robust reports and dashboards. Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are changing how businesses use and react to data and information. In Business Central SaaS the Insights page shows four key points of interest for most businesses: Cash availability, Sales profitability; Net income and inventory value. Situated next to the KPI charts these insights will show potential areas of focus, for example overdue payments.
Power Platform & AppSource – The Power Platform is a suite of Apps which integrate with Business Central SaaS to provide outside information or an information process flow. One of the main power apps used within Business Central SaaS is Power BI. Power BI retrieves Business Central data allowing you to build dashboards and reports. You can also embed these into your Business Central SaaS dashboards. Power BI enables you to drill down into the data and customise the visualisation, and even merge data from different companies. Other Apps within the Power Suite include PowerApps to create applications on phones to put basic data into Business Central SaaS and Power Automate which manages data flow between Dynamics 365 solutions.
Before the demo, we’d like to do a quick poll to get an idea on how many of you are considering moving to Business Central SaaS. I’m going to launch a poll now so if you wouldn’t mind submitting your answer, that would be great. Thanks. The options are: We want to move to Business Central SaaS, Something we’re thinking about, but we haven’t made a decision yet, I don’t understand what Business Central SaaS is, or I don’t see a reason to move
That’s interesting, so it looks like most of you have selected option B, Something we’re thinking about, but we haven’t made a decision yet Hopefully the demo will help you to take that to the next level.
I’ll now hand over to Ian for the demo
Thank you Deetz.
OK, guys, so today for the demo, we have looked at some of these features in previous webinars, but I’ve glossed over them a little bit and just said that they do exist. So today, I’ve chosen a couple of them and I will give just a tiny bit more detail.
So, the first thing that Deetz mentioned was the integration with Office 365 in general. So, here you can see, I’m logged in to the latest version of Business Central, and I’ve got my button up here. I am within the Microsoft Office Suite.
I can get access to my Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Projects, whatever apps I have in Office 365. I can access them from here.
Now, um, there’s also Power Automate down here which Deetz mentioned. So pretty much anything you can get to it. It’s all within the one site, and you can jump from one to the other very easily.
Deetz also mentioned the Edit in Excel button. Now, we have spoken about that before, but, let’s give a demonstration of it in use. So, I’m going to go to a general journal. And we will just choose the first one that comes up.
OK, so I’ve got a General Journal here. This is a payroll journal. It might be recurring journal, and this is how much we’re paying everybody every month. Maybe it doesn’t change very often or might have hundreds of names instead of just four. But perhaps I need to change some of these amounts for whatever reason.
Now, I can still edit things here in Business Central, as I would normally, and for this small journal perhaps I would, but let’s just pretend, it’s a really big journal. I do have the option to open this in Excel, which will give me a copy in Excel, just for reporting purposes, but I also get the option to Edit in Excel. I’m going to take that option.
So, the system creates for me, an Excel workbook. I’m going to open that workbook. And now my Excel is going to, open, so I didn’t have to go click Start, Open Excel, or have it copy, paste anything. I’m just doing this from within the application. And hopefully, it’s going to open pretty quickly. It is taking its time because this is a live demo.
Alright, so immediately on the screen, I have all the columns that are available in my journal. And we’ve got this little box that’s opening up on the right-hand side. And this is where Excel is talking to Business Central. It is bringing back all the information from that journal.
Now, I can type numbers in here, when I get to the correct column. But, let’s say, this month, the first guy, he’s not getting a thousand pounds, he’s only going to get £999. So, I’m typing this in, I could just as easily be copying and pasting from another worksheet, I could be putting in a formula or whatever it might be. And so, I’ve changed him and pretending we’ve got hundreds I’ve changed. When I’m finished I simply say publish. I click Publish. It tells me it’s writing, and it was successful.
I can now close this Excel. I don’t have to save it. I can discard everything, and you can still see the 1500. I’m going to press my F5 key to refresh the screen, and the number has changed to 999. So, what was in my spreadsheets, I’ve clicked publish. It does come through into Business Central. That is how powerful and tight that integration is. You simply say, Edit in Excel. Change what you need. You can add rows, you can delete rows. You can do bulk updates of customers or vendors. It’s not just restricted to journals. You publish it sends the information back. It’s a lot easier, really makes bulk updates in data, nice and simple.
So that’s the first really interesting integration with Office, but there’s also that Outlook integration, so I have my Outlook open. Now there are three different types of Outlook integration within Business Central.
The first one you’re familiar with, you open a posted document, customer statement or invoice, whatever it might be. And you get a button on the ribbon that says, send as e-mail. That’s the first. It just prepares a PDF, attaches it to your e-mails, and you can send that off to your customer or your vendor.
The second level is what I have installed here. And what I have here is Outlook and Business Central talking to each other. When somebody who is in Business Central sends me an e-mail. Adele is one of my contacts in Business Central. Outlook picks that up, realizes which company she works for, and if she references a particular posted document for that company, it even picks that up and says, here’s a link to the document that she’s talking about.
So, Adele is talking about a sales invoice. I can click on that sales invoice, then it brings up a very brief overview of actually what is on that sales invoice. I can scroll down, I can have a look at the totals, what was ordered, etc. It’s not a perfect view. If I want a better view, I can open this in another window, and I’ve got a much more full view of the document. But it gives me an overview of this document that she is talking about.
It also because Adele is one of my contacts in Business Central, it gives me a link to Business Central all within Outlook, and we can say go fetch some Insights. Now I know that Adele works for a company called Adatum Corporation. So what Outlook is doing now is questioning Business Central. It’s pulled back Adele works for Adatum Corporation. This is information about how much money they owe us. These are some ongoing documents, posted documents that we have with Adatum Corporation. And here’s some statistics on total sales, payments, when the last payment was made, etc.
This is all fully interactive, as you would expect from your home screen, in NAV or in Business Central. If you click on one of these numbers, Ongoing sales orders, click on that. It brings up these are the three sales documents that it’s talking about. I can click on one of them. It takes me through, and it will actually show me this is the contents of this sales order. This is what they are trying to buy. So that’s 12 Atlanta Chairs.
So, it gives me this rich history about Adele. So, if I can come and have a look at this, familiarize myself with that document she’s talking about, with their account, perhaps one of these sales credit emails is the credit for this, invoice that she’s asking about.
And from here, I can even post one of these documents if I want to. What it also gives me is the ability to create new documents from here. So perhaps I deal with Adele’s issue and I call her up to tell her that yep, I’ve sorted that out Adele, and she mentions that she’s interested in buying some visitors chairs for her surgery. From here, I can create a new sales quote. I’m still within Outlook. But I can create a sales quote here. It’s going back to Business Central, it’s calling up everything it can about Adatum Corporation to fill in the header of that quotation.
And I can put in some notes, and what is it that Adele would like a quote for, it’s for an item, what item number is it that she’s interested in, she’s interested in the guest chair. How many is she interested in? And I’m speaking to her. She tells me it’s 12. And I can scroll across and see, exactly how much £1,501.20, Adele. I can come back and change the price, give her a special price, update the line value here.
When she’s happy. From here I can e-mail this to her, I can turn this into a sales order. I can interact with my flows, which we’ll come to later. I’ll probably just want to send it to her for her to get approval on her side and then come back and send it through to Business Central.
And if we go back to Business Central. If I went, and I looked at Adatum Corporation, I will probably find that there is an ongoing sales quote now for 12 office chairs.
Yeah, there’s two ongoing sales quotes. I did one this morning to test that this would work and the one that we’ve just done now. Now I’m in Business Central. I’m seeing the exact same document I was creating in Outlook. The two of them are synced so tightly. I can work in one, it reflects in the other instantly.
So that’s the integration with the standard Office features.
Um, Deetz also mentioned was the whole artificial intelligence and the insights and the dashboarding capabilities. So, on My Home screen, it tries to give me information that’s relevant to me. I get all My buttons that tell me what do I need to be looking at and doing things about.
It’s also trying to give me some information up here. Now this is just a demo company, very few transactions. So, I’m going to flip over to a different company where I do have a lot more transactions. So, as you can see, this is a just for demo and development purposes company.
Up here Business Central Cortana intelligence is trying to tell me these are interesting things that it’s finding for the latest period. My best-selling item, my best customer, my largest invoice and how many deals I closed this period compared to the previous period?
And all of these are interactive so largest posted sale was this if I click on it, it takes me through and shows me. These are all the sales invoices it took into account. That’s the biggest one in the batch. And it’s trying to give me insights that it thinks are useful for me.
But what it’s also doing down here, it’s telling me about my sales and overdue documents in the sales and purchases side that perhaps I need to take some action on. And it’s also looking at invoices, on the system, customer payment practices, and trying to predict if anything is going to become overdue.
If there is something, it will show me which invoice it thinks might be overdue, and it gives me the opportunity to contact the customer and just remind them that I exist before they do their payment run at the end of the month. Make sure that everything is all right, so you don’t need any credits or anything like that, just to smooth things, to speed up and improve my cash flow.
Another thing that Deetz mentioned was the whole thing with Power Platform.
So, with Office, we’re all very familiar with Outlook and Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc, but there are other features in the Office 365 stack. If I just go and have a look here.
We look at all the apps. We can see there are dozens of them. One Drive is something that you might be using, you’ve got a Planner, Forms, Power Automate, Power BI, Power Apps, Microsoft Project, SharePoint, stream videos, etc.
They’re all here, and you probably have a licence to be using, if not all of them, some of them. And you can access them all from within Business Central, so an interesting one is this Power Automate.
Power Automate is a relatively new tool that Microsoft launched maybe two years ago, and it, it’s a tool for getting information from one system to another system. So, from Excel into Outlook, from Outlook into Teams, from Business Central into Outlook, and it will even do strange things like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, it can also send information from them.
Now, I can click on here, and I can go look at my Power Automate Flows. Just to show you how truly tight that integrate is in Business Central. Sorry, I need to bring back up the other demo company. So, within Business Central, I can go search for my Power Flows.
These are my Power Automate Flows. It’s picked up mine. All of them that I have, so this one, get a weather report. This has nothing to do with Business Central. Every day this Power Flow goes off, gets the weather forecast from Microsoft Bing, and e-mails it to me. I have one here that reads my calendar and tells me what meetings I have scheduled for next week. It has nothing to do with Office, nothing to do with Business Central, sorry but, I can see it here from within Business Central
There is one up here that is to do with Business Central. If I create a new item and request approval, it will create e-mails, send them out to people, and give them a button on the e-mail to approve or reject and come back and either approve or reject that item in Business Central.
So, you can set up these kinds of things. You can manage them from this screen. You can change them and tweak them. Then you can share them with your friends and colleagues so that they can use them as well. So, the integration is not just with Excel and Outlook, it is with the entire Office 365 Suite.
And the last thing that I just want to mention briefly is extensions, which is the whole marketplace. So, it’s the idea of having apps that reside within Business Central.
So, on this system, all we have is the base application, and quite a few that are supplied by Microsoft. There’s nothing really fancy that’s been added on here but if I wanted to, I can go to the marketplace, and if I wanted to start accepting PayPal payments, for instance, you know, I might have quite a few customers who said, well I want to pay using PayPal. I can search up here and see. Oh, And the last time I tried, so just using pay, there is a WorldPayment Standard, MobilePay Invoice, Pay on Sales Order from Cap Vision.
So, these are some apps that are being written by third party companies, which, if you choose to install them will embed themselves within your Business Central, some of these are free, particularly the ones written by Microsoft. Some of them, you’d have to pay for, a monthly subscription fee or a one-off to install them. And all these Microsoft guarantee that continue working with Business Central, they’re not going to break anything.
The only thing we suggest is if you look around the marketplace, and you see something that might be of use to you, just have a word with your consultant, check with them that there isn’t some free option that does that for you.
Or perhaps we actually could offer you something that is totally bespoke to you, instead of something that’s a 90% fit, but these are here, and they are available for you.
That’s pretty much everything. I wanted to show you. Deetz, did any questions come in?
Is there a desktop version or does everything need to be done in a browser?
OK, so basically, so once you are on Business Central SaaS you are pretty much working in the browser. This is in a web browser. There is a desktop client which I was just showing you. I’ve closed it unfortunately. But it looks identical to SaaS. It is a secure site. So, you know, it’s not open to hackers snooping into what’s been sent, received. It’s got full Microsoft security. But it is a web browser.
So, does anybody else have any questions from the demo, you’d like to submit them in the question box? We’ll just give you a couple of seconds.
Here we have one. Can I transfer over my historic data from NAV?
So, if you are a current NAV client, and you’re thinking about going to Business Central, yes, you can take your historic data across, certainly you can. We do recommend, you know if you’re making this change, it’s a good opportunity to have a clear out. And perhaps you want to think about just taking the opening balances across and getting rid of some of that old information is not really relevant any more.
But if you want to take a historical, you certainly can. We understand your NAV base, we understand the Business Central database. And we have the tools, we have that integration with Excel for taking information across. We still have the rapid start tool which you might have used in the past. That is still available for bringing information across. So, certainly, you can bring it over, if you really want.
I’m pretty much finished there so I will hand back to Deetz. We do have a few more questions but we will answer them offline.
Five key takeaways and close
So, we would like to leave you with the key takeaways which we hope will assist you.
Office 365 Integration – Office 365 is required for many reasons, but importantly is the Microsoft Outlook and excel integration. For example, your users can process orders with clients and suppliers directly in Microsoft Outlook without having to open Business Central SaaS and your finance team can edit a journal directly in Excel.
What is your companies’ policies regarding on premise servers versus cloud based solutions – NAV might be the only solution left on servers, and if that is the case then moving to Business Central SaaS will fall in line well with your company’s IT policy. Many companies have moved their server-based applications to SaaS which means they have a lower cost of ownership, reduced IT maintenance and regular updates.
Think about whether or not you would truly need to move historical data into Business Central SaaS. A move to Business Central SaaS is classed as a re-implementation therefore the best practice is to start with opening balances. Historical data can be transferred to a separate database such as an SQL database on Azure. You can use Jet or Power BI to access both the historical database and Business Central SaaS to do tasks like year-on-year comparisons.
How much storage do you get on Microsoft Azure Server – currently the limit for the size of each environment’s data in Business Central is set to 80 GB. Typically, in our experience this is sufficient. If a tenant does exceed this limit, Microsoft would contact us to work with you to reduce the size of the data.
Data Security – Microsoft have robust disaster recovery practices including full backups weekly, differential backups hourly and transaction log backups every five minutes. Automatic backups are retained for 14 days.
Of course, if you would like to have a more detailed discussion about why you should move to Business Central SaaS then please feel free to contact us.
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