Microsoft’s launch of Dynamics Business Central in mid-2018 took many by surprise. They already had a sizable hold in the ERP market with Dynamics GP (or Great Plains). GP, though updated every year with new features and changes, seems to be losing some steam. Microsoft had to pivot to what companies have been focusing on. That focus is the cloud.
Calming the Fears
Cloud has been around for a while now but struggled in early adoption. There were many factors that led people to be wary of the cloud, leaving it out of their future planning.
“Over the years, the adoption of Cloud computing was slower due to various reasons such as mobility, bandwidth, the fear of losing control, security, privacy, data protection, performance and uptime, lack of Cloud business brokers, and unawareness. It took many years for people to adopt Cloud computing and the early adoption was at slower rate.”
– Muhammad H. Raza
But in the past 5 years or so the fears have been quelled by an increase in security, a lack of massive data breaches, and rapid adoption by competing companies. Microsoft saw this as an opportunity to develop a product that could appeal to its current base and attract new users with cloud ambitions. They also aimed to give users packed in features like never before.
The Value of Modules
Do you have a hard time buying software knowing you need 4 or 5 additional pieces to get it to work just the way you need it to? Microsoft seems to have put some thought into this. With over 22 built-in modules, it’s hard to find something you need that’s not already there. They also offering advanced modules directed specifically at manufacturing if that is what you need.
With baked in features like inventory, document management, human resources, and invoicing it’s easy to see how people are gravitating towards Business Central. “Bang for your buck” is a phrase that comes to mind. Users and prospective customers see value in a system that doesn’t try to hide costs.
If there is something missing that you need, Microsoft also has a massive library of established marketplace partners. These partners provide add-ons or niche products to support your efforts by tying directly into your everyday systems. This network of partners coupled with the long list of built-in features brings you even closer to a single product to run your financials.
The Microsoft Ecosystem
Think of the products you use every day. You may list your ERP system, maybe a billing platform. Maybe you use a separate system for payroll. What you skim over are the programs you use almost impulsively, like they are part of you. Think of programs like Word, Excel, and Outlook.
One of the key highlights in Dynamics Business Central is the Office 365 integration. You can tie emails directly to reports and see the status of a company right in your Outlook window. Is a customer that just emailed you past due? You know in an instant, so you can stop further work until you are paid.
Microsoft has built a rich ecosystem that they are constantly updating and adding to. It makes sense for companies that already run Microsoft products to stay in the family and get more connected.
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