If you are currently using Microsoft Dynamics GP, SL or NAV, why should you consider moving to a new platform? When should you plan to move? And what will you gain from switching? This is the second article in a series of blog posts that will help you answer these questions.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume you agree you need to move past your GP, SL or NAV systems. Now the question is when do you have to do it.
Why Not Now?
- To repeat from part 1 of this series, legacy applications like Dynamics GP, SL and NAV have a shelf life. For GP, it’s not tomorrow, and it’s not next year, but it’s coming. For SL and NAV, it’s either already expired or about to do so this year.
- Consider how long it will take for you to move to D365 BC.
- For simple operations (e.g., core financials only), you should expect it to take 3-4 months. That’s a month for planning and 2-3 months for the implementation.
- For medium complexity (e.g., distribution), you’re more likely looking at 6-9 months. That’s 1-2 months for planning and 5-7 months for the implementation.
- For complex organizations (often with other systems impacted by the move), it could be 12-18 months. That’s 2-4+ months for planning and 9-12+ months for the implementation.
If you want to be on the new system and take advantage of the great features in D365 BC to improve your businesses within these time frames, then you should start now. That’s even more true for Dynamics SL and NAV. Your system is no longer being supported by Microsoft.
Dynamics GP has a road map through 2028. For Dynamics GP users, your first instinct might be to say, “I’ll do it in 2028 when they discontinue ongoing updates.”
While that might be a good answer for you, you also have to recognize that there are ~40,000 GP customers and only about 200 GP partners. So over the next 3 years, every partner would have to move 60+ customers on average each year to get everyone off GP in time. That’s not feasible.
Many of these partners are much smaller than TMG and would realistically only be able to handle around a half dozen or fewer every year. There’s definitely a strong reason not to wait until the very end to move.
What else should you know?
- Why does it take so long to move? This is not a migration or upgrade; it’s really a re-implementation. Moving to D365 BC is not an upgrade — it’s a new system. It will require data migration, training, learning new procedures, etc.
- Use the move to update best practices. Your business has changed since you implemented GP, SL or NAV — in many cases, dramatically. Why would you want to implement the same procedures in a new system? Take advantage of the move and the new, more modern capabilities to improve and streamline your internal business practices. That also takes a re-implementation.
What other factors will impact the timeline?
- Depending upon what version of GP, SL or NAV you are running, it is only supported on a specific set of versions of the Windows Server and SQL Server versions. For example, if you are running GP 2015, that only runs on Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016. If your IT provider has indicated that you need to move to Windows Server 2019 or newer, then you’re going to have to upgrade your GP along with that move to the newer server. Instead of paying for a new server and the cost of upgrading from GP 2015 to GP 18.5, you should spend that money on implementing D365 BC. After that, you’ll never have to upgrade GP, Windows or SQL again.
- Want to take advantage of new capabilities or systems such as AP automation, document management or implement bar-coding and warehouse management? Rather than investing in those systems to be integrated with an expiring legacy system, implement the new functionality along with the D365 BC system.
In short, if you are going to spend anything on your existing system, you should strongly consider just moving to D365 BC instead of making further investments in GP, SL or NAV.
When should you start?
Considering all of that, when should you start? Do you want or need to be on the new system this year? 2024? 2025? Beyond? The TM Group can help you set that date — and then we can help you define when to start the project to move to D365 BC.
Consult with your IT firm or your IT staff.
If your current Windows Server is going to be obsolete in 2024 or 2025, set that as your implementation date and work back from there on when to start.
Are you considering selling your business or having the next generation take over running the business? If so, your business is more valuable and more stable if you’re on a modern system. Consider the date you’d like begin that ownership transition and work back from there to define a start date.
Consult with The TM Group to consider the unique set of factors impacting your business; we can help you define the correct timeline for your enterprise.
Written by Kevin Brunton
This is blog two in the series of three blogs listed below: