Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a powerful yet familiar ERP solution for small and medium businesses. Leveraging the cloud to provide increased accessibility, innovation, and ease of use, the platform is transforming the way companies like yours do business. However, there is another benefit for Business Central users—evergreen ERP. What is it and why does it matter? Read on to learn more.
Innovation in the Cloud
When Microsoft Announced Dynamics 365 Business Central, the goal was to deliver the innovations small and midsized business customers needed from a cloud application while providing the familiar interface of a Microsoft Dynamics product.
While the update schedules have changed, and the name has been updated a few times to clear up confusion for customers, Microsoft has continued to add new features and enhancements designed to provide users with the latest and greatest the company has to offer.
Updates with No Headaches
When you move to the cloud, you trade in the server racks and electric bills for a much more user-friendly pricing model. You also receive another key benefit, the last, best version of the software. In the legacy ERP world, updates were a hassle.
Not only were updates rare—often coming out once every couple years, once the product was released, the support clock started ticking. For Microsoft, five years after the product was released, it entered extended support and after ten, the only changes made were critical security updates.
Not only was the rollout of an update challenging for businesses, too often, an improvement would cause more headaches than it was worth. Integrations would falter, customizations would disappear, and too often, the IT staff had to spend time making repairs to the old way in the event you wanted to add something new. Even if they were on the same product, businesses were frequently on different variations. Some would have the latest patch, others didn’t. Ultimately, this created problems not only for the customers, but for Microsoft.
Luckily the move to create a cloud application changed that. Now, updates are automatic, easy, happen during off-peak hours, and most importantly, don’t result in undue burdens for customers.
Microsoft’s Continuous Delivery Schedule: Modern Lifecycle Policy
Designed to add enhancements faster, more easily, and at a lower cost to customers, Dynamics 365 Business Central customers who needed predictable updates with continuous deployment can leave the office one day and walk in to see the improved software the next.
One of the key selling points of the cloud, Business Central was one of Microsoft’s first applications to embrace the Modern Lifecycle Policy, with the change to just recently being announced for Finance and Operations, Microsoft’s enterprise cloud ERP.
So why does this matter for customers? First, alongside this schedule, changes are announced well in advance, giving customers time to understand the enhancements being made and play around with the new features and validate major changes in a sandbox environment before the release. This allows users the ability to assess productivity and efficiency gains of the new capabilities, as well as train end users about new capabilities.
Second, it adds predictability. Rather than releasing big updates some months and small updates other months, the twice-yearly update schedule makes it easier for staff to prepare for changes.
April Update Coming Soon
As mentioned above, Microsoft releases Business Central on a twice-yearly update schedule—April and October. These backward compatible updates ensure you are always on the latest version of the Dynamics 365 Business Central platform without breaking an integration or undoing a customization. Next month, we will explore the new features coming to Dynamics 365 Business Central in April, but if you’d like to learn more, we invite you to read the following resources:
- ZDNet: Microsoft Dynamics 365 April 19 Update: What’s New?
- Microsoft Trainer Steven Renders: Overview of Dynamics 365 Business Central April 19 Release
- NAV and Business Central Blog: New Features in Dynamics 365 April 19 Release
Dynamics 365 Business Central and IBG: Your Partners for Success
Do you need assistance from a partner that understands your business processes and can help you get Dynamics 365 to fit your business? IBG provides professional services for Dynamics Dynamics 365 that include:
- Integrations & Workflows
- Custom Development
- Business Process Re-engineering