Microsoft Dynamics GP to Business Central: Not a Straight Line

One of the common concerns about transitioning from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Business Central is the lack of an easily defined migration path.

In short — if you want to move to Business Central from Dynamics GP, there is no straight line.

There are, however, ways to make the process simpler and remove many of the headaches along the journey. While it may not ever be a straight line, with the right mindset, team, and tools, it can at the very least become a gentle curve.

Here is how to achieve that.

Reasons for Switching from GP to Business Central

To start, let’s look at why you might want to switch your ERP system from GP to Business Central in the first place.

There are several reasons you might consider the change, including:

  • You want to move your ERP to the cloud.
  • You want fewer upgrades — since Business Central is hosted in the cloud, Microsoft automatically installs updates.
  • You could find cost savings through licensing.
  • You have little-to-no IT resources in-house.
  • You want access to the latest, cutting-edge features from Microsoft.
  • You need more functionality. It is easier to attach functionality, such as managing distribution or manufacturing, in Business Central.
  • You want to integrate your ERP with Office 365 products — Business Central has greatly improved the compatibility.

We all love GP, but it may be time for your business to transition to Business Central. If that is the case, you need to know how to make that transition as seamless as possible.

Tips for Transitioning GP to Business Central

The challenge with moving from GP to Business Central is that there is no migration tool that will magically turn one software into the other. However, these tips can get you closer.

Tip #1: Shift your mindset

As they are two fundamentally different programs, Business Central cannot be set up the same way that you have GP set up. It works differently and the way you work with it should also change. This is a mindset shift that businesses following this path will have to embrace.

That said, that doesn’t mean the migration has to be horrible. In fact, in some respects, it can even be easier.

For instance, because of the Office365 integration, you can import data from an Excel spreadsheet straight into Business Central.

Tip #2: Consider your historical data

Additionally, you need to give some thought to your historical data — what you’re going to do with it and how you will retain it.

When you move from GP to Business Central, you can’t bring all of your data with you. There needs to be planning around the amount of legacy data you have and how valuable it is to you.

Tip #3: Ask what functionality you truly need in your ERP

From the beginning of the process, look at what functionality your business truly needs in its ERP. This can help guide your data decisions and implementation. Instead of thinking of it as straight migration, keep an open mind and consider it as a new implementation.

These shifts can help identify new functionalities that could improve your business even further.

If you treat moving to Business Central as a new implementation with new functionality, anything is possible.

 Tip #4: Seek out experienced guidance

Another secret to easing the transition is to work with a partner who has experience in GP to Business Central migrations. At SHEA, for example, we’ve completed many migrations and know how to navigate the common pitfalls. We can help plan your transition from the start, including assessing where you should replicate functionality and where you shouldn’t.

An experienced partner can also help you get the most out of your new tool and even determine whether the switch is necessary in the first place.

The reality is that Business Central may be for you — or it may not. But it’s well worth finding out that answer before you make the switch. You also shouldn’t assume that it’s not for you. Instead, let someone who knows what the Dynamics 365 family of products is capable of doing help you determine what the new answer is for your business.

At SHEA Global, our overall expertise, support, and long-term relationship with Microsoft Dynamics GP can help you navigate the not-so-straight road of transitioning to Business Central.

Reach out to us today to learn more about our GP support and system integrations.