Explore Two ERP Offerings by Microsoft: Dynamics 365 Business Central & Dynamics GP (Great Plains)
"Read on to discover whether Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics GP are different ERP software. Learn about their deployment, strengths, features, implementation, pricing, and more.”
Though both business management applications - Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics GP share many features, key differences may make one solution a perfect fit for you to streamline your business operations seamlessly.
Let's see which one is the right one for you. But before continuing any further, I suggest you roll your eyes over the comparison table if you quickly want to know the main differences between Dynamics GP and Business Central:
|Product/Features||Dynamics 365 Business Central||Dynamics GP|
|Licensing/Pricing|| Starts at $|
|From $ 6167 (CAD) for 3 users. Subscription starts at $ 65 (CAD).|
|Canadian Payroll||Yes, via apps.||Yes.|
|Purchase Orders||No requisitions. 3-way PO invoice matching. PO creation. Separate inventory receipt.||Requisitions. Separate inventory receipt. 3-way PO invoice matching.|
|Hosting||Cloud (with no extra fee). Choice of on-premises option.||On-premises or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS, not included)|
|Upgrades||FREE automated updates. Managed by Microsoft.||FREE service pack updates for Dynamics GP 2019 Oct. release and later. Manual upgrades for earlier GP versions.|
|Business Intelligence (BI) / Power BI Integration||Yes, with a little effort.||Yes, but a bit complex and requires added help.|
|Dynamics CRM/Dynamics 365 Sales Integration||Yes, easy to integrate.||Yes, and requires some effort|
|GL Account Structure||Dimensional chart of accounts.||Various segments for structure.|
|Add-ons||A large, rapidly growing pool of powerful add-ons/apps; use AppSource to know more.||Numerous add-ons to suit your business needs.|
|Budgeting||Facilitates multiple budgets for financials, revisions, analysis, and dimensional reporting.||Set up and import Excel-based budgets. Advanced capabilities via Cloud Solutions Partners like Dynamics Square.|
|Financial Reporting||Uses account schedules & analysis views. Can utilize Jet Reports.||Jet Reports and Management Reporter|
Business Central and Dynamics GP are from different timelines of Microsoft's business software development.
Here, as an advocate of business software, I'm going to break down the key differences between these two ERP applications. And assist you in determining which one to select!
Dynamics 365 Business Central: Overview of an all-in-one cloud-based ERP
Dynamics 365 Business Central is a software as a service (SaaS) solution and is part of a business management suite – Dynamics 365. You can host Business Central in the cloud, access it from anywhere with an internet connection.
There’s no need to support or keep your own IT infrastructure to run the software.
Microsoft manages upgrades for its products and services, and automatically rolls them out without any need for downloads or installation on your end.
This means that you can enjoy the latest features and improvements without any extra effort or interruption to your workflow. This automatic upgrade process also ensures that you are always up-to-date and protected with the latest security updates and bug fixes.
This is to help small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) save money and streamline their operations at scale.
Dynamics GP: Cloud hosting is an Option
Microsoft originally designed and developed Dynamics GP as an on-premises solution that can be hosted in the cloud. This ERP application performs at its best when deployed on-premises.
But remember, whether deployed in the cloud or on-premises, no updates are automatically rolled out for Dynamics GP. You'll have to schedule upgrades with Microsoft or your software provider like Dynamics Square.
Dynamics GP is comparatively simple enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and it also includes human resource and payment functionality, as well as general financial capabilities.
However, it doesn't support multiple languages currencies, or statutory requirements that you get for FREE with Dynamics 365 Business Central. Dynamics GP does not offer what larger organizations might need.
So, if not Dynamics GP, then what?
There's nothing wrong with upgrading your current ERP system to a modern business management solution that gives you the utmost flexibility to manage your operations from anywhere, anytime.
If you employ Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can easily take back control of your business.
Also, Microsoft has placed a significant emphasis on cloud computing. Remember the launch of ChatGPT, that's how eager Microsoft is to roll out any new tech that helps the business world keep running. And hence our lives.
Microsoft has positioned Dynamics 365 Business Central as a central component of its strategy to outpace its competitors like SAP and Oracle. While the company will and still support its on-premises solutions such as Dynamics GP, Microsoft's research and development efforts are primarily focused on cloud solutions.
As a result, you can expect to see the most exciting enhancements and new features for Microsoft's products and services in the cloud in the coming times. There seems to be no doubt about it.
Now, if you would like to know what's included in the base plans of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, keep on reading.
What's included in Dynamics 365 Business Central plan?
There is no single base plan for this cloud ERP software, rather it has three different plans like the Essentials which starts at $ 89.60 (CAD) per user/month and includes:
- The Team Member Plan (the most basic subscription for Business Central and cost merely $ 10.20 (CAD) per user/month)
- Project Management
- General ledger
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Warehouse Management (Warehouse Management System - WMS): You can also use add-ons like Sana Commerce to power your eCommerce business, InsightWorks integrated WMS solution for scaling your warehousing business, and Navi Payroll to enhance your HR & Payroll processes.
Note: D365 Business Central has other capabilities like distribution functionality for multi-warehouse management and advanced inventory planning.
- Finance & Supply Chain (using BC's Supply Chain Module module)
- Human resourcing (HRM (Human Resources Management) - HRM)
- AI-supported forecasting
- Planning & Budgeting
- Regulatory & global compliance like GDPR, and more.
And if your organization's employee size approaches over 250 but less than 300 active users (that's the max Business Central can handle), you can opt for its Premium license that starts from $ 128 (CAD) per user/month.
Business Central's premium plan includes the Team Members license, functionalities of its Essentials plan, and an advanced level of business management capabilities such as:
- Planning and Dispatching
- Basic Supply Planning
- Agile Manufacturing
- Basic Capacity Planning
- Production Bill of Materials
- Service Contract Management
- Production Orders
- Service Order Management
- Service Item Management
- Finite Loading
- Machine Centers
Microsoft has advocated and is advocating each day for the cloud, and business central seems to be at the center of its strategy. While Microsoft will and still support on-premise solutions like Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV / Navision, or say Dynamics CRM, the research and development team has put its focus on developing and enhancing cloud solutions while embedding the power of artificial intelligence, and machine learning and language models to further ease the ease of managing business.
Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics GP: Infographic
Check out this Innovative ERP Approach Infographic to discover various features and benefits offered by Dynamics 365 Business Central, a cloud-based ERP system to scale your business operations and make smart-decision-making better.
Innovative ERP Approach Infographic (make an infographic using the below-mentioned content):
A modern cloud-based solution can help your future-proof your business
Transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central doesn't mean leaving behind your Dynamics GP features and functionalities.
In 2023 over 90% CFOs out of 157 selected responded for evaluating finance strategy, scope, and design as a priority - Gartner, Inc.
Features gained in Dynamics 365 Business Central:
- Microsoft 365 Integration
- Excel Publishing
- Built-in Financial Reporting Capabilities
- Dimensional Chart of Accounts
- Search Capability
- Decrease/increase users as needed
- Scale license types for current business needs
- Predictable costs
Benefits of Cloud ERP
- Improved security, privacy, and reliability
- Remote work capability; work from anywhere, anytime, and on any device
- Avoid upgrades; gets automatic updates directly from Microsoft
- Reduced upfront costs for hardware and servers
Benefits of Rolling-out Business Central
- Uses predictive analytics, AI, and data visualization
- Reduces long-term software costs
- Decreases dependency on IT
- Optimizes operations & customer experiences
Build your Transition Package with our Price Calculator
So, if you're looking for software that's up to date, there seems no other alternative than a cloud-based ERP solution like Dynamics 365 Business Central. This is Microsoft's newest cloud-ERP offering full of ERP functionality surprises and is helpful for your business.
The price point of Microsoft is committed to the cloud, and Business Central is at the core of its future strategy.
A tried-and-true ERP solution with integrated HR and payroll features is Dynamics GP. And an extensive network of users, partners, and consultants does work on the cloud but performs best when deployed on-premises.
If still you have doubts or are unable to make a decision, you'd want to chat with our consulting team here at Dynamics Square. Our team specializes in Dynamics 365, as well as other SaaS ERP solutions from Microsoft, and other software vendors.