Dynamics NAV, GP (Great Plains), or AX to Business Central Upgrade - Is it worth it?

"The main purpose of why you should upgrade your legacy ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions can be its security, patches, and compliance."

If you have considered choosing to upgrade your legacy Dynamics NAV ERP and finance management app like Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can significantly lower your security risks as the latest patches are automatically applied to your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

So, if you are moving to Business Central soon, especially if the current version of NAV (Dynamics NAV 2018, which then became Business Central in the same year, 2018) no longer meets your regulatory and security needs, this blog is for you.

Continue reading to explore further!

At Dynamics Square, we have been creating an impact on many organizations of varied sizes spanned across different industries that need Microsoft Dynamics Support.

It has been a wonderful journey so far for over 11 years, performing 1,000+ upgrades and implementations of ERP, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and cloud-based business management applications from Dynamics 365 Suite.

If you are ready to leap to migrate from on-premises to the Microsoft Cloud and Azure Services in Canada, our Microsoft Dynamics 365 migration process can help you understand all the nitty gritty to make the migration process a success.

Get in touch with our team of experienced Dynamics 365 consultants to find out if your ERP system is set for the software upgrade. You’ll also be discovering a variety of special promotions and discounts from Microsoft via our services for those looking to move from on-premises systems (AX, Dynamics CRM, GP, and NAV) to Dynamics 365 in Canada.

Migrating Dynamics NAV Data to Business Central can be a complex process, but here are three common steps you can follow:

Step – 1: Assess the Data - To migrate to Business Central, first assess Dynamics NAV data, review structure, identify customizations, and map data to the new structure.

Step - 2: Prepare for Migration - After assessing the data, the next step in migration is preparing by setting up the Business Central environment, creating necessary extensions, importing required data, and addressing any customizations identified in step one.

Step – 3: Migrate Data - Use Microsoft's Data Migration Wizard tool to migrate data from Dynamics NAV to Business Central. It automates the process by mapping the data to Business Central's structure and importing it. Test the migrated data thoroughly to ensure proper functionality.

Note: Migrations can differ based on data size, complexity, and integrations. It's wise to seek help from a qualified consultant or partner.

Contact us today to get started on your migration journey or get a FREE QUOTE for later.

Is it worth the investment to Upgrade Legacy ERPs to cloud-based Applications?

Upgrading old versions of software applications to new ones on the internet (cloud) gives you an edge over other ways of managing your business.

For example, being able to access your data from anywhere, anytime with an internet connection, helping you and your team easily scale your system up or down based on specific business needs, while potentially reducing costs by not having to manage your servers or hardware.

Moreover, cloud-based software like Dynamics 365 Business Central often receives regular updates and patches from Microsoft, which can improve security and provide new features that may not be available in earlier versions of on-premises CRM/ERP software like Dynamics AX (Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (F&O); Finance & Supply Chain).

However, it's important to carefully evaluate and brainstorm the involved costs and benefits to figure out whether upgrading to a cloud-based system could be the right choice to scale the operations of your business.

“It's essential to think about the good and terrible things a decision might do and decide if it's worth it to take for my business before going ahead any further.”

What makes switching to Dynamics 365 Business Central so important?

The decision to upgrade your ERPs such as NAV, GP, or AX to cloud-based applications in Dynamics 365 suite depends on a range of factors; specific business needs and goals to your budget.

Cloud ERPs like Microsoft Dynamics Business Central can offer benefits such as improved accessibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness to manage your operations located at multiple locations.

However, there may be potential drawbacks, including security concerns, and compatibility issues.

Here are the reasons why you should migrate to Business Central:

1. Using earlier versions that need an immediate upgrade - If you're using an earlier version of Microsoft Dynamics 365, it's important to upgrade as Microsoft will sunset the support for it anytime like they came out with OpneAI’s ChatGPT (now ChatGPT4) and AI-powered language tool Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot for Dynamics 365 suite and Microsoft 365 Copilot for Office 365.

But don't worry much, Dynamics Square (a leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner in Canada) can still help your business and ambitions to get up and running like never before. We recommend upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central to ensure you have the latest features and support to grow at scale.

2. Looking for a cloud-hosted business app - If you're seeking to utilize the power of cloud-based product’s productivity features in the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics 365, upgrading from Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics AX (or Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations), Oracle JD Edwards, or Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365 Business Central can be a decisive move.

This cloud-based, unified business management platform like Business Central is available on a subscription basis and includes hosting on Microsoft Canada's Azure cloud platform.

Learn more for Pricing, Licensing, Benefits and Features of Dynamics 365 Business Central.

3. New features and functions to manage your business - Upgrading to new features that improve end-user productivity can put life in a digital transformation journey. For this, Microsoft's focus is on Dynamics 365, including its all-one business management module Business Central, which has a modern cloud-based architecture (based on Dynamics NAV).

Note: Dynamics GP is still supported with a roadmap beyond 2028 but lacks recent cloud advancements that you can leverage in Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Get in touch with our Dynamics 365 Business Central experts to learn and understand how easy it is to move from your GP to advanced ERP software – Business Central.  

4. Outgrown your current system's needs - When you upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central, you not only get a world-class mid-market ERP system with deep ISV add-ons, securely hosted in the Microsoft Cloud, but you also upgrade your current system for Finance, Manufacturing, warehouse management (WMS) and inventory management.

What you can expect from Dynamics Square for your BC Migration Needs:

  • A thorough analysis of your requirements and what your business operations need.
  • A well-defined scope and project plan that aligns with your goals.
  • A complete technical upgrade, including pre-production and live production upgrades.
  • Advisory Services to show potential areas of improvement, such as configuration, training, and adoption of new functions, and to help you with Dynamics 365 Business Central Implementation.

Where does Microsoft Business Central stores my Data?

Business Central is a cloud ERP system. Hence, your data gets hosted in Microsoft Cloud on Azure (either in Canada or USA). Learn more from Microsoft here: Dynamics 365 and Power Platform Availability.

Videos to help you learn about the core differences:

You can also utilize this 44-minute video to help you unlock the potential of an integrated and unified business management system that seamlessly connects with Office 365 and the Power Platform:

Dynamics 365 Business Central: A unified solution | BRK2186

The above comprehensive Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will give you the insights you need to optimize your business processes and drive success.

If you want a FREE Demo for Dynamics 365 products, and would like to explore more, contact us now.

Migrating to Business Central Online? (FAQs) for On-Premises Users

What products and versions of my ERP are supported?

Supported products for migration of Data to Business Central:

1. Dynamics GP 2015 and later versions

2. Business Central on-premises (versions 14-21)

Dynamics NAV users that are looking to upgrade to Business Central online must upgrade NAV to Business Central on-premises first, then should choose to switch to Business Central online.

System requirements: To migrate data from specific product versions using built-in migration tools, on-premises solution must use SQL Server 2016 or later with compatibility level 130 or higher.

For an exquisite comparison, use:

How does data move from an on-premises NAV tenant to an online Business Central tenant?

To migrate data from on-premises ERP solutions like Dynamics NAV to a Business Central online tenant, you can use Azure Data Factory (ADF) which runs within the Business Central online service manager.

A data pipeline is created in ADF during cloud migration, and for a local SQL Server instance, a self-hosted integration runtime (SHIR) needs to be configured to manage the communication between cloud services and on-premises data securely. For more, consult your Dynamics 365 experts at Dynamics Square.

Any limitations on the amount or format of data migrated when moving from NAV to Business Central?

A data type is unrestricted for NAV to BC migration, but the default Business Central database storage capacity is limited to 80 GB across all environments.

You can purchase additional database capacity for your businesses with unique scenarios. And migrating fewer companies in each migration run is recommended, with the option to add more later.

So, if you're migrating databases larger than 80 GB, get support from your cloud solution partner and purchase more storage if needed.

Ayush Jain

Ayush Jain is a seasoned Digital Marketing specialist renowned for his expertise in harnessing the power of cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to propel business growth. With an impressive track record spanning more than four years, he has cultivated fruitful partnerships with numerous SaaS enterprises, driving substantial brand recognition and unlocking revenue potential.


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