How Dynamics Business Central and the Cloud come together
Professional Advantage has been offering Microsoft Dynamics Business Central as a solution to its clients since July this year, and we introduced the software in our earlier blog What you need to know about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Within this blog, we touched on the benefits of the availability of Business Central in the cloud; the cloud is such a hot topic at the moment, that we wanted to explore Business Central in the cloud with a little more detail.
By hosting Business Central in the cloud, Microsoft has done you and your organisation a favour: instead of spending your time and money looking after your infrastructure (servers, workstations, computers, etc), the cloud offers advanced infrastructure that does not need to be serviced by the client. This gives you the availability to focus on more important aspects of your business.
Some assume that once a software is housed within the cloud, the flexibility that was previously experienced with on-premise is removed. This flexibility includes being able to make customisations, with many believing that a cloud product is set in stone and cannot change. With Business Central in the cloud this is not the case.
What makes it flexible?
Previously with Dynamics NAV, it was possible to significantly change the behaviour of the application if you needed to embrace specific business processes. The fear from NAV users is therefore that this level of alteration and restructuring is not available with Business Central as a cloud offering. However, Microsoft acknowledged this fear and introduced Business Central in the cloud with a different concept, allowing Business Central to achieve the same goal. The concept is based on the usage of so-called events.
You can subscribe to any of the vast variety of system provided events, and add or change the business logic of the product. The use of an event is a proven and established programming concept that can ease application upgrade, and the list of these events is growing every month! Microsoft encourages the use of more and more, expanding the flexibility of the product, and subsequently allowing for more options for value added resellers.
The ability to create modules and apps allows you to tailor your Business Central around your business process, as well as those of your customers. The idea of inflexibility is quashed with the knowledge that you can make modifications and amendments even though this software is in the cloud!
There is even more to apps than meets the eye.
Once you have created a new module within Business Central that satisfies your business needs, you can publish this as an app. This allows for other businesses who may have the same need that inspired you to create said app to purchase it for themselves – when you submit an app to the AppStore, you can set your price for it.
Previously there was little collaborative work, and multiple organisations could end up creating the same or similar modules to satisfy the same need. With the ability to share – and profit from – apps, this platform is encouraging intellectual property to be reusable. It means that there could well be apps already developed and available to you that will meet your business requirements. This sort of freedom allows for more focus upon development, growth and progress.
Alternatively, you can choose to keep your app as an extension and provide it to only a limited number of users.
Microsoft gives more with the cloud.
For any users who were sceptical about Business Central in the cloud, Microsoft has provided new tools and features to encourage users to embrace the move. These are referred to as SaaSification Techniques (Saas = Software as a Service), and aim to improve the user experience in ways including:
- Quick adoption.
- Lead users to features.
- Step by step guidance through setup.
- Contextual information.
- Hide irrelevant fields.
- Simplifying the user experience.
The SaaSification Techniques that will be of benefit to users, including allowing them to set up modules with minimal hassle, are:
- Assisted setup – list of setups and information about status.
- Wizards – step by step guidance through a setup process.
- Notifications – contextual information at the right moment.
- Application areas – simplify the user experience.
What is Assisted Setup:
- List of setup scenarios.
- Use a wizard with relevant options.
- Offers information about status.
What is a Wizard:
- A series of user input screens or steps.
- Hides irrelevant options.
- User can navigate with Previous and Next buttons.
What are the Notifications:
- Non-intrusive messages.
- Up to 4 optional actions.
- Users can continue to work.
What are the Application areas:
- A new functionality that can change the look of the application.
- Allows for definition of cares of the application belonging to certain areas. According to a user’s preference and needs, the application can be activated or deactivated so it will either be displayed on their screen or hidden.
- The same application/module can have different looks, depending on the kind of user.
The aim of this blog was to highlight that the major concerns of using Business Central in the cloud are not concerns at all; Microsoft has an answer for all of them. They saw the potential problems, addressed them, and added new features as well as bringing big advantages to the client.
Dynamics Business Central is now a better offering than previous solutions, providing more for the client than similar alternatives. More than ever it is safe and beneficial to move to Business Central.
Professional Advantage and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
Business Central is a popular and affordable ERP system designed and aimed at small and medium organisations. Many organisations still use a collection of legacy systems that are not integrated with each other, reducing the level of transparency throughout the business, and forcing manual duplication between systems. Business Central eliminates these issues providing a common platform for every aspect of the business.
Professional Advantage is a highly experienced provider and implementer of leading ERP systems and can guide you through the process of implementing Business Central within your organisation. Our team is experienced in the best methodology to ensure a successful implementation, working to guide the customer to achieve the desired result in the most efficient way. Professional Advantage continues to work with its Business Central clients with comprehensive post go-live support.
For more information on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, visit our product page, or contact us to speak to an expert on 1800 126 499.