Getting you to Dynamics 365 Business Central without a full upgrade
We talk to companies looking to upgrade their ageing Dynamics NAV (previously known as Navision) solution to Dynamics 365 Business Central every day.
Large companies, small companies, companies with complex needs, companies on 10 or even 20-year-old versions of their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, or on more recent versions from Dynamics NAV 2013 (the Role Tailored Client or RTC generation).
In some instances, completing a full upgrade is not always possible. That's where bridging comes in, providing a way to upgrade your Dynamics NAV solution in bitesize chunks.Understand your options
What is a bridge when talking about upgrading Dynamics NAV? It is ‘A structure that gets you from one place to another’. A bridge or ‘bridging’ will see you run Dynamics 365 Business Central alongside your existing Dynamics NAV solution as part of an upgrade strategy. Why?
If you've considered upgrading your Dynamics NAV solution for years, but never found a way to move your large or highly bespoke solution safely over to Business Central, then maybe a bridge is the idea you’ve been waiting for.
The bridge works by taking a department or function within your business, and moving only that section to Business Central, aiding your transition into the new world by breaking an upgrade up into manageable sections.
Let’s see how it works for different functions and departments.
Selco, builders’ merchants with around 70 stores, are a large Dynamics NAV user with a highly tailored solution on version 3.6 (from the early 2000s). Moving a large solution with many users in various locations and older modifications is not easy to plan. Implementing in one go and swapping overnight even less so. They saw the most benefit in updating head office functionality and finance.
The solution was to implement Business Central for the finance team and stock accounting, meaning the project involved a smaller set of users and many fewer previously modified processes. Upgrading one set of users or one set of processes in this way means you can create a much more standard solution, leaving behind the heavily customised parts for another day.
Bridging helps you upgrade in stages. It breaks the upgrade into smaller, more manageable chunks, phasing costs and cash, lowering risk and minimising business impact.Read more about Selco
Many customers require a new e-commerce solution, e.g. upgrading Magento or implementing Sana Commerce, but without investing further in their old Dynamics NAV solution. Consider implementing Business Central to integrate to the web solution only (using nHanced e-Comm for example), process the inbound sales orders and pass them into the old Dynamics NAV solution, as well as pass stock summary data to the website.
This idea helped Van Hage Garden Centre implement the latest version of Sana Commerce even though they have a 2.6 (1998 ish!) version of Dynamics NAV. We implemented an e-commerce bridge allowing Van Hage to capitalise on web sales, reducing man hours spent running the website, providing a better view of sales.
Bridging has potential in all areas of your business. Take Warehousing as an example: connect a third party solution (like MobileNAV or Tasklet Factory) to give your warehouse operatives the ability to use handheld terminals when picking. By implementing a bridge, you provide your warehouse operatives with the functionality available in Dynamics 365 Business Central and with added online and offline capabilities. They can then retrieve information such as picks, putaways and movements from Dynamics 365 Business Central, then pass back the picks and putaways they have completed.
If you are using Service Management functionality in your old NAV system, you can improve the way your engineers track their own progress on particular jobs. By utilising the third party add-ons available via a bridge, your engineers can receive items in need of service and orders that have come in from your users in old NAV. They then pass back information concerning the items they’ve fixed and detail, including pictures, comments and item information using Anveo functionality.
Bridging isn’t for everyone. If you have a small user base or you have a less modified solution and can upgrade in one go, it may be unnecessary. However, for many of our customers it’s a good way to get access to benefits sooner before migrating heavily bespoke parts of their current solution. It’s always worth a discussion and there’s little we like more than talking upgrades!
A final important point: this is also the step to getting you, if you desire, to the cloud (be that the Microsoft Public Cloud or a Private Cloud). Azure is where you should be, and a bridge is a way to get there. Whichever way you choose to move your Dynamics NAV solution forward to Business Central, a bridge can help you get there.Any questions?