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Dynamics 365 Business Central growth exceeding Microsoft expectations

by Jason Gumpert

Dynamics 365 Business Central customer growth has exceeded Microsoft's expectations recently, with its customer adds coming primarily from new customer acquisition. Microsoft director of product marketing Errol Schoenfish recently updated MSDW in an interview,  stating:

By our measures, Business Central is exceeding expectations for the fiscal year, largely due to new customer acquisition. And in North America it has a following that spans what you may have called more traditional GP partners. They've added Business Central to their practices and continue to serve a broader group of customers since, in many cases, they are already offering many Dynamics 365 workloads inclusive of Finance and Operations, Customer Engagement, and NAV on-premises before Business Central came out.

[caption caption="Errol Schoenfish,  Microsoft" align="right"][/caption]

Microsoft also sees that usage of Business Central is evolving. Initially, users were focused on core capabilities. Now the team is seeing larger user counts and broader usage.

The average goes up every month, and we know as result that larger user counts bring in more complex capabilities in areas like manufacturing and operations. We also see in our telemetry where customers are spending time. Jobs capabilities have exploded as of late, and we can see that trajectory in more complex areas. Also, we've seen that additional users being added to existing customers, which took off in past three months as customers doing three to five user implementations add users. That's been great to see.

Microsoft's nearly 200,000 Dynamics NAV, GP, and SL customers remain a relatively untapped source of new Business Central opportunities, he says.

There's still a massive opportunity for the right customers to transition to a managed-by-Microsoft, full multi-tenant cloud solution. In last couple months we have stepped up our portfolio of content to help partners deliver that message to customers if it makes sense to do that. Many are taking us up on that.

But there are signs that Business Central is gaining traction in that legacy Dynamics ERP space. Whether it is Microsoft's sales and marketing materials or advances in the product's functional footprint, the mix of customers signing up for the cloud solution could start to shift. Lorna Link, consulting manager at Microsoft partner Velosio reports that over the last six months the team's Business Central wins are evenly divided between existing Dynamics GP and SL migrations and new customers.

"We had great [Business Central] October 2018 and April 2019 releases," Link told MSDW. Those updates from Microsoft boosted interest in the solution from both new and legacy Dynamics customers.

Another important factor that Link says her team has observed is the continued onboarding of ISV solutions for Business Central. More add-on solution options in popular areas like warehousing, manufacturing, payroll, and HR will win over more legacy ERP users who are familiar with, and to some extent expect, those options. Link, who worked in the GP channel prior to Business Central, explained:

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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