Migrating from Microsoft Dynamics GP: The D365 Business Central versus Finance & Operations question

July 17 2020

As an on-premises Microsoft Dynamics GP customer, if you have concluded you need an ERP upgrade because your organization has outgrown the functional and technical capabilities of your current GP software, then your next step is critical. Critical because your new ERP platform can be either a strategic tool that fuels growth or a boat anchor that hampers progress or even sets back the business.

Most companies evolve similarly in terms of their ERP software needs. In the Microsoft world of ERP software, we have seen organizations follow the QuickBooks (QB) to Dynamics GP to Dynamics D365 Finance & Operations (D365FO) pathway on many occasions.

Today, that historical migration model has been complicated by the introduction of Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) as a viable upgrade option for GP customers. (Note: The rest of this article will use the word "upgrade" to refer to any change to a new ERP from the current state.) The BC route seems especially viable if your only source of information is Microsoft and BC partner marketing, which distills the on-premises GP upgrade options into a straightforward choice between staying on GP or migrating to BC.

The critical question we have to answer, "Is that really our best or only option"?

In my experience, that message has two consequences that backfire on the Microsoft ERP market. Before looking at those, let's assume that the on-premise GP installed base is segmented into three types of companies: