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Unleash your organisation’s true potential

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – the intelligent business application that empowers employees and accelerates business growth

    Traditional business applications are facing a serious challenge as more and more organisations strive to implement truly flexible, app-centric technology models aimed at connecting customers, products, people and operations.

    As technology evolves more drastically, so has the demand for flexible web-delivered services to be implemented securely and quickly. This increasing appetite for secure accessibility means that modern businesses must offer seamless operating applications that users can choose to use from any device, anywhere and at any time.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the cloud-based ERP solution that delivers the latest, online, evergreen platform. Along with a depth of functionality built over 20 years, Dynamics 365 Business Central brings rich functionalities together with the flexibility of the Cloud – offering businesses the opportunity to streamline processes and accelerate growth with one single solution.

    What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?

    Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP for short refers to a comprehensive system of applications needed to manage the day-to-day business activities. ERP typically integrates a company’s financials, operations, supply chain, manufacturing, reporting, procurement and others into a single system.

    In the past, processes for each department often worked separately and in silos, but new ERP systems are powered by the latest technologies – such as AI and Cloud computing – to provide visibility, intelligence and increased efficiency.

    Modern-day ERP software collects insights and compares data to provide various departments with a complete view of business performance by synchronising databases and spreadsheets while eliminating redundant business process.

    The Evolution of ERP Systems: Then and Now

    The advancement and diversification of ERP software have evolved almost beyond recognition since its conception in the 1960s. Back then, the initial concept was highly individualistic and applied only to inventory control and management in the manufacturing sector. The concept later evolved to include the planning and scheduling of production processes – a system called Material Requirements Planning (MRP).

    By the next decade, MRP evolved to become MRP II and MRP III systems. Along with the original functionalities, MRP II and MRP III included distribution management, capacity planning, project management and later integrated finance, human resource and engineering into its processes – setting the stage for ERP as we now know.

     

    Then: Early ERP

    By the 1990s, the basic model of ERP software was modular with the option for more advanced features. It was now capable of dealing with both front and back-end operations to provide businesses with critical accessibility, visibility and consistency across the enterprise.

    Early versions of the software used a legacy on-premise model which enabled organisations to align processes across departments – hosting resources, databases and information in a central location on-site. And while the early on-premise ERP became a revelation to many organisations, it wasn't without its challenges or drawbacks.

    In many instances, integrations between vendors weren't feasible, and applications mainly centred on broad-reaching solutions that resulted in large ERP packages that were costly, complex to install and impossible to configure or troubleshoot.

     

    Now: The New Era of ERP

    Between the late 1990s and early 2000s, the new wave of technology continued to drive innovation and soon led to the delivery of ERP over the cloud. Here, the new internet-enabled ERP software gave real-time access and began to provide functionalities outside of the business – from supply chain management to customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI).

    As the landscaped moved toward cloud software system, cloud ERP systems rose in popularity and businesses moved away from traditional client-server models. Now with remote, web-based access, cloud ERP became a flexible, agile application able to be installed quickly, scaled according to business needs and accessed anywhere – coming a long way since its conception and early ERP days.

    The new wave of cloud ERP is quickly becoming the backbone for organisations across the industries, and with over 4.33 billion internet users active today, it's easy to see why there's a growing demand for an internet-based solution. Alongside the heightened need for flexibility, scalability and accessibility in a world where immediacy is everything, cloud application presents an instant and effective solution.

     

    Catch our blog The Evolution of ERP: the New Era of Applications and The Evolution of ERP, Part II: How Technology Reached the Boardroom for more on the changing role of ERP over the years.

    On-Premise vs. Cloud ERP Solution

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    The main difference between an on-premise and cloud-based ERP solution is how they are deployed. On-premise ERP solution is installed locally on a company’s computers and servers while cloud-based ERP software is hosted on the cloud and accessed through a web browser.

    Other key differences between the two includes:

     

    Costs

    On-premise ERP software typically requires a substantial upfront payment priced as a one-time licensing fee and comes with additional recurring costs for support, training, maintenance and updates. Cloud ERP, on the other hand, has a lower cost of implementation priced as a monthly or annual subscription – functioning on a pay-as-you-go subscription model.

     

    System upgrades

    The process of upgrading an on-premise ERP system is complex and lengthy as customisations must be redeployed and reimplemented individually across the business – it's why companies who are currently using an on-premise ERP often run on outdated versions of its application.

    In contrast, system upgrades are simple, straightforward and hassle-free in cloud-based ERP solutions like the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. System updates are patched automatically via the cloud platform without any disruption, ensuring its users are continually using the latest, most secure version of the software. Previously implemented customisations or integrations are also automatically carried forward without additional costs or interruption.

     

    Accessibility

    Unlike the restrictions of on-premise ERP applications, cloud-based software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central enables easy accessibility from any device, whenever and wherever its users are – all that’s required is a stable internet connection!

     

    Security

    With on-site ERP systems, businesses will have greater control over physical access and may increase security by preventing outside parties from accessing sensitive information. Outside of that, however, the security of data in an on-premise ERP relies entirely on an organisation's data security protocols.

    It is a common misconception that cloud-based ERP systems are less secure than on-premise ERP solutions. Cloud-based ERP providers – like Microsoft – invest heavily in ensuring the security, privacy and compliance of regulations, paving the way in the industry as a leader in Gartner’s Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) Magic Quadrant.

    Microsoft’s proven malware protection and management capabilities mean that Dynamics 365 Business Central comes equipped with a data security system; giving businesses the ability to control which objects or tables its user can access, modify or edit within the database.

     

    Scalability

    As on-premise ERP systems require the procurement and installation of physical infrastructure, they do not offer the same freedom of scalability that comes with using cloud-based ERP. It’s simple: Cloud ERP is designed to evolve with business needs and growth in mind so its users can scale up or down at any time. In fact, expanding your business with Dynamics 365 Business Central is as simple as issuing a request.

     

    Backups

    In today's digital age, backing up data should be second nature to protect against data loss. Between the two, cloud-based ERP solutions can give users peace of mind by making backups an automated, routine process – completely removing the need to rely on the execution of internal staff members.

     

    Innovation

    Although on-premise ERP applications allow businesses to customise and tailor it to business needs, the complexity and rigidity of implementation mean that growth and innovation are stalled or hindered. In contrast, cloud-based ERP software allows its users to capitalise on the latest version or software – supporting digital transformation at every stage.

    Signs You're Ready for Cloud ERP

    #1 You have redundant and manual processes

    If you’re looking for signs that your business needs an ERP system, then look no further than at the way your finance department work and perform. If your finance team is spending precious hours manually entering invoices or sales orders into various systems, then it’s a clear indicator that your business needs an ERP software.

    The repetitive nature of inputting, cross-checking and merging of data causes unnecessary delays and frustrations and prevents efficiency, which in turn hinders business innovation, overall performance and employee happiness. A good ERP software will integrate the latest tools and dashboard into one common interface – making it easy for you and your team to communicate effectively and work much more efficiently.

    Want to find out how this cloud-based ERP can revolutionise the way your finance team works? Catch our blog the 5 Features of Dynamics 365 That Make Life Easier for Your Finance Team.

     

    #2 Data, information and processes are inconsistent across the business

    Crucial business data and information unavailable when you need it? As decision-makers of an enterprise, you’d know that having clear, accurate and consistent insight on hand is essential to make data-driven decisions for your business.

    With a cloud-based ERP system, you’ll have access to real-time visibility with accurate data and reporting to help your business identify and meet challenges whenever and wherever it is needed.

     

    #3 You’re missing out on crucial opportunities

    Managing growth and opportunities can be one of the most difficult challenges that businesses face. And if your business isn’t keeping pace or is struggling to meet the day-to-day demands of customers that you can’t pursue new opportunities, then it’s time.

    Upgrading to a cloud-based ERP can offer you the freedom of scalability you need to take advantage of emerging business opportunities. Leverage new technologies – like machine learning and predictive analytics in Dynamics 365 Business Central – and accelerate your organisation’s processes to facilitate business growth.

     

    #4 Your business needs are growing fast

    The tools and applications you need in today’s dynamic business landscape may change from week-to-week and having the flexibility your business requires will be crucial to remain competitive.

    Traditional ERP software has complex system architecture that is inflexible, costly to maintain and impossible to upgrade. Over time, the underlying drawbacks of traditional ERP application drastically limits the capabilities of the business. In comparison, cloud-based ERP like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central delivers customisable solutions at a faster speed and much lower cost.

     

    #5 You don’t have easy access to information you need, when you need it

    If you’re basing forecasts on end-of-quarter reports, inaccurate data or (worse) guesswork, then you may be holding your business back. A good ERP system should give you instant access to all your data and information in real-time to provide further control and visibility to decision-makers.

    Cloud-based ERP like Dynamics 365 Business Central provides users with an end-to-end view across the business and offers easy accessibility from any device via the cloud platform.

    Find out how you can leverage reports like an Enterprise organisation and turn real-time data into actionable insights by watching our webinar: Turning Your Data Into Actions

     

    #6 There’s excessive costs and overly complex upgrades

    As the company grows, optimising your business processes will be imperative to accommodate changing business needs but traditional ERP system’s rigid architecture is extremely limiting. From the excessive maintenance cost to the overly complex system updates and integration, traditional ERP software no longer equip modern businesses with a competitive advantage.

    In contrast, cloud-based ERP system like Dynamics 365 Business Central provides a rapid implementation of updates and upgrades, so its users are continually operating on the latest version.

     

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    Looking to take the first step in your cloud ERP journey? Download our eBook Do you work for your ERP, or does it work for you? to get a deeper understanding of how the right ERP solution can transform your business.

    Benefits of Dynamics 365 Business Central

    There are numerous advantages of the cloud-based Microsoft platform. Here is how Dynamics 365 Business Central differentiates from other cloud-based ERP systems:

     

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    Benefit from superior business outcomes

    Closely monitor your organisations KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) through the clever use of data generated by state-of-the-art AI and analytical technologies. Equip your business with the latest tools, applications and insights to achieve superior business outcomes focused on your strategic, long-term goals.

     

    Improved flexibility with less drain on local resources

    Scale your business effortlessly on a secure and flexible platform. Extend existing applications or develop new solutions without wasting money on unnecessary capacity. With Dynamics 365 Business Central, new releases and upgrades are performed remotely without intervention from you, the client – freeing up valuable staff resources on site.

     

    Vastly reduced time to benefit

    Development, proof of concept and deployment timescales are drastically reduced as solutions exist on Microsoft’s cloud platform. Industry-specific applications are also available from Microsoft right out of the box (Microsoft Business Extensions), eliminating development and associated costs.

     

    Cost-effective with rapid ROI

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is cost-effective when compared to traditional business solutions hosted in a client-server environment. Businesses have seen the opportunity to re-route expenditure from capital budgets to operational budgets as a result of the inherent flexibility of cloud solutions.

     

    Improved communication and workflow

    Eliminate team silos and help your business work smarter and better by housing documents in a centralised database. Provide your team with access to the data they need when they need it and reduce redundancies, inaccuracies and waste less valuable time across your business.

     

    Manage compliance and industry regulatory requirements

    Safeguard data, manage security and meet compliance requirements with smooth implementations from Microsoft. Use readily available extensions or ‘add-ons’ from the Microsoft AppSource platform to help your business stay on top of new industry regulations.

     

    Create meaningful reports with ease and efficiency

    Achieve the transparency you need and move from inaccurate to precise insights with Dynamics 365 Business Central. Generate reports with real-time data updates and remove any guesswork with accurate information in just a few clicks.

     

    Facilitate better decision-making with real-time insights

    It’s no secret that better reports lead to better decisions. Connect financials to operations and sales to service to identify patterns, gaps and opportunities in your data. Utilise real-time, end-to-end view across your enterprise and make strategic decisions to fuel business growth.

     

    Discover the benefits of ERP in the cloud and why you should make the move today.

    Does Your ERP Work For You?

    To get a deeper understanding of your ERP needs, download and read our eBook ‘Do you work for your ERP, or does it work for you?’. Find out why it’s time for you to move your ERP to the cloud and how you can equip your business with the necessary tools for a successful digital transformation.

    Our 26-page eBook covers discussion on:

    • The false promise of the early ERP
    • A better deal from your ERP
    • An ERP that works for you
    • The ERP your employees deserve

     

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    Transform Your Supply Chain

    Dynamics 365 Business Central is the next generation ERP application that combines the use of innovative capabilities. When you leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and mixed reality in your supply chain, your business is empowered to collaborate globally – helping you move new products to market at a faster speed.

    Connecting systems with Dynamics 365 Business Central enables you and your business to stay competitive in a rapidly changing business environment, giving you unparalleled insight into orders, inventory, scheduling, manufacturing and shipping with the ability to optimise and control.

    So whether it’s planning, production, warehouse, stock or transportation management, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is here to assist strategic and tactical supply chain planning.

     

    Connecting All The Key Parts of Your Supply Chain

    Are you finding it challenging to manage your supply chain effectively without instant access to the data you need to make better-informed decisions?

    As a supply chain management professional, you’re under pressure to continually deliver improving results despite the effects of strained economic trading, rising fuel costs and uncertain customer demands. Your daily responsibilities require you to focus on the full spectrum of processes within your supply chain, including inventory and purchasing control, shipment and distribution, returns and cancellations as well as procurement vendor management.

    The nature of your role also demands that you look ahead with strategic and tactical supply chain planning in mind while delivering transformation to your existing supply chain. What’s more, you have to identify opportunities for optimisation and compare complex alternative business scenarios against your key business drivers to ensure future success.

    So how do you keep all the plates spinning? You must have full, end-to-end visibility across your supply chain with immediate access to real-time data and analytics to aid in your decision-making process.

    The question is: does your current system provide you with the insight and data you need to help you make these critical supply chain decisions with confidence?

     

    Delivering Real Benefits to Your Supply Chain Management

    Leveraging the power of Dynamics 365 Business Central means overcoming key challenges within manufacturing and supply chain management. Here are 12 examples of what it can do:

    • Create secure, automated supply chain
    • Achieve maximum visibility across the entire supply chain
    • Offer you greater control over the purchasing process with dynamically updated inventory levels
    • Optimise inventory level planning using built-in intelligence to predict what and when to replenish – only purchasing when and what you need
    • Give a holistic view of inventory for efficient fulfilment
    • Avoid shortages and lost sales by automatically calculating inventory levels, lead times and re-order points
    • Flag substitutes when items are out of stock with suppliers
    • Accurately track every item, transaction and movement
    • Help users run their business from anywhere using cloud, on-premise or a hybrid deployment of the Dynamics 365 Business Central application
    • Successful path to business on the go via mobile version of Dynamics 365 Business Central on Android and IOS devices
    • Connect processes, data and applications via a single, familiar Microsoft interface
    • Closely integrate with Office 365 so users can process transactions in Outlook, a core supply chain application

     

    Want to find out more? Read our blog, Make Your Supply Chain Work For You with a Cloud ERP Solution.

    Reimagine your Financial Management

    Dynamics 365 Business Central empowers financial professionals to work smarter and better. It eradicates information silos and provides users with a single source of financial data across the organisation in real-time, ensuring that the insights you need are accurate and accessible any time, anywhere.

    By migrating to Dynamics 365 Business Central, you're leveraging an innovative application capable of delivering the critical insights necessary to make informed financial decisions across your entire operation.

    Streamline your financial reporting, improve visibility across your organisation and accelerate business growth with a connected, end-to-end view of your operation.

     

    Eradicating Inefficiencies and Empowering Your Financial Processes

    As a financial management professional in today's dynamic landscape, delivering results beyond the traditional business functions you've trained for has come to be expected.

    Today's financial professionals must fulfil the basics like financial reporting, financial planning, capital budgeting, structuring and add-value to organisations by proactively identifying risks, minimise costs and ensure regulatory compliance.

    To meet these expectations, you'll need a cross-functional, end-to-end view across your organisation to drive strategic financial growth. Unfortunately, this is where legacy ERP applications fail as they're unlike to equip you with the tools you need to perform efficiently.

    Read Finance: A New Culture of Delivery for more insights on the changing landscape for FDs and CFOs from our Director of Enterprise Applications, Rob Jones, who has been working with financial directors and chief financial officers for over 20 years.

     

    Maximising Your Financial Performance

    Dynamics 365 Business Central modernises your financial operations and enables you to make smarter, data-driven decisions for your organisation. Here are seven key benefits of deploying the application:

    • Easy management of account receivables and payables, bank reconciliation, fixed asset management and better monthly and yearly closings
    • A single source of real-time financial intelligence, reporting and analytics
    • Unified financial information and processes that significantly improve efficiencies
    • A connected, end-to-end view across the organisation that empowers the decision-making process
    • Effortless regulatory compliance through automatic updates – ensuring support to new or changed country-specific legislation
    • Enhanced financial analysis and control with predictive insights and AI
    • Dimensional and interactive reporting enabled by Power BI
    • Seamless connections with third-party applications like payroll, banking, CRM and other industry-specific systems

    What's more, in an independent analysis by Nucleus Research, an average Dynamics 365 deployment returns an impressive $16.97 for every dollar spent which is significantly higher ROI compared to the average ROI for most ERPs at $7.23 and CRM at $8.71.

     

    Catch our blog: 5 Features of Dynamics 365 That Make Life Easier For Your Finance Team for more details on how this cloud-based ERP can benefit your financial team.

     

    Source: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/2018/10/05/roi-revealed-microsoft-dynamics-365-delivers-16-97-for-every-dollar-spent

    Our Approach

    As a specialist Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner, IT Lab works closely with you to identify your specific business needs and recommend relevant, cost-effective solutions in line with our future-proof Adaptive Technology Model.

    Adaptive Technology Model (ATM) is a methodology created by IT Lab to help our customers adopt new technologies, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 in a seamless and efficient manner. ATM matches business requirements with the technologies needed to modernise businesses and makes implementation an easy process with minimum time to value and a rapid ROI.

    Our ATM model leads our thinking and helps our clients cut through the noise to help them future-proof their business.

     

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    Why Choose IT Lab

    IT Lab is Committed to Helping You Future Proof Your Business

    At IT Lab, we specialise in delivering specialised advice on business application solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 to empower your employees to make smarter, better decisions.

    We’ll design your digital transformation and help you navigate through the challenges to help meet the needs of your business, capture new opportunities and optimise operations.

    Unleash your organisation’s true potential and accelerate success with IT Lab – we’ll work with you to ensure that your business is leveraging the endless possibilities to achieve the right business outcome you need.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Resource Library