Many more companies are resorting to Business Central in the cloud rather than the on-premise version. Why is this so? And would this option be more suitable for you too? We did our best to address these questions and trust you'll find your answer below.
How is the cloud version different from on-premise?
For the on-premise version, the system is installed on your own server. If you do not have your own server, you can use hosting, where the server is rented to you by an ERP system provider or a hosting data centre, etc.
In the cloud version, the ERP system runs on a Microsoft structure and your data is stored and replicated in its data centres.
This does not in any way undermine the value of the on-premise version. Yet it is also our responsibility to inform about the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and recommend where it is deemed advantageous. The cloud version is increasingly gaining popularity and as a result, Microsoft itself is investing more efforts to continuously optimize and improve for the benefit of the esteemed users. Without further ado, let's dive into the 5 main benefits we consider essential and which you cannot miss out on.
1. Significant money savings
The cloud version is more cost-effective as you only pay a monthly license fee. To complement this, you don't need your own server and neither do you have the need to invest in hosting, which frequently adds up expenses.
Microsoft automatically upgrades to the latest version at no extra payment. In liaison with your provider, you only upgrade your customized features, and this brings us to our next crucial point.
2. Seamless Upgrade without worries
In the previous benefit mentioned, one important word appeared - AUTOMATIC. If you choose the cloud version of Business Central, you don't have to worry about practically anything and your system will always be up to date. Microsoft will contact your ISP before each upgrade to let them know that system updates are knocking on the door. By that date, the provider will prepare for the upgrade of all the customizations that you have tailored to you, with Microsoft taking care of the rest.
However, with the on-premise version, the situation is fundamentally different. There are no automatic updates, and you're still working with the version of the system you purchased. If you decide to upgrade to the latest version over time, it's likely that the system has gone through several new versions in the meantime. Your provider then has two options:
It will gradually update from one version to the next until it is worked on to the latest one. Updating the on-premise version is like climbing stairs. If you want to get to the top of the latest version of Business Central, you can't jump - you need to climb the stairs, which are the main versions of the system.
Time and money are indispensable. If you have a very old version of the system, such as NAV 2009 R2, 3 numerous upgrades will need to be gone through to lead you to the latest version of Business Central, which can take hundreds of hours of work. If your system is only one version behind, the upgrade can only take a few hours.
The second option is not to upgrade and instead implement a new Business Central to migrate data from the old system. This pays off especially with really old versions of Navision.
3. Works great with cloud tools
In the cloud version, you will enjoy working with other cloud tools, such as Office 365. Did you know that you can create a quote or order directly from the new e-mail window, post and send an invoice, or save contacts to Business Central?
The Excel add-in will also save you a lot of time thanks to the possibility of bulk editing and automatic copying of changes to the ERP system
You also have access to Power BI reporting under the license and that's not all!
4. A variety of free extensions
Business Central has its own store, where you can get applications and extensions for it - App-Source.
Just browse in it and choose how you can improve your Business Central. Various extensions are free and you can implement them yourself. It is enough for the user to have the appropriate permissions.
And what about the on-premise version? You can get extensions here too, but the path is slightly more thorny. You need to contact the provider of the extension and, after obtaining the source code, it will be implemented by your Business Central provider.
5. Data safety
As we have already mentioned, with the cloud version, your ERP system runs on a Microsoft structure. What does this mean in practice for the security of your data? Should the Microsoft data centre burn out, your data will be backed up in several other centres and you will not lose it.
The local server (for the on-premise version) is much more vulnerable and risky in this respect. If something happens to him and you have no backups anywhere, you will lose your data.