Should I do it? How long will it take? How do I get started? All your upgrading questions answered in one place!
The first question most people have (out of usually a very long list) when it comes to upgrading is quite simply 'Should I upgrade my Dynamics NAV system or not?'
Our answer? If your Dynamics NAV implementation is working well you should only consider upgrading if the new version offers sufficient benefit over the stability offered by your existing solution.
So instinctively our advice is yes, you should upgrade but only in your own time! It’s always important to start planning for an upgrade. The benefits of the latest version of Dynamics NAV (now known as Dynamics 365 Business Central), and the extended functionality provided by The NAV People, means that upgrading has never before delivered so many benefits. Most importantly, no new versions of the Classic Client will be released, meaning that at some point the Classic Client will no longer be supported on future versions of Windows. Planning to do something will always be preferable than having to react.
So, have a plan. Even if it's two years away, don't be forced into upgrading without a plan. Think about what benefits could be gained and try to attach a value or time saving (especially improved visibility, workflow, document handling and sharing). Remember - it's only software, not landing on the moon. You won't be the first or the last, your issues will have answers and your concerns will be understood!
The ‘when’ question is an interesting one. When you see that the benefits are worth the investment in time and money, that’s your starting point. With the latest version of Dynamics NAV, 365 Business Central, and complementary product enhancements, it’s easy to see improvements in efficiencies, user-friendliness and management of information. By simply looking at them in the context of your organisation, it’s easier to justify to the business and easy to see how things could be improved. But! You could take some of those add-ons like Jet Reports (if you don’t have them already) along with the nHanced 365 Suite and other modules, and bolt them on to your existing solution. Many people have implemented nHanced Workflow and Document Management on to (very) old versions of Dynamics NAV solutions and gained immediate benefits for limited cost.
You can certainly do small projects and solve point issues to get a leap forward with minimum cost, but think about that timescale talked about earlier. If you have planned to upgrade in two years, then implementing workflow on your existing system makes sense, as you will be investing in something with a reasonable payback period. If, however, you had eight months as your plan but you need workflow now, wouldn’t it be better to invest all your efforts (and money) in the new solution?
There are 3 different ways you can tackle upgrading and the route that you choose really depends on what you are trying to achieve by doing the upgrade.
The technical upgrade is the easiest approach to upgrading and pretty much means that you take your existing NAV system with all its data, modifications, business logic etc and installing the latest version of NAV. The outcome very much depends or your starting point but in essence a technical upgrade can give you benefits such as access to the latest clients or the ability to use ISV add-ons which you may have not been able to on your old NAV version.More on Technical Upgrades
The Full Upgrade essentially runs your NAV objects, with all of their modifications through a ‘process’ to merge them into the latest version of NAV - i.e. Business Central. This approach is ideal if you have a number of bespoke modifications in your current system which you still use, you want to keep all your data and you aren’t looking to reconsider any of your business processes.More on Full Upgrades
If you want to get rid of unwanted data, rethink your business’ processes and restructure your basic information then the Clean Start option is for you. At the end of a clean start upgrade you have nice, clean data for reporting, faster performance and coherent processes, plus all the new functionality that the latest version affords.More on Clean Start Upgrades
Even if it’s two, three of four years away, you must have a plan around upgrading but whatever happens - don’t be forced into it! Think about what benefits could be gained and try to attach a value or time saving (especially improved visibility, workflow, improved document handling and sharing). Remember, it’s only software not landing on the moon. You won’t be the first or the last. Your issues will have answers; your concerns will be understood and just like having a baby - after the pain will be joy at what you have produced!
If you think now's the time to upgrade your system or you'd like to someone who can give you more advice and an idea of upgrading Dynamics NAV costs do get in touch!Help me with my upgrade!