Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) is a single-tenant cloud solution that was re-architected from Microsoft Navision (NAV), a legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system originally designed for on-premise deployments.
Here are 8 things you probably didn’t know about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central:
1. Business Central has limited consolidation capabilities
Business Central is not designed to be a multi-country solution. As a result, it lacks a native financial consolidation capability.
A separate database is needed for each country a company has a subsidiary in. There is no “parent” and “subsidiary” relationship between them, making it a siloed solution.
This has an impact on the cost of ownership, as well as business agility. This also means Business Central is not a true global financial solution. The lack of a consolidation capability means that companies with subsidiaries in different countries cannot produce consolidated financial statements.
2. Customisation is challenging
Customisations in Business Central is expensive and require coding.
Customisations are coded by partners for both implementation and post go-live support, constituting hidden costs.
A developer is needed to customise reports or add fields, and this usually takes place outside of the application using Visual Studio. This is typically done by partners who will charge on a time and material basis, making it expensive and unpredictable.
3. Business Central has weak reporting capabilities
Business Central’s weak reporting capabilities include limited filters options in pre-built reports, narrow slice and dice capabilities, and lack of ability to drill down to the level of specific transactions.
Microsoft tends to offer external solutions such as Power BI to compensate, but it will still need to be set up by a partner. This only increases dependency on partners and lacks capabilities compared to other business intelligence tools such as SuiteAnalytics or Infor Q&A.
4. It is still a risky and young solution
Another thing you probably didn’t know about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is that it’s still a risky and young solution.
Business Central was first released in April 2018, making it quite new in the market. Plus, it is still being developed and modified, so it is difficult to find skilled partners who have experience working with the latest version. This also adds to development costs.
In addition, the lack of a mature field-tested solution comes with a risk of not being able to support fast-growing companies.
This may not be the last Enterprise Resource Planning system a midsized company buys.
5. Time-consuming month-end reconciliation
In Microsoft Business Central, transactions are posted in a single subsidiary and single database, so a time-consuming month-end reconciliation must take place to ensure the numbers align between subsidiaries.
This is an especially challenging task for companies that have subsidiaries in different countries. This may require all of the transactions to be combined into one subsidiary, which means extra work and the risk of inconsistency if not done correctly.
6. Business Central has no Revenue Recognition, Subscription Billing, and Payroll capabilities
Revenue recognition, subscription billing, and payroll are not offered natively and require a third-party application.
For example, to do revenue recognition in Business Central, a partner will need to integrate with an external application. This process is complex, costly and a barrier to agility for a growing company.
7. Business Central does not come with out-of-the-box processes
Templates and blueprints are not delivered through the product itself. As a result, building common business processes requires significant planning and further development work.
Without pre-built templates or blueprints that come with the application, the configuration requires significant development work to set up.
8. Business Central wasn’t included in Gartner MQ 2020 and 2021 reports
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is widely recognised as the world’s most influential market analysis for IT buyers. It provides a graphical competitive positioning of four types of technology providers in fast-growing markets: Leaders, Visionaries, Niche Players and Challengers.
Any technology that is worth its salt aspires to make it into the Magic Quadrant. Unfortunately, Business Central didn’t quite make the cut in Gartner’s MQ 2020 and 2021 reports.
While this doesn’t mean that Business Central is a substandard solution, it does suggest that there are more mature and well-established Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions on the market.