Key Considerations When Considering a Dynamics NAV Upgrade
Microsoft continues to innovate and improve their ERP software, Dynamics NAV. Each new version incorporates additional functionality. These technological advances allow users to take their company’s performance to new levels. Despite this, the majority of Dynamics NAV users run old versions of the software. Many businesses resist upgrading because they do not know how to approach an upgrade; they don’t know what to consider when considering an upgrade. Additionally they believe an upgrade will cause much disruption to their organization.
To facilitate a smooth migration to the latest versions of Dynamics NAV, we recommend the following considerations:
Which Version of Dynamics NAV is Currently Running?
Companies using a NAV version more than three releases old will require a major upgrade because they have missed so many changes. The bigger the gap between NAV versions, the bigger the risk that customizations will have to be re-implemented from scratch. This would also increase potential disruption to the organization.
What Are the Specific Components of Your NAV System to Consider Before an Upgrade?
- Customizations. If you know what customizations you have and what they do, you will be in a good position to consider whether keeping those customs as you move to the newest NAV version is the right decision to make. It is also important to know of all of your customizations, as some customizations will not upgrade easily between versions. Identify outdated customizations and get rid of them. It will reduce your overall time to complete the upgrade. And move as many customizations to “Events” as possible.
- ISV solutions. You will save a lot of time if you are able to identify add-ons used. In some cases, it may be worth re-implementing the ISV solution instead of upgrading it. In some cases, like customizations, ISV add-ons have acted as barriers to smooth upgrades in the past. Before starting the upgrade, it‘s important to identify the source of the add-on. Many Microsoft-certified add-ons (identified by a CfMD logo) are available for upgrade with every new Microsoft Dynamics NAV version.
- Database size. Is your history important to you? Do you still need your custom data? Is your database too large? You need to be able to articulate your needs in this area.
- Reports. Do you have modified and custom reports that you are no longer using? If so, why bring those forward?
- Dataports. Do you still have dataports in your database that were initially used to bring your data into NAV when you first got started? If so, why bring these forward?
So much to understand, so much to improve to be better poised for future upgrades.
How Can You Use Events?
The introduction of Events has transformed the upgrade of customizations. Dynamics NAV 2017 now has separate layers for most core objects. That means that once you move your customizations to Events, the core system can be upgraded with more ease, without much need for testing and refactoring custom code. Because customizations are captured in the Events layer, developers can take the existing code and customize the new system without modifying the core.
How Will You Stay Up-To-Date in the Future?
To avoid falling behind on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV roadmap, businesses should develop an upgrade strategy, including getting established with a partner that has the skills and expertise to handle upgrades from older Dynamics NAV versions. Overcoming an aversion to upgrading Dynamics NAV is paramount for a company to continue to be competitive and grow in our rapidly changing global economy. To get the most of your ERP software, upgrades are mandatory. But, they don’t have to be disruptive. At ArcherPoint we strive to make Microsoft Dynamics NAV upgrades a non-event for our clients.