Migrating from Dynamics GP or SL to Dynamics 365

Migrating from Dynamics GP or SL to Dynamics 365

Dynamics GP (formerly known as Great Plains) and Dynamics SL (formerly known as Solomon) aren’t part of Dynamics 365. If your organization is running Dynamics GP or SL (both, for the most part, client/server applications) and you want to migrate your ERP system to the cloud and at the same time stick with Microsoft, you have to choose between the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Enterprise edition (formerly Dynamics AX) and Business Central (formerly Dynamics NAV), previously referred to in Dynamics 365 as Finance and Operations, Business edition.


If you believe that your organization is likely to experience growth and increased complexity over the years, a safer choice is the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition, which is much more feature-rich than Business Central and was designed to be more of a global enterprise solution. NAV itself is a feature-rich application, but not quite on the level of AX.


When Microsoft originally migrated Dynamics NAV to the cloud to become Dynamics 365 Business edition, it did not include all the preexisting NAV features; however, more recently Microsoft moved all the NAV features to the cloud version when rebranding it as Business Central. At one point, it was unclear how much of NAV would eventually make its way to the cloud. It seemed that Microsoft may have been intending to keep the Business edition relatively clean and simple, a bit more like QuickBooks than a full-blown NAV, so that it could satisfy the SMB (small to midsize business) requirements and be easy to implement. But Business Central isn’t just another QuickBooks Online, nor is it trying to be like SAP, a huge global ERP for the Fortune 500. Business Central is a good middle ground in the ERP landscape.


Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL tends to get fairly complex, but Business Central may be able to handle your ERP requirements. It all depends on what modules and features you’re using in GP or SL. If you have complex ERP requirements that demand a global enterprise solution, the Finance and Operations Enterprise Edition (formerly Dynamics AX) is probably the way to go.


Whatever edition you choose, if you plan to migrate from GP or SL to Dynamics 365, it would be prudent to consider such a project to be, in essence, complete ERP reimplementation of a new ERP package rather than an upgrade or simple migration that can be accomplished using a wizard application. Though it’s true that Microsoft has created some data migration wizards that can be useful for the data conversion aspect of the project, data conversion is only one part of the ERP implementation puzzle. There is custom reporting, module configuration, screen customizations, process, and workflow re-engineering, integrations, and more to consider. You will most likely need the assistance of a consulting firm that is an authorized partner for Dynamics 365, who can propose an implementation plan, and provide an estimated budget and timeline to complete the project. It’s very unrealistic to think you can just click a few buttons and move from GP or SL to Dynamics 365; rather, you will be looking at a full blown ERP implementation project.

Also check out my next article on Migrating from Dynamics CRM or CRM Online to Dynamics 365 here.