Signs it’s Time to Upgrade your On-Prem Customers to Dynamics 365

Legacy systems have become a barrier to digital transformation. Lacking the integration capabilities available in the cloud, legacy systems create silos between teams add make it difficult to align around an unified strategy and deliver a consistent experience. On-prem ERPs make it hard to automate manual tasks and crumble under the weight of massive, ever-expanding data sets.

Providing flexibility and baked-in intelligence, cloud-based ERPs like Dynamics 365 are at the heart of any digital transformation. By contrast, cloud ERPs represent the first step in the digital transformation journey. Your customers gain access to AI reporting tools, automations, and a data ecosystem that spans the entire business right out of the box.

But digital transformation and ERP modernization are not the same. It’s better to look at the ERP as the foundation that supports the large-scale, complex initiatives your customers need to gain a competitive advantage.

An on-premises solution may be working “just fine” but as your customer’s trusted advisor you should be making them aware of the long list of benefits that they won’t be getting from their on-prem solution: real-time data, predictive insights, plus cost-savings and an easier way to manage end-to-end operations.

Below, we’ll explain why you should be talking to customers about upgrading their on-prem solutions to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and look at eight signs that indicate it’s time to make the big move.

  1. Microsoft shifting its focus to the Cloud
    Perhaps the most obvious sign it’s time to move your customers to the cloud is that Microsoft says so. With big announcements like changing the Microsoft Partner Network to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, it’s clear that this evolution to match customer demand is the shift towards cloud becoming the new standard. This means for your customers who want access to Microsoft’s cloud-based applications with the latest features, capabilities, and integrations, and they’ll need a partner equipped with the appropriate skills and competencies to help them guide their transition.
  2. Outdated Servers and Performance Issues
    Outdated, unreliable servers can cause several problems including downtime, end-user errors, data corruption, risk of security breaches, and regulatory non-compliance. It also makes it harder for your customers to keep up with the competition, hurts their productivity, and provides an outdated user experience.

    Downtime costs your customers revenue when people are unable to do their job. It also creates an opportunity for hackers to break into the system and execute a ransomware attack or steal customer data or valuable IP.

  3. Inability to Realize the Full Potential of Big Data & AI/ML
    Without full visibility into your data ecosystem, businesses lack the ability to tap into the promise that D365 and other platforms provide through accessible AI/ML solutions. What that means for businesses is it’s really hard to put data into action.

    Unfortunately, even comprehensive on-prem solutions don’t offer the speed or prescriptive insights businesses can get from any decent cloud-based ERP/ CRM system. That means your on-premises customers are likely to face problems such as user complaints, wasted resources, human error, duplicate work, churn, and all-around poor performance.

    Microsoft Dynamics allows users to take advantage of the platform’s intelligent cloud, data lake, data factory, and the AI/ML technologies embedded into its power platform—right out-of-the box. You can also access your business data from anywhere with Power BI.

  4. Businesses Need to Support Remote Users
    If your clients have remote workers experiencing issues accessing applications, getting data in or out of the system, or collaborating with colleagues, customers or external stakeholders, it’s time to look toward the cloud.

    Easy access to cloud-based systems enables employees to log on from anywhere using their web browser. With events like COVID driving the shift to a hybrid or remote workforce, accessibility is a game-changer for organizations.

    While we don’t want to sow more fear during turbulent time, the point is we don’t know what the future has in store and it’s important for businesses to be prepared and stay ahead of the potential fallout. Waiting until it’s necessary to make the move to cloud is one of the worst things to do when it comes to ensuring future business success. Migrating to the cloud provides some insurance when businesses no longer need to worry about physical equipment and teams can work from any location.

  5. Protection against Cyberattacks
    With the rise of data breaches and ransomware attacks, businesses need more secure systems. Of the number business benefits of moving to the cloud, security is one of the biggest ones. Microsoft spent billions of dollars on cybersecurity and regulatory compliance for their cloud solutions. Additionally, cloud solutions include all of the backups and disaster recovery a business needs to ensure they won’t lose their data or have to shut down while they recuperate.
  6. High Cost of Legacy Systems
    Another sign it’s time to switch customers to a cloud-based solution is the high overhead cost of hardware, storage, physical space, or power. Upgrades and updates are time-intensive, require too much preparation, or your team is spending too much time on fixing post-deployment issues. Customizations and workarounds are also getting more complex and costing businesses too much time and money.
  7. The System Can’t Scale with the Business
    One of the major benefits of migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365 is that it enables organizations to become more agile. Access to real-time insights that are hard to come by when working with an on-prem system like NAV, GP, or the CRM. That agility becomes even more important if your customers has its sights set on an acquisition or plans to expand into new geographic locations. These kinds of moves that allow businesses to gain a significant competitive advantage requiring a solution that can be scaled up or down based on demand and that offers the flexibility to integrate or upgrade as business needs change.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, all these signs point back to the fact that on-prem systems were built for another era—pre-AI/ML, pre-remote work, and pre-big data. NAV, GP, and the rest of the on-prem Dynamics gang were one top-tier solutions; However, today’s businesses need the latest version of D365 to compete in any meaningful way.

With over 30 years experience and as the only Microsoft Indirect CSP Provider specializing in Dynamics 365, Stratos Cloud Alliance has resources, expertise, support, training, and services to help Microsoft Partners migrate their customer’s on-prem ERP to the cloud – and in some instances in as little as 75 days.

From Microsoft 365 and Azure Services to Dynamics 365, Stratos is dedicated to helping partners grow their business. With multiple Partner Program Levels, partners can choose a partnership model that allows them to grow at their own pace, lowers investment risk, and best fits their needs.

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