There are a number of solid reasons why clients should, and do, upgrade their ERP software on a regular basis – some obvious, some less so. Today we’ll look at a few of those for the benefit of those users on the fence.
One key reason of course is simply keeping up with surrounding technology. Put another way, the longer a company forestalls its upgrade, not only is it more costly when it does, but without such upgrades, companies run the risk of missing out on important new features with real ROI.
Then there’s the risk of being on an unsupported version (usually described as more than two versions old). On top of this, over time, as background technologies like operating systems, productivity tools (like Microsoft Office), hardware, or the web undergo changes, it’s less likely that your software will interact optimally (or at all) with them.
In the end, there must be a business driver to upgrade. Whether that amounts to avoiding the pitfalls noted above, or taking advantage of the newer features of the upgrade, a company must think through the pros and cons of staying put or moving forward.
A Lithuanian company that specializes in Dynamics NAV upgrades was recently profiled by MSDynamicsWorld.com, and noted for example that Dynamics NAV 2016 was “a huge release with a large number of improvements to the platform and on the application side… the new Workflow functionality on the application-side, and the eventing functionality that powers it, are the biggest improvements. They change the strategy of both NAV user behavior and future development direction.”
Editor Dann Maurano also notes in a recent article at MSDynamicsWorld.com that “Since Microsoft is releasing more tools to automate and make the upgrade process easier, the price of upgrading is getting lower over time.”
Simplanova notes some of the costs of running an unsupported (i.e., more than two versions back) version of Dynamics:
“Customers who are running an unsupported version would eventually start experiencing problems with integration with newer systems, so your work will get less efficient each year inevitably. Unsupported versions are harder to maintain due to inability to use new platform advancements such as automated testing and .NET interoperability. Users are not able to benefit from productivity improvements in Microsoft Office, Office 365, Microsoft CRM integration, and NAV clients for multiple platforms.”
Finally, the article touches on the importance of a little ‘booster shot’ of training after an upgrade, noting that end users typically require about a day or so to get used to the new versions, and “about two days of on-site assistance. Training on using new features of Dynamics NAV would need additional time. Each major release adds new important features, thus annual training is important to get the most of a new version of Dynamics NAV.”