I love telling the Microsoft Dynamics 365 story. It has all the elements of a best-selling book or a blockbuster movie. It is visionary like Jules Verne. Like a best-selling book, it’s filled with excitement and travels at the speed of light. It’s a tale that begins in the Dark Ages (500) and winds its way through the Renaissance (1300) and the Age of Enlightenment (1700), finally ending in the future, having survived a journey from darkness into light.
From Accounting Software to ERP
Once upon a time, accounting software was the be-all and end-all. It sure beats those heavy, dusty ledgers filled with handwritten entries and books relegated to floor-to-ceiling bookcases and storage rooms, creating significant fire hazards. So, a software program that took the place of those ledgers and provided accurate General Ledger (GL), Accounts Payable (AP), and Accounts Receivable (AR) data was heralded as if it were the coming of the Messiah.
No one in the accounting department said: This is great, but I need ERP.
But the visionaries at Microsoft were not content with mere accounting software. They saw a clear business need for software that did more than GL, AP, and AR (GLAPAR). What they realized was that GLAPAR wasn’t enough because to survive and thrive, companies would eventually need to see a bigger picture that included all of their operations, from the front office to the back office, from their supply chains to their warehouses, from raw materials to their shop floor to finished goods, from marketing campaigns to sales projections. And let’s not forget customer service, the interaction between your customers and your response teams.
And so, ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning – was born.
It didn’t happen all at once. Supply Chain Management, for example, was often not part of the early ERP programs. But now, all of the pieces and parts mentioned above are part of a fully integrated ERP software solution.
I’m also not saying that Microsoft was the only company to develop ERP. But it was the only one that targeted the small to midsized companies. In contrast, Oracle and SAP targeted Tier One companies with annual revenues of more than $500 million.
From Your Server Room to the Cloud
ERP was the best invention ever, even better than the wheel and sliced bread. But it came at a price. It needed to be installed, so you had to buy servers to install the software on. And you had to house those servers somewhere. So, you needed a server room. The servers and the server rooms must be maintained and supported, so you needed an IT team to do that. Upgrades were costly and time-consuming.
- Then came the cloud.
- No upfront hardware and software costs. Just a predictable and reasonable monthly fee.
- Get rid of your servers and find another purpose for that now-empty server room.
- Your cloud provider takes care of your updates and upgrades.
- The cloud is more secure than your server room ever was. Just trust me on that one.
- What’s more, the cloud leveled the playing field. Your small to mid-sized business now has the same advantages as Tier One enterprises. You have the same competitive edge. Use it. Enjoy it.
- It’s worry-free.
From Darkness into Light
The biggest, most important thing that was still missing, even after accounting software morphed into ERP software and even after ERP software moved from server rooms to the cloud, was real-time, detailed intelligence. And Microsoft lickety-split took care of that by introducing Microsoft Power BI, Business Intelligence, which is one component of the Microsoft Power Platform that also includes Power Automate, Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, and the soon-to-be-released Power Pages.
You’re no longer working in the dark. The bright light of day now illuminates every aspect of your business with business intelligence that’s constantly being updated and is available in real-time whenever and whyever you need it.
Behind the Curtain
It’s not a secret. The purveyor behind it all is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. You’re going to love Business Central. It’s the best program for every small and midmarket company on the planet. And we’re here to make it happen for you.
Just give the Basileia team a call at 949-329-3524.