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Clean Start – The Best Strategy for Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Online

Friday, January 13, 2023
Reading time: 7 minutes

When it comes to upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central online, Microsoft Partners can choose from several different types of upgrades. The most common type involves a fresh implementation without full historical data. Another strategy is to upgrade to Business Central online without losing any data in the transition and keeping all your custom data – in other words, having a Clean Start.

Read this blog to gain a better understanding of the different upgrade options, their pros and cons, and why Clean Start upgrades are increasingly popular.

Upgrade to Business Central Online Strategies

When transitioning from Dynamics NAV to Business Central online, Dynamics Partners frequently choose a new installation, as it doesn’t require you to migrate any data or transfer AL code, making it a simple strategy. The customer gets a fresh installation and only start balances are moved, such as customers, vendors, and sheer account balances.

Another strategy for moving to Business Central online is the full upgrade, which involves full data migration and complete AL code transfer. Both strategies are good choices, however, depending on business needs, there might be a better choice: Clean Start.

With the Clean Start strategy, all data is fully migrated to the new Business Central online version, but the AL code is not transferred. This way, you can build something new, redesign, or start using your own standardized apps for Business Central online. However, it is important to note that when the AL code is removed, not everything is cleaned, and some of the code is provided in the new Business Central online version.

Customer Solution Modification Analysis

When choosing the best Business Central online migration strategy for your customer, start with solution modification analysis. We at Companial completed over 800 NAV/BC upgrades, and we have noticed the usual modifications that recur in each customer solution. See the graphic below with approximate quantities of each:

Firstly, it is important to mention that on the Business Central online version, you cannot change the base app or add-on apps. Usually, each customer solution has around 15% of the add-on modifications, which are not possible to replicate. The only way to change add-ons is to ask the add-on provider to add the modifications to the next add-on version.

Secondly, a significant segment of customer solution modifications is new functionality, which amounts to around 40%. Most of the new functionality has to be reimplemented during the full upgrade. However, around 10% of the new functionality cannot be replicated because it is done on the base app. In addition, around 5% of the new functionality code ends up missing because it is not possible to reimplement all the code when going to Business Central online, especially from classic client and RTC. Therefore, only around 20% to 25% of new functionality can be reimplemented.

Also, when discussing the new functionality with the customer, it is important to check the status of new functionality developed some time ago. The customer might already be thinking of rebuilding that functionality as it does not 100% fit the business needs anymore.

Around 15%-20% of customer solution modifications are usually functionality that is not used anymore, and the customer has forgotten about it. In some cases, the person who had requested the functionality may no longer be working at the organization, and others may not be familiar with it.

Around 10% of customer solution modifications are related to reports. Frequently, when upgrading to Business Central online, a different reporting strategy is used, and all the solution modifications that were related to reports might not be needed anymore. The increasing popularity of Power BI or Jet Reports, or even building reports on Excel sheets eliminates the need for modifications.

There are usually some modifications related to the functionality that the new Business Central versions already have, therefore no upgrade is needed. Around 5% of customer solution modifications are integrations, and around 10% of modifications are related to the Visuality & Permissions that exist in the new Business Central versions.

When analyzing all the modifications and seeing the full picture, you will notice that there is a lot of functionality that the customer doesn’t need anymore. This is because the upgrade is done from classic client to RTC, and from RTC to Business Central online. Usually, only 20% of functionality is needed and everything else can be dealt with in a standard way.

Choosing The Right Upgrade Strategy for Business Central Online

Let us look into which upgrade strategy is the best one for different customer solutions.

Choose a new installation when:

Choose full upgrade when:

Choose Clean Start when:

Tips to Remember When Going to Business Central Online

Companial Upgrade Options for Dynamics NAV/365 Business Central

If you’d like to find out more about the technical Clean Start process and live data migration; get the tips to remember; and get answers to key questions you need to ask when considering Clean Start, watch the webinar on this topic here. You can also visit our website and find out how we can help Dynamics Partners upgrade and maintain solutions in Dynamics 365 Business Central, or download the Companial e-book to learn more about Dynamics NAV/365 Business Central upgrade options.

Richardas Paulavicius

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