During this entire year 2018 the Microsoft Dynamics ERP family has changed (and you know that for sure) and Microsoft has pushed a lot for helping customers and partners to “change their mind” and embrace concepts like Cloud, SaaS and Extensions. The new ERP era has a name and it’s Dynamics 365 Business Central.

During this year I had the pleasure to work with Microsoft Italy for a long serie of Dynamics 365 Business Central development training for partners and customers and during these meetings I’ver collected a serie of feedbacks/results from partners that I would like to share here. I think they’re extremely interesting to better know “the field” (that’s the real situation on the customer’s base) and maybe a point of discussion and/or things to know for improvements in the next months. Obviously, this reflect the actual market in Italy and not in all the world

Question 1: consider your customers that are live NOW on Dynamics 365 Business Central. What is the % with the on-premise and with the SaaS version of Dynamics 365 Business Central? Result:

Survey2018_01

97% are live with the on-premise version, while only 3% are live with the SaaS version.

Question 2: Consider the customers/leads that you have planned to move on Dynamics 365 Business Central in 2019. What is the platform of choice? Result:

Survey2018_02

68% of new customers are planned to move on D365BC on-premise, while 32% are planned to go with the SaaS version.

Question 3: Consider your actual NAV/D365BC customers portfolio. What are the product versions (platforms) that you have active now? Result:

Survey2018_03

NAV 2018 seems to be the main platform now (21%). Curious to know that NAV 2015 has a lot of active customers (19%) but also that many customers (11%) are still live with NAV 2009 R2. And yes, there are also customers live with the old classic database (1%) or with versions <=5 (3%). Obviously, D365BC platform is new (expecially at the time of this survey) and the 2% here is a number that will grow soon.

Question 4: Consider your hardware infrastructure. Do you host it yourself or do you host in in the cloud? Result:

Survey2018_04

77% of the customers now host the hardware infrastructure for the ERP on your own servers, while 15% has the infrastructure hosted on Azure. Curious to know that 8% are IaaS but not on Azure (mainly AWS or other cloud providers).

Question 5: Consider your customers that have not embraced the cloud now. What are their future planned approaches to this world? Result:

Survey2018_05

37% of the customers that actually has never embraced the cloud are ready for this jump, mainly for IaaS services (21%) but there’s also an interesting 16% that is ready now to go SaaS.

Instead, 63% of the customers that actually has never embraced the cloud thinks that they’re not ready NOW for the cloud shift. 28% of them has not a plan on moving to the cloud, while 21% plans to move services to the cloud during the next year and 14% plans to move services to the cloud in the next 3 years.

Question 6: This is a partner-related question. Consider your actual solutions that you sell with your ERP proposition. As a development platform, where are you NOW? Result:

Survey2018_06.jpg

As expected, partners solutions are still mainly based on C/AL (73%). A 18% has started to work in a hybrid way (C/AL and AL), while only 9% have solutions based totally on AL extensions. This is where we need always more to push I think.

Question 7: Consider the Dynamics 365 Business Central Development platform. As a partner/customer, what do you think are the main problems or lacks? Result:

Survey2018_07

Here there are interesting answers to consider I think.The main problem that partners and customers now seems to have is a more complex support phase for their business applications (error corrections, debugging and so on). The second critical aspects are data migration (it’s considered a difficult task without the right tools, and RapidStart is absolutely NOT a right tool) and the AL platform that is sometime considered as “not feature complete” (I think because events are missing or some features are under improvements).

I want to put in evidence also a 13% that says that a missing integrated and user-oriented report designer is a big lack. I can agree on this

Question 8: Do you consider Microsoft as a leader in the ERP industry? Why? Result:

Survey2018_08

All (99%) agrees that Microsoft is absolutely a leader in the ERP market and that its products are great. The main point of satisfaction (37%) is the adaptability of its ERP products to the customers needs and the easy way to customize. Next, integration with the Microsoft echosystem is considered a big plus (23%) and having a complete cloud + software platform is considered a plus (22%). Interesting to know that 15% loves Microsoft’s ERP also because they have a great support from partners and from Microsoft directly.

I don’t spend too much time commenting myself these results. Take them “as-is” and everyone of you can share its comments. I think they could be interesting for all the entire community.

Have a nice and great End of 2018 and Happy New Year 2019!