With the evolving platform landscape, many consultants and developers specializing in GP and SL are transitioning their skills to Business Central. This retooling and reskilling of the workforce indicate a shift in the market demand and highlight the growing importance of Business Central as the preferred platform for future projects. This change in the labor market will have implications for organizations seeking support and expertise in maintaining and migrating their ERP systems.
Microsoft has adopted a strategic approach to encourage the transition to Business Central. The company offers various incentives and discounts to facilitate the migration process.
For example, organizations can receive a 40% discount on Business Central licenses or opt for a three-year transition period where they can utilize both Business Central and GP licenses by paying only the GP maintenance cost. Additionally, nonprofit organizations can benefit from a 60% discount on Business Central licenses. These incentives aim to create momentum without forcing an immediate change.
Support and Lifecycle Considerations
Microsoft has indicated that GP will be supported until at least 2028, with no updates to this date in recent years. While support is expected to continue beyond 2028, it will likely be limited to security updates and tax compliance, rather than feature investments. Moreover, there have been price increases on GP maintenance, and new client setups for perpetual licenses will cease by 2025.
These factors suggest that Microsoft is striving to strike a balance between encouraging migration and ensuring continued support for organizations that choose to stay on GP.
Impacts on Vendors and Partners
The shift towards Business Central is not limited to Microsoft alone. ISVs and partners are also aligning their strategies with the evolving platform landscape. Many ISVs are gradually shifting their focus from GP, SL, and legacy NAV add-ons to Business Central extensions. This shift brings forth new opportunities, as ISVs invest in app source integration and offer improved products. Partners, too, are adjusting their labor force, with consultants retraining on Business Central to meet market demands.
Microsoft’s platform strategy and roadmap indicate a clear direction towards Business Central as the primary platform for future ERP projects. While organizations have the flexibility to choose the right platform for their business needs, the shift towards Business Central is expected to gather momentum. It is essential for businesses to understand the implications, evaluate their options, and partner with experienced consultants.