The process of upgrading to Microsoft 365 Business Central offers increased efficiency, productivity and profitability for your business.
Though the process can seem daunting, we’ve distilled it down to a few vital steps that go a long way to ensuring a smooth upgrade, no matter how much tailoring or customisation is required to fit your unique requirements.
By following these steps before every ‘go-live’ day, we’ve delivered countless successful migrations, so if you’re considering taking your business to the next level – this is how we ensure a successful ‘go-live’ day.
Step 1: Force the Issue
The best way to identify any gremlins in the system before you go-live is to force them to show themselves through thorough testing.
By conducting a test of the migration and new system in an (easily resettable) safe environment, we’re able to see any challenges that may emerge and have time to resolve them without impacting the upgrade process.
Resolving issues on the fly during an upgrade can be costly and we do everything we can to avoid it by sticking to a proven testing methodology.
Using test-data for this process ensures the core data is backed-up and protected while we increase our visibility of the process end-to-end.
Paying particular attention to processes that engage beyond your organisation, such as Bank Transmissions or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is also a vital part of this process, as the system transmitting incorrect data can incur fines or penalties.
You and the users within your organisation are also a key part of this testing methodology. They know the way your system will be used and should be encouraged to try and ‘break’ it by exploring all the functions used in their job.
The more that is uncovered in this pivotal process the better.
Step 2: Heroes, Assemble!
The power users on your team are an important part of the upgrade process and a vital part of the success of your system moving forward.
Empowering them to help shape the system will maximise the value of 365 Business Central to your organisation and ensure all users have an expert who knows the unique aspects of your system better than an external consultant.
Through their close involvement with the planning and testing phases, your 365 BC heroes will be able to receive training and establish familiarity with our team so that future troubleshooting or enhancements can be addressed more easily.
We believe that enhancing the internal knowledge of your system is the best way to ensure it scales with your business and adapts to satisfy requirements as it grows and evolves.
Investing in training is a crucial part of getting the most out of your new system, long-term.
Step 3: Ticking Boxes
There will be many moving parts to your migration process prior to ‘go-live’ day and we’ll make sure you have ticked all the boxes and herded all of those ducks to ensure a smooth and successful cutover.
Some of the items on our ‘go-live’ checklists include:
Pushing the go button – Determine who confirms successful testing of each business process and when they can sign each one off for transition to the new environment. Ensure they recognise what factors impact these decisions.
Transition management – A method of ensuring users know when to log into the new system and not the old one. Clear parameters for performing work in the old system if essential. Preventing access to the old system for specific tasks or users if necessary.
The wider team – Engaging with external service providers such as auditors or accounting partners to verify their data requirements. Comparing the report parameters, performance, speed and outcome of the old system with the new system and ensuring their confirmation.
The dream team – Identify every person (internal and external to your business) who will be required for the cut-over. Ensure you have confirmed their availability, contact details, responsibilities and deliverables.
Dress rehearsal – Your chance to review the timing of the upgrade process and the schedule events or stages that will occur. Pay particular attention to background processes that run on a schedule and could impact or interrupt the go-live plan.
Step 4: The Right Partner
As you may have learned so far in this article, choosing an implementation partner who has done this before and has a proven strategy is possibly the best way to ensure a successful upgrade.
One size definitely does not fit all and you’ll want to make sure you select a team who are not only knowledgeable in terms of Microsoft 365 Business Central upgrades, but recognise and prioritise the unique needs of your organisation and its users.
When you get to your go-live day, you’ll hopefully know that you have the right team alongside you, providing certainty that the time and cost of upgrading was well worth it.