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Reflections about Microsoft technologies by Anzhela Pozdniakova

Directions EMEA 2023: The Plug & Play Dream Coming True

This year was the fourth time I visited Directions EMEA since 2017. Whenever returning from the conference, I am deeply inspired by the variety of applications that Microsoft develops to help businesses digitalize, automate routines, and free up some time for truly value-adding activities. This year everybody is talking about the new era of Microsoft Copilot, which now not only assists businesses in obtaining relevant information, but also helps technical users build pages, automation, and reports.

Having a good ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and moreover, digitalized processes, was a big deal just 10 years ago. Not every business could afford it. But these days, smart business tools have become affordable as never before. Microsoft has worked hard to make the Business Central implementation process a light breeze, which simultaneously brings instant access to the world of other technological advancements. The utopian Plug & Play dream is now a tangible reality. Why?

  • The cloud subscription-based model of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central eliminates the need for substantial upfront investments in infrastructure and software. This democratization of advanced business tools allows startups and small enterprises to compete on a level playing field with their larger counterparts.
  • Looking for add-ons and extensions for Business Central feels like online shopping now, due to the AppSource platform and partners who have been supporting their Microsoft Dynamics NAV/BC customers for more than a decade now and have a great knowledge base about what businesses typically miss in standard NAV/BC. Businesses can now get access to a wide array of pre-built extensions, covering a spectrum of business processes, from specialized industry tools to region-specific compliance features. Isn't that fantastic?
  • Upgrading with Business Central became free of the complexities of traditional upgrade processes. Unlike manual upgrades that demanded meticulous planning and specialized IT expertise, the cloud-based platform upgrades Business Central automatically, reducing the burden on internal teams, while decision-makers no longer have to evaluate the ROI of the new version features vs. upgrade cost and the hassle.
  • For those who do need to customize Business Central, customizing no longer comes with the burden of extra license fees for custom objects. This unties hands for creativity.
  • Having own customer portals and mobile applications that communicate with ERP, including those that act as scanners, becomes affordable even within comparatively small budgets (of course, this depends on the usage volume). With configuration tools like Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Pages, which require no coding, all you need is a good consultant, who may not necessarily require the external services of a partner.
  • Copilot is not a magic stick, but it will certainly make getting started" much easier for configurators of Power Apps, Power Pages, Microsoft Power BI, and wherever else Microsoft decides to integrate it.

In conclusion, I would like to note that I guess we're witnessing game-changer times in business applications. With quicker and cheaper implementations, businesses now have more control and don't need to rely as much on external support. As we ride this tech wave, it looks like the future's all about making technology a smooth, flexible, and affordable teammate for success, which is only limited by creativity.

At Xpand, we'll stay updated on the evolution of Microsoft technologies, actively adapting our approaches and processes to align with industry trends. Our goal is to enrich our client services by staying in sync with market dynamics. If you need more information about scope of our services related to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, such as add-on development, upgrades from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to the latest Business Central versions, or implementation, please contact us or me directly via LinkedIn.

For more impressions from our experts written as part of #MicrosoftTechnologyInsightsMonth, we invite you to read them here or here.