This article explores the arrival of Dynamics 365 Business Central and how you can achieve advanced reporting and budgeting.
Executives evaluating Microsoftâ€™s highly popular Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC) ERP system for smaller and mid-sized businesses, are increasingly zooming in on reporting, budgeting and business intelligence (BI) capabilities to help their company streamline planning and decision-making.
But, letâ€™s zoom out for a momentâ€¦after 25 years in the software industry, I have yet to see an ERP system with fantastic reporting, budgeting and BI capabilities built into the ERP. Alas, the worldâ€™s most popular go-to tool in this area remains the ever present Microsoft Excel spreadsheet! There is actually a good reason for ERPs generally failing to be great planning and reporting tools with their native functionality, and that is that the demand for advanced calculations and formatting, currency conversion, consolidations, budget workflow, custom budget input forms, and charts simply are too much for the otherwise deeply controlled and accounting-focused ERP applications. That is also a main reason why there is a flourishing corporate performance management (CPM) and BI industry out there that plugs these and other planning and decision-making related holes in ERP systems. It has become a symbiotic relationship in many ways with a sometimes elegant dance, especially when there are solid integrations that exist between ERPs, CPM solutions, and BI tools.
So, where does Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC) land in terms of advanced reporting and budgeting? Well, as expected, it has native reporting and budgeting at the typical level where most modern ERPs have it. Soâ€¦if ERP history is any indication, that means that 90-95% of all D365 BC customers will at least partially be using their beloved Excel spreadsheets for some of their reporting and a lot of their budgeting and forecasting. That is, unless they are ready to step up the CPM game and look at tools like Solver for full blown cloud budgeting, reporting and consolidations that are pre-integrated and also running on Microsoft Azure.
But wait a minute, that was CPM, but what about BI? Actually, here Microsoft has achieved a home-run in the past few years with the highly rated Power BI tool. Not only has Power BI become a frequent leader in the Gartner BI Quadrant, but Microsoft has done an excellent job integrating it to D365 BC and many other transaction systems.
So, if you work for an organization that plans to evaluate Dynamics 365 Business Central, between Power BI from Microsoft and advanced CPM solutions like Solver, you should be in good shape to turbo-charge your organizationâ€™s decision-making abilities in the years ahead.
What Is Considered a Quick Start with a CPM Solution?
Most D365 BC customers want their connected apps, including CPM tools and dashboards, to be cloud based. Key questions that quickly come up are: how hard is it to integrate to the ERP and how much cost and effort does it take to get up and running?
The answer typically is weeks or months of effort and tens of thousands of dollars in services. However, Microsoft software partners, likeÂ Solver,Â that work very closely with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and its partner channel, have developed pre-built integrations as well as out-of-the-box financial reports, planning input templates and Power BI dashboards. For example,Â Solverâ€™s QuickStart integration to Dynamics 365 Business CentralÂ can get a company up and running in a single day with 100+ pre-built Power BI financial dashboards, as well as financial reports and budget input templates. All of these ready-to-use templates can be selected and downloaded at no additional cost from a continuously growing Template Marketplace.
Good luck and enjoy your ERP, BI, and CPM journey!
Solver enables world-class decisions with its leading CPM suiteÂ made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution and empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If youâ€™re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.