Dynamics 365 Business Central End of year 2018 Survey

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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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!

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