The global IT industry has been in the throes of tremendous change for a good decade now. The transformation from traditional on-prem software solutions to the cloud has presented many significant challenges for print MIS/ERP vendors like PrintVis and our worldwide implementation partners. A successful transformation demands a clear vision, development power, accommodating R&D budgets and effective marketing to demonstrate to the existing customer base that migrating to the cloud brings far more benefit than risk.
Often glossed over but crucial for long-term vendor success is an active version and release policy. How long will your vendor support and actively maintain the older versions of the on-premises solution you’re using today? And what’s the impact on your own investment and implementation plans?
Today, MIS/ERP solutions play a pivotal role in the success formula of most print companies. To serve them well, we must be organized, proactive and transparent. We must be efficient in our delivery based on customer business processes and put the client in the center of everything we do. These are all elements that make the difference between success and failure. So, we constantly strive to provide a solution that guarantees full, ongoing support for common matters such as bug fixes and regulatory compliance – but also to follow print industry trends and continuously add vital new print-specific functionality on top of the robust Business Central base from Microsoft.
A classic example of ceasing active support on a popular IT product was Windows 95. Twenty years ago, Microsoft announced that its product had reach its end-of-life status, and that support wasn’t guaranteed after a certain date. The company spent a small fortune in marketing to make sure that all the world was informed in time. Surprisingly, there are still organizations using Windows 95. We could call this a ‘disintegrating platform.’
Similar choices have needed to be made by MIS/ERP vendors recently, especially when it comes to their on-prem solutions. This includes the underlying infrastructure, the versions of the operating system, the database, the reporting tools and even the server.
If you are still a Microsoft Dynamics on-prem user today, here is a link to a Microsoft landing page that lists the formal support that you can expect on your current version: Microsoft Lifecycle Policy | Microsoft Docs. The site is continuously updated, showing that Microsoft takes its products and customers very seriously.
If you’re using a legacy system that’s not a Microsoft Dynamics prodcut today, you might be wise to open a discussion with your current software supplier. Have them confirm in writing how long your current solution will be actively supported, what level of support you can expect and what potentially could happen after that deadline.
Your MIS/ERP solution is the beating heart of your print company. It’s up to you to make sure that it keeps beating and that you are equipped with the knowledge to avoid being stranded on a ‘disintegrating platform.’
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Ready to take PrintVis and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for a test drive? Great news – PrintVis Cloud is now available as an app with a free trial. Go here to get started today!
At PrintVis, we know the ERP selection process can be daunting. We’ll never pressure you. Being informed is the best thing you can do for your graphics business. You can always subscribe to our articles and we’ll keep on helping you stay informed on your buyer’s journey.