Tip of the Week #152 – Upgrade and Prepare
Marketing Coordinator Michael Bradley serves up some healthy advice in this week’s tip.
As you should know by now, PrintVis is embedded directly within Microsoft Dynamics NAV – it is not a separate system. Other management information systems are add-ons (plug-ins, bolt-ons) – external software designed to work in tandem with a program, sharing data back and forth. PrintVis works within Microsoft Dynamics NAV, adding “print-centric” functionality and features to all the robust, standard functionality already present in NAV. And we always keep current with the latest NAV release, so you will never be left behind, as so often happens with separate MIS systems.
One of the most common obstacles to a print company’s progress is its resistance to upgrading the business solution it uses. Fear of disruption, downtime, surprise expense and other anticipated chaos keeps many shops in a state of inertia, doing nothing for years – until something finally breaks and full upheaval arrives, like it or not.
This probably sounds familiar, and yes, it’s been the case for decades. Indeed, many PrintVis customers still run NAV version 2009. However, you should know there is significant change just around the bend, with the advent of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 for Business Central. Yes it’s a mouthful of a title and rightfully so – it is the convergence of all Microsoft’s legacy ERP products (AX, GP, SL and NAV) into one conceptual hub.
These coming changes mean there’s no time like the present to get upgraded and back on track.
Upgrading to PrintVis/NAV 2018 now will ensure a seamless transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central when it is released later this year.
Independent solutions are now classified as apps, and just as millions of smartphone users now do – installing and removing various apps according to their personal wants and needs – Microsoft is pushing the model of each business putting together the different apps it needs to service its daily IT requirements. Microsoft provides a Common Data Service model as the business platform for the apps (to work harmoniously together), and Dynamics 365 makes them available via AppSource.
Customizations through Extensions
One of the most beneficial aspects of the move to the cloud is called Extensions, which will ultimately replace costly, time-consuming customization by overlayering. This means you can add functionality without changing the standard database from Microsoft. Many of you have probably encountered those upgrade notifications – for changes which take place during the whee hours of the weekend and (usually) are quick, easy and painless. This is the future for upgrades of Dynamics NAV (and therefore PrintVis) and basically can put an end to all the objections of businesses who procrastinate their upgrades.
A print company can still have customizations tailored to its needs, only the methodology is different. Once you have adopted the use of extensions, any customizations you need won’t present problems when it’s time to upgrade. A small investment in an upgrade now will enable your Partner to move any of your existing code customizations to events and extensions, which will significantly reduce the complexity of the upgrade, while making all future upgrades virtually effortless.
Standards and Solutions
Microsoft will consider Dynamics 365 Business Central its standard solution. We sometimes like to call these solutions “plain vanilla.” It will be routinely updated by Microsoft and you can add apps which are developed as extensions – so they leave the 365 source code untouched.
PrintVis is a perfect example of a vertical industry solution developed by an ISV (independent software vendor) in partnership with Microsoft. We will continue to emphasize standardization in our product so that, along with Microsoft, all upgrades will be affordable and painless.
So the name “NAV” (Navision) will be going away; And monolithic, on-prem deployments will (likely) become increasingly rare. PrintVis and our network of Partners will still be your points of contact for all technical support, licensing and upgrading of your print MIS. We should also note that apps from AppSource may need to be tested for compatibility with PrintVis.
But as a customer you get to enjoy increased benefits and functionality from our proven print-industry solution, along with all the new bells and whistles of Dynamics 365 for Business Central.