Empowering Dynamics 365 Business Central with Advanced Budgeting, Reporting and Consolidations
This article explores the arrival of Dynamics 365 Business Central and how you can achieve advanced reporting and budgeting.
With Microsoft’s highly anticipated release of Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), the company’s long awaited cloud ERP for the smaller and mid-sized businesses, executives evaluating the solution will, as expected, quickly zoom in on reporting, budgeting and business intelligence (BI) capabilities.
But, let’s zoom out for a moment…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 world’s most popular tool in this area remains the ever popular Microsoft Excel spreadsheet! There is actually a good reason for ERPs failing in this area with their native functionality, and that is that the demands for advanced calculations and formatting, currency conversion, consolidations, budget workflow, custom budget input forms, and charts simply are too much for the otherwise 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. So…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 CPM tools like BI360 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 seems to have achieved a home-run in the past few years with Power BI. Not only did Power BI recently become the 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 BI360 from Solver, you should be in good shape to turbo-charge your organization’s decision-making abilities in the years ahead.
Good luck and enjoy your ERP, BI, and CPM journey!