The last one is out: why you have to update

Updaten Business Central v17

The last one is out: why you have to update

Both the logistics industry, as the developments in IT are continuously in motion. That is no surprise with the increasing customer demands you as a logistics service provider face, but it is at the same time difficult to keep up with. That may even have been one of the main reasons you have chosen for Boltrics’ logistics software and the corresponding always-up-to-date promise. In this way, you are assured of the newest functionalities and you can always rely on the most recent Microsoft technology. With the latest update closing in, you probably wonder: why are updates this important?

Microsoft Release Wave 2

As you may have noticed, we as Boltrics are extremely busy working behind the scenes, to convert our logistic solution to the newest Microsoft release: Dynamics 365 Business Central Release Wave 2, also called v17. The biggest change for you as a user, is that from v17 on the ‘Modern Client’ is the only available interface. The so-called Windows Client will no longer exist.

Boltrics has invested over a thousand manhours to rewrite the solution in the new programming language (AL), to make sure you can start with the new version as quickly and fluently as possible. However, as an existing customer, you may need to get used to the new look-and-feel. Besides, the profiles in your environment must be configurated again. Therefore, I can imagine you have asked yourself: why updating to the newest version (now)?

10 reasons why updates are important

At Boltrics we work hard to successfully make the transition to Business Central v17. Despite the confidence you may have in your old and trusted version, updating your system is of great importance. Below, you’ll find ten reasons why we should make this step together:

1. Agile

As can be read in the blog ‘To stand still is to regress; dare to change’, developments in IT are gaining speed. As a logistics service provider, being able to deal with the developments in the market is crucial. As is the embracing of disruptive technological developments, which will distinct you from the competition. To do so, you need to be an agile organization. For example, think of the developments in e-fulfilment.

2. Digital transformation

Whether you like it to be the first in line when it concerns IT, or whether you rather wait a little longer to embrace new technologies, one thing is sure: being last is not recommended. That goes for the choice for cloud-based solutions, as for the use of artificial intelligence (AI), voice or big data. Thanks to the cloud-based solution, everyone will have the possibility to use these techniques. In this way, you can quite simply optimize your pick activities, determine efficient routes with machine learning or estimate how many order pickers are needed next week.

Personally, I expect in the coming years (2 to 8 years) that the companies which will make a difference undergo a digital transformation, integrate these new techniques into their processes and use this towards their customers. The danger lies in if you do not move along to the new version, implementations with these new techniques will strand in technological discussions.

3. Attract young talent

A successful company can’t exist without new talent. Especially when the earlier mentioned digital transformation must be made. A challenge for many organizations is that traditional workflows and old philosophies do not fit with the way young talent – who you want to attract – wants to work. These organizations are not attractive when they use slow and old systems. The younger generation wants to work intuitive, with as little clicks as possible, via innovative tools instead of the keyboard. There is no time to dive into the system; it should just be there and work. Besides, in the current way of working, information is lost when employees retire or leave early. Therefore, open systems which can integrate, can easily be scaled up and provide a modern user interface, will help you attract young talent who will help you on towards the future.

4. Continuous improvement

Who hasn’t heard the words ‘well, this functionality is only available in the newest version, you must update first’? By updating regularly, new functionalities are directly available. Furthermore, developments in old versions will stop, and therefore you prevent your

5. Cost reduction

Maintenance of legacy systems will increase with the age of the system. For example, knowledge about the system will become scarce. Related software cannot be upgraded and therefore must stay in business. Besides, new software is often sold on subscription base. In that way, when business is booming, you can quickly increase the number of licenses and the other way around. Furthermore, being up to date prevents you from needing long risky re-implementations.

6. Connectivity

Loss of productivity, due to the fact that in different systems the same data needs to be imported, is a commonly heard note. New, modern systems communicate more easily and more intense (realtime) with one another.

Furthermore, you see more and more integrations between corporate applications (TMS/FMS/Forwarding) and personal applications (Office 365, Teams, Apps). For example, you can directly create orders in Business Central via Outlook (inbox), and you can use Teams to ask Business Central ‘how many packages of blue shoes are stored in site X?’

Also think about the use of ‘low-code’ solutions, that solve specific problems. For example, in the pack process or as an addition for the driver.

7. Security

Cyber security is a topic that, due to recent attacks with for example ransomware Wanna-Cry, has become very important. New software is more and more build from the philosophy ‘Security-by-design’. For example, Multi-factor-authentication is a standard part in the newest version of Business Central.

8. Rules and regulations

When we look at rules and regulations, a lot has changed as well. Think, for example, of the GDPR and the Brexit. Some changes can be added to old software. However, other rules are so fundamental that they cannot be implemented in your old solution. In the newest version of Business Central for example, you do have the functionalities required to meet the GDPR.

9. Environmentally friendly

New software can use resources more efficiently. In other words, with new software you have the possibility to only use resources when they are needed. When your cloud requirements fluctuate, you can adapt your server capacity. In that way, you do not only reduce your energy usage, you also reduce your CO2 footprint.

10. Ended lifecycle

Like almost every software application, Business Central also has a lifecycle and support policy. The second last version Boltrics has released (v13), officially isn’t supported anymore already

Benefit of the newest software

As market leader, Microsoft wants to be the front runner with a state-of-the-art solution. That is the reason that they pour unstoppable energy into it and that releases quickly follow up on each other. We as Boltrics see the importance to follow Microsoft in their vision. With our always-up-to-date promise we make sure you as a customer are always on the newest version and that you can benefit from the advantages.

Therefore, the request to take the following advice into consideration:

  1. Based on our always-up-to-date promise, you can benefit from the newest technology. However, businesswise you do not make a difference with that. It is only a condition for staying in business. You make a difference when your company makes the digital transformation and can translate this into value for your customers. That is up to you!
  2. The danger lies in focusing on the downsides of the update, because these can be felt directly, while the benefits will show results over a longer period. Therefore, do not turn the update into a discussion about the functioning of the ‘Modern client’.

Posted by
Aart Doorn

Managing Director | Consultancy & Innovation