Comparing Working in Dynamics GP vs. Dynamics 365 Business Central (Online)

Both Dynamics 365 GP (Great Plains) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central offer a diverse range of business capabilities. Choosing between them depends on factors like organization size, budget, functionality needs, and future growth plans.

Though both ERP solutions are equipped with tools tailored to your specific business requirements, including high-end features, custom configurations, and scalability, they each have their pros and cons. However, it's worth noting that Business Central has fewer cons than Dynamics GP.

Additionally, Microsoft has discontinued selling Dynamics GP licenses, so existing GP users can only obtain support services directly from Microsoft Gold Partners like Dynamics Square.

With Dynamics 365 Business Central, the potential to grow your business is significant, and it is accessible to everyone. This cloud-based ERP solution is less complicated to deploy/implement and costs much less than on-premises ERP software.

Now that you have a general idea of the differences between these business management solutions, let's explore them in more detail.

Dynamics 365 Business Central vs. Dynamics GP: Basics

Dynamics 365 GP forms an ERP solution and accounting, sales, and services modules. When we talk about Dynamics 365 Business Central, this all-in-one ERP solution also has various business management modules rather than basic capabilities.

So, from the first principles’ POV, let's explore both ERP solutions:

What is Microsoft Dynamics GP?

Microsoft Dynamics GP was specifically designed to support not only your ERP needs but also to aid in accounting and other essential business activities.

It is a great solution for businesses that seek reliable solutions to automate:

  • Data
  • Streamline workflows
  • Optimize the use of resources
  • Manage the financial flow efficiently and effectively, and related tasks.

Dynamics GP includes both sales and services modules wrapped with built-in business intelligence to make decision-making better and more productive across your organization.

Note: To ensure the best database maintenance and availability, certain guidelines must be followed when configuring Microsoft SQL Server disk support for Dynamics GP, as it relies on SQL Server for these tasks.

What is Microsoft Dynamics Business Central?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central as compared to Dynamics GP is developed as a powerful business management solution with endless features, vast configuration capability, and deployment flexibility (whether on-premises, hybrid, or on-cloud).

Business Central allows enterprises or companies with up to 300 named users to manage end-to-end business practices including:

  • Customer relationships (using CRM integration)
  • Finance & Supply Chain (with SCM module)
  • Human resourcing (using HRM plug-ins)
  • Warehousing (with WMS add-ons)
  • Sales
  • Planning & budgeting
  • Regulatory & global compliance and more.

Know More Here: Features of Dynamics 365 Business Central

Benefits of Rolling out Dynamics GP vs Business Central

Dynamics GP has long been a popular enterprise resource planning solution, offering extensive functionality and customizable options. However, it is now only available to existing users, limiting access for newcomers.

As a business management software application designed for mid-sized businesses across various industries, Dynamics GP remains a wise choice. Its numerous add-ons, available through Microsoft AppSource, enable businesses to expand their capabilities and enhance profitability.

Dynamics GP facilitates the growth of your business practices while providing seamless management capabilities.

Businesses can effectively manage and drive practices, such as:

  • Finance & procurement
  • Field service
  • Inventory
  • Supply Chain
  • Business intelligence (BI) & reporting
  • Project automation, and more.

GP’s excellent BI capabilities assist enterprises to promptly make informed decision-making better.

Business owners or administrators can streamline core business practices, simplify process flows, enable efficient remote operations, and maintain business continuity with Dynamics GP.

For businesses handling sensitive data, Dynamics GP can be an effective solution, as it can be deployed on-premises and securely store data using SQL Server.

Advantages of Deploying Dynamics 365 Business Central vs Dynamics GP

Business Central is designed with small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) in mind, offering a quick return on investment (ROI), typically achieved within 12 months following implementation.

As a business management application, it helps SMEs streamline processes, automate data, and enhance efficiency through real-time decision-making capabilities that support overall operational performance.

Dynamics 365 Business Central may be the better choice for businesses seeking a solution to improve productivity and increase profitability.

Managing your end-to-end operational flow becomes as effortless as spreading butter on bread.

With AI-powered Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central’s latest version - 21.4, you can seamlessly manage: 

  • Finance & supply chain
  • Manufacturing & distribution
  • Resourcing & project automation
  • Regulatory & global compliance, and more.

Business Central's advanced business intelligence capabilities empower enterprises with real-time decision-making efficiency and enhanced control over their operational processes.

Equipped with essential functionalities, Business Central's core version supports the growth of organizations. As it provides continuous upgrades and feature releases, you can keep your ERP system up-to-date and accessible, enabling remote work—a sought-after feature for many employees.

Furthermore, implementing Business Central is simple and straightforward. By partnering with Dynamics Square, you can deploy a tailored business-centric model (on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid) that best suits your organization's needs.

Pricing and Licensing: Dynamics GP vs Dynamics 365 Business Central

Before committing to any ERP solution, budget considerations are always a concern, as each enterprise has unique financial plans and constraints. Let's explore how Dynamics GP and Business Central can fit into your budget.

Dynamics GP is an on-premises solution that requires additional upfront costs for hardware installation and related infrastructure, along with a subscription plan. However, it is no longer available for new users, as Microsoft has stopped selling new GP licenses.

If you're still utilizing Dynamics GP, you can seek trusted, hassle-free support from a reliable Microsoft Gold Partner, like Dynamics Square.

On the other hand, D365 Business Central runs on the cloud and includes Azure facilitation, which Dynamics GP lacks. This feature makes Business Central one of the most secure and reliable business management applications in today's digital landscape.

With its cloud-based deployment, you can access your Business Central account from anywhere, at any time, and on any portable device, such as a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop.

As a new Business Central user, you can choose from flexible licensing plans tailored to your specific business needs and requirements.

Latest Licensing and Pricing for Business Central

Initially, it starts at $70 per user/month and Microsoft named this license as Business Central Essential Plan.

The Essential plan includes:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Financial Management
  • Advanced Financial Management
  • AI-enabled Forecasting
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • Warehouse Management & Inventory Management
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - Advanced Capabilities of Dynamics CRM
  • Human Resources Management
  • E-Services
  • Analysis Reports
  • Embedded Power BI
  • Workflow
  • Word Reporting/Document Reporting
  • Reason Codes
  • User Management and User Tasks
  • Access to an Unlimited number of Companies, and more.

Here are other Business Central plans for you to consider if you want more advanced business management:

Business Central Premium Plan: $100 per user/month

Includes: All Essentials license capabilities plus Service Order Management and Manufacturing.

Additional Capabilities of Business Central Premium License:

  • Planning and Dispatching
  • Service Item Management
  • Service Contract Management
  • Service Order Management
  • Agile Manufacturing
  • Finite loading
  • Sales and Inventory Forecasting
  • Production Bill of Materials
  • Version Management
  • Production Orders
  • Basic Capacity Planning
  • Basic Supply Planning
  • Machine Centers

Note: There’s also a basic plan for Business Central, known as Team Member, which starts at $8 per user/month. This plan is already included in the Essentials and Premium plans with unrestricted access. Get in touch with our Dynamics 365 experts to explore its features and benefits.

Hence, this will be your only licensing cost.  

However, if you want a customized or specially configured solution, or any sort of integration for add-ons like an integrated WMS solution from Insight Works, Sana Commerce for eCommerce, or NaviPayroll to simplify your HR Payroll process to maximize your functional and financial capability, your pricing will be revised accordingly.

Functional Capability: Dynamics GP vs Dynamics 365 Business Central

In terms of functional capabilities, Business Central effortlessly outperforms Dynamics GP, as it offers not only the same features as Dynamics GP, but also additional ones.

With its essential plan, you gain access to exclusive modules such as Dynamics 365 Finance, inventory, project management, order management, and more.

If the Team Member plan doesn't suit your needs or if you want to add more modules like service management, sales order management, manufacturing, or others, you can opt for the premium plan.

Furthermore, if you start with the essential plan, you can easily upgrade to a more advanced version, such as the premium or higher plans (including the Team Member plan), whenever you wish.

Why Business Central Could Be the Best ERP Choice for Your Business

Choosing Microsoft Dynamics Business Central over Dynamics GP can be a wise decision due to several key factors that can propel your business to new heights:

Cloud-based: Business Central, or BC for short, is a cloud-based solution, meaning it is accessible from anywhere, at any time, and on any device with an internet connection. In contrast, Dynamics GP is an on-premises solution that requires installation and maintenance on a physical server.

Subscription-based or Pay-as-you-Go Model: Dynamics 365 Business Central offers a Pay-as-you-Go service, allowing you to pay monthly for only what you use. This approach simplifies budgeting and expense planning for businesses. Dynamics GP, however, demands a large upfront investment in licensing and implementation.

Integration with other Microsoft products: Business Central integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products, such as Office 365, Power BI, and PowerApps from the Power Platform suite. This integration enables a cohesive experience across various applications and tools. In comparison, Dynamics GP may necessitate more customizations for integration with other Microsoft products.

Modern User Interface: D365 Business Central features a modern, intuitive user interface (UI) that enhances user adoption and productivity. Dynamics GP's traditional interface might require more training and may not be as user-friendly for today's users.

Advanced features: D365 BC includes advanced features like machine learning and artificial intelligence, helping businesses make data-driven decisions and automate processes. Dynamics GP may not offer the same level of advanced features.

Ultimately, choosing between Business Central and Dynamics GP depends on your business's specific needs. Carefully evaluate your requirements and compare the features, functionality, and cost of both solutions before making a decision. Alternatively, let our experts at Dynamics Square guide you in making the best choice for your business.

Final Words!

Now that you know how different Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics GP are, you can make a smarter decision.

If you need expert advice, contact our Dynamics 365 consultants that have years of industry expertise in deploying Dynamics 365 products.

Experts at Dynamics Square are ready to reveal and suggest to you the best solution for your business. Send us your requirements so that we can review your current ERP system, and let you know whether you need an upgrade.

Ayush Jain

Ayush Jain is a seasoned Digital Marketing specialist renowned for his expertise in harnessing the power of cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to propel business growth. With an impressive track record spanning more than four years, he has cultivated fruitful partnerships with numerous SaaS enterprises, driving substantial brand recognition and unlocking revenue potential.


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