The German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (bitkom). (bitkom) sheds light on the use of new technologies in the area of ERP enterprise solutions in a current publication. From this, trends can be derived that can smooth and accelerate the path of digital transformation.
The example of the ERP solution Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly Dynamics NAV / Navision) is a particularly good illustration of these trends and technologies, since Microsoft accompanies the digital transformation of companies with great commitment and support.
Software as a Service (SaaS) / Cloud Computing
For Microsoft, the future of the ERP system lies in the cloud. With Business Central SaaS (Software as a Service), Microsoft provides the solution completely via cloud infrastructure over the internet.
In the SaaS model, the software is operated on a centrally used environment in the cloud and offered to customers in the form of a service that is billed monthly. This model is particularly interesting for companies that need a fast solution without their own IT infrastructure, rely on proven best practices in standard processes and want to avoid high initial investments in licences and customisation.
Microsoft's data centres are certified according to EU data protection standards. In addition, the data protection policies, procedures and technologies of implementation are fully transparent. Microsoft grants you control over the collection, use and sharing of your customer data. You always have the option to use cloud storage exclusively in the country where your company operates - with the Microsoft data trustee principle. With this and many other measures, your data enjoys the highest priority in the Microsoft Cloud.
All maintenance tasks (e.g. the installation of software upgrades and security patches) are also taken over by Microsoft. This means that the solution is always up to date and absolutely safe to operate.
The scalability of Business Central Cloud optimally supports our dynamic growth. We can adjust our fluctuating demand for licences on a monthly basis and control all IT matters via a central administration. Our IT is super lean: apart from a small Windows server for user administration, we do not operate any IT infrastructure components of our own. All central systems are operated securely and well protected in the Microsoft Cloud - with an efficiency and up-to-dateness that we could never achieve internally.
Mobility/mobile ERP deployment
An ERP solution must function smoothly, regardless of where it is used.
Essential parts of order processing are already handled on site at customers' or business partners' premises, so the need for mobile ERP use is often obvious. The availability of information about prices, customer-specific conditions, stocks of goods or delivery dates considerably facilitates and accelerates the sales process. At the same time, mobile data entry - e.g. of customer orders - accelerates business processes and increases transparency about the status quo in the company.
In addition, in the current Corona pandemic, administrative activities are also being shifted to the home office or mobile office on a large scale, leading to a significant expansion in the mobile use of ERP solutions. In 2020, ERP solutions were already used 73% on notebooks and 51% on smartphones (source: © 2020 Trovarit AG, Aachen).
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central fully meets the requirements of significantly increased mobility. Regardless of location and device, you always benefit from the full range of functions: on your desktop, tablet or smartphone, under Windows, Android or iOS, whether on-premises or in the cloud.
Artificial intelligence / AI
Artificial intelligence already supports users in many software applications. And especially in ERP systems, which are used as a central instrument for process and data organisation in companies, the use of AI technology is increasing.
AI-supported data analyses can increase the quality of decisions and accelerate them at the same time. They enable the permanent monitoring of the database for peculiarities and anomalies and can execute targeted reactions if necessary or offer corresponding suggestions for optimisation in a timely manner. As a result of this development, AI-based, fully automated business processes are conceivable, which offer great rationalisation potential.
Microsoft also relies on the intelligence of machine learning in the Dynamics 365 platform. For example, the relevance search within the solutions is already supported by AI so that data can be found more quickly and easily. The "sales and inventory planning" extension is specially designed for Microsoft's ERP solution Business Central. It forecasts potential sales based on historical data and gives a clear overview of expected shortages. And with a prediction of whether sales invoices will be paid on time, the "Late Payment Prediction" function supports the reduction of outstanding receivables and thus helps to optimise the collection strategy.
Would you like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central - ERP 100% from the cloud? Find out more in our regular webcasts or contact us directly, we will be happy to show you the benefits of the system in our free one-hour online workshop.