The year 2019 has ushered in a real boom in cloud solutions. According to the latest reports, within a couple of years Poland can become a leader in the utilization of cloud-based solutions, such as the ERP Dynamics 365 system. Read the article in which I examine the main benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 on the Azure platform. Why is it worth betting on solutions from the same provider, and what processes does it facilitate in the context of digital transformation?

ERP in the cloud

MS Dynamics NAV – and its latest version Business Central 365 – is a popular, complex tool for enterprise management. Its cloud version offers numerous benefits for entrepreneurs who, despite their former scepticism about new solutions, are increasingly willing to bet on digital transformation. We can say that we are slowly taming the cloud. No wonder – such a solution improves security, and is also a flexible solution, since it allows you to adapt the system to the needs of a particular industry. Quick implementation, frequent updates, economy and good integration with other Microsoft solutions are just a few advantages of the cloud version of the ERP system. The provider of the MS Dynamics 365 Business Central system is among the Big 3 cloud service providers, so today we will take a closer look at the Azure platform and the benefits it brings in the context of the ERP system’s capabilities.

Azure platform

Why Azure? The use of Microsoft’s cloud and ERP system is a natural solution for companies wishing to undergo a smooth digital transformation process. Using services and products from the same provider, in this case Microsoft, facilitates system implementation and management. A noticeable benefit here is the ease of maintaining MS Dynamics NAV or MS 365 Business Central on the Microsoft Azure platform. Such a choice allows for integration which does not require the creation of non-standard connections between different applications. Thanks to this, the entrepreneur does not have to worry about maintaining the database, which can be a problem in the case of hybrid infrastructure. 

I also mentioned that trust in cloud solutions is increasing. When it comes to this particular platform, the largest companies – we are talking here about global brands – trust Azure. According to the Fortune 500 list, as many as 95% of companies trust Azure in the context of software implementation. The most important reasons for this trust are: network security, creation of database backup and the efficiency of the solution. What are the particular benefits which it brings?

Quick configuration and lower costs

Let’s take a look at solution effectiveness first. ERP and CRM systems are expensive and their implementation requires – or rather used to require – a lot of time and effort. Currently, by choosing ERP Dynamics 365 hosted on the Azure platform, you reduce your implementation costs while increasing the efficiency of your software at the same time. Thanks to the cloud, you reduce the time that a programmer or – in the case of larger companies – even an entire team of programmers would have to spend configuring the essential, non-standard connections, so that all applications work efficiently. The cloud solution allows you to save on the costs of implementation and potential subsequent modifications.

Azure – access control

Many entrepreneurs who plan to move the ERP program to the cloud ask themselves: ‘And what about security?’, ‘Will I have control over employee access?’. Every cloud service provider is aware of how important access control is, and in the case of Microsoft we are talking about access by millions of users. According to official information, Azure Active Directory manages over 1.2 billion identities and there are 8 billion authentications processed via the platform every day.

 Azure Active Directory has built-in functionalities such as risk analysis and conditional access. Access control offers better protection of data, reports and activities when using the deployed ERP or CRM software. In Dynamics 365 Azure Active Directory the administrator assigns roles and ensures that every user has access only to the area they are entitled to see. To summarize, not only will you securely store all ERP Dynamics 365 information in the cloud, but Azure will also help you to manage the accessibility of the data.

Encryption and compliance options

As I mentioned, in the recent past many entrepreneurs in Poland were highly sceptical when it came to protecting data stored in the cloud. Questions arose such as ‘Will my data be secure?’ or ‘Does anyone have access to the data stored in the cloud? Azure Storage service addresses those doubts as it ensures data security thanks to encryption. Azure Storage encryption is similar to that used by Bitlocker functionality. The data stored in the cloud is protected in a way which is imperceptible to the user. Importantly, the encryption and compliance services also do not affect the performance of Azure Storage, and there is no additional charge for the data encryption service.

Power BI and machine learning

When running a company, it is not just the data from ERP systems which is helpful, but also the effective analysis of business data – preferably live analysis, in order to take action efficiently and effectively. Again, tested Microsoft solutions come in handy here, i.e. interactive Power BI reports. Thanks to integration with the Power BI tool, users of the Azure platform can systematically monitor the data which is relevant to the company and use the analysis of this data to develop a suitable strategy.

It is worth adding that the cloud ‘suits’ artificial intelligence. By implementing Business Central or NAV in the Azure cloud, entrepreneurs gain access to solutions based on machine learning. For instance, if analysing market trends and constantly calculating stock levels keeps you awake at night, we have good news for you. Artificial intelligence will do it for you and help to automate laborious processes which are relevant to your business.

Find out more: Cloud transformation services

Summary

Nowadays, competitiveness and new technologies drive more than just the IT market. Entrepreneurs who want to keep up with their competitors must monitor the market for new solutions such as cloud services. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central or NAV system on Azure platform is a good idea if you are considering digital transformation. This step will improve your business in multiple ways, and the Azure and Dynamics 365 functions will join forces, which will allow you to get more out of your CRM and ERP tools. Thanks to this, you will not only keep up with your competitors, but you will be one or even two steps ahead.

Are you considering migrating your infrastructure into the cloud? See how we can help!

 

Find out more: Dedicated cloud applications development

Author
Paulina Materna
She has been working in IT industry for over 13 years. In JCommerce she is responsible for sale of ERP and BI solutions, thereby advising clients the best solutions. Professionally and in private life she is interested in new technologies. She spends her spare time actively with her family.

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