The Future of Business Central: Key takeaways from Directions

The Future of Business Central: Key takeaways from Directions

Recently, K3 had the pleasure of attending the latest instalment of Directions in Milan to learn about the future of Business Central.

Directions is an independent conference that focuses on Dynamics 365 Business Central partners. After a prolonged break due to the pandemic, it finally returned with a bang.  

It’s considered a must-attend event for anybody wanting to stay in the loop with Business Central, share knowledge with other Dynamics experts or forge new, long-lasting partnerships.  

The K3 team had a fantastic time connecting with all our partners at Directions and it was great to have our very own Aly Breeman, Product Manager K3|pebblestone, representing women in technology there as well. 

“It was a perfect opportunity to catch up with many of our partners and to explore new opportunities with potential partners,” said Gintautus Petkevicius, Solution Architect at K3.  

“Being able to meet them all in one location in combination with all the great presentations on Business Central made it well worth the trip!”  

In case you were unable to attend, we’ve detailed some of the highlights and key takeaways from Directions below.  

Microsoft is bullish on Business Central  

Since Direction’s last outing, Business Central has experienced tremendous growth.  

In fact, the number of partners selling the ERP solution has more than doubled from 1,400 to 3,300+.  

Perhaps even more astoundingly, the number of customers using the product has increased tenfold – rising from 2,000 to more than 20,000 – highlighting just how widely adopted it is.  

Even Charles Lamanna, Corporate VP Business Apps & Platform at Microsoft, said: 

“Business Central has been growing quickly… far above our expectations.” 

And it isn’t hard to see why. 

Business revolves around collaboration. Without it, it’s incredibly difficult for any company to thrive.  And, of course, one of Microsoft’s most-used products – Teams – is widely regarded as the collaboration platform.

Business Central is an ERP solution that fully integrates all processes with Teams to create a truly unique offering. It doesn’t matter whether technicians need to exchange information, or if consultants need to organise a customer project, because Business Central is primed for collaboration due to its integrations with Teams, the Power Platform, Microsoft 365 and now Microsoft Viva.  

Given all this, the ERP’s recent success really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.  

Business Central is a SaaS powerhouse  

Business Central is quickly becoming a worldwide SaaS powerhouse with businesses using the ERP solution in more than 70 countries.

To further add value to its offering, Microsoft has been hard at work developing a new onboarding framework with quick views and a guided overview to drastically simplify the experience for users.  

This will help them understand key features at a quick glance and become productive even faster than before.  

Additionally, Microsoft software engineer Rayner Vaz and architect Christian Heide Damm took to the stage to explain how Business Central SaaS no longer has a hard limit on user numbers, sessions, transactions or database sizes.  

It is believed these changes will make the ERP ideal for businesses with many users tasked with completing an abundance of entries and sales orders.  

But that wasn’t all that was announced…  

The future of Business Central  

Amongst the myriad presentations at Directions, Mike Morton, General Manager for D365 Business Central, shared some insight into the future of the ERP:   

Simplified UX:

Microsoft aims to make its ERP the easiest-to-use business application in the world. The new onboarding framework helps ISVs by reducing time spent on each customer and allows them to enter data quickly without impacting the system.  

Connectivity:

Business Central is already fully integrated with the entire 365 stack; however, from Q1 2022, it will also integrate with Shopify. This will help bring a seamless synchronisation of data between the ERP and eCommerce store. Microsoft plans to continue investing heavily in connectivity in the coming months. 

AI-driven:

Microsoft also plans to double down on Artificial Intelligence. It wants to develop new methods for businesses to receive intelligence – be that big data from the wider world or information coming from customers – to make them more actionable, efficient and profitable in an increasingly automated world. 

Needless to say, Directions 2021 was an incredibly successful event. If you missed it this time, make sure to register for next year!