Turn Your Aging Hardware into an Opportunity to Modernize Your ERP Platform

April 29, 2024 Amanda Sherry

While hardware approaching end-of-warranty status presents a challenge, it also signals an opportunity to modernize your IT environment. That’s exactly how Collins Equipment viewed the situation, and the company seized on the chance to upgrade and migrate its ERP platform to the cloud. 

At the time, Collins Equipment ran daily operations on an on-premises version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. With the server’s warranty about to expire, the company’s IT support firm suggested moving the ERP platform to the cloud rather than buying a new server to run on-premises. 

The Appeal of Moving to the Cloud 

With NAV working well for a long time, replacing the system and moving to the cloud had not been on the technology roadmap. However, as senior management considered the transformation, the idea made perfect sense.  

Moving to the cloud would enable Collins Equipment to upgrade to a modern ERP platform. The business would also benefit from the regular updates that software vendors provide for cloud solutions. As Collins Equipment searched for possible ERP solutions in the cloud, they turned to Western Computer for help.  

We recommended Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud since the look and feel of the software is similar to NAV, and Business Central streamlines many ERP functions by adding capabilities that older versions of NAV do not provide. We configured Business Central and then migrated the data from NAV during a weekend, so Collins Equipment did not need to shut down the ERP system. 

Customer Success Story: Collins Equipment

Training Smooths Transition to New ERP Platform 

A key reason for the smooth transition to Business Central was the training we provided to the Collins Equipment team in advance of the cutover. This also provided the benefit of a broader use of ERP capabilities that the Collins Equipment staff now applies.  

Going through the training sessions on a modern ERP platform helped users realize just how many functions Business Central has to take advantage of. This enabled Collins Equipment to improve workflows across the entire business. 

Benefits for Multiple Business Units 

Business Central is now providing benefits to many business units within Collins Equipment. The sales team, for example, tracks customer contacts and saves multiple contacts and ship-to addresses for each customer. They can also rely on Business Central to manage the entire sales cycle—from quotes to orders, invoices and installations. 

The accounting team easily tracks customer and vendor invoice status as well as the status of purchase orders. Business Central automatically converts sales orders into invoices and vendor purchase orders. And when a vendor invoice arrives and gets posted, Business Central checks to see if the customer has paid. 

In the field, Business Central automatically creates work orders from sales orders for technicians, providing them with details for each job. Once a job is completed, the technicians fill out the work order and send it back as an attachment for invoicing. 

A Trusted Partner to Guide Technology Decisions 

Then there are the cloud benefits from the IT perspective. Running in a data center hosted by Microsoft, the sensitive information and digital assets Collins Equipment handles are more secure from potential ransomware and malware attacks. Microsoft also rolls out new features for Business Central every six months, so Collins Equipment can benefit from new features and expanded capabilities. 

“When making a major investment—like migrating our ERP platform to the cloud—it was critical to do our due diligence in finding a cost-effective solution,” says Kaileigh Strizzi, who manages business development for Collins Equipment. “We received quotes from multiple solution providers and felt most comfortable selecting Western Computer as our implementation partner. We have collaborated with them for many years and trust them to guide us in our decisions to ensure technology drives the success of our business.” 

To learn more about how Collins Equipment modernized its ERP environment by deploying Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud, check out the complete success story. And to find out how Western Computer can deliver the same benefits to your company, contact us today. 

About the Author

Amanda Sherry

As Director of Marketing at Western Computer, Amanda Sherry brings a wealth of knowledge from her nine-year tenure in the Microsoft Dynamics space. A seasoned professional who has worked extensively on the partner side, Amanda offers insights into Microsoft Dynamics applications' transformative impact on businesses.

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