Is the once-adopted definition of modern ERP systems still relevant? Has the dynamic development of technology caused IT tools to transcend frameworks and definitions? Microsoft seems to recognize the limitations associated with the term "ERP system," which is why Dynamics 365 Business Central is increasingly referred to as a "business application." Forrester also suggests that the concept of ERP seems too narrow for modern systems, presenting the concept of the Digital Operations Platform. Let's take a closer look at the capabilities of modern IT tools and consider why Business Central is more than just an ERP system.

Digital Operations Platform, or next-generation ERP

We previously discussed the concept of DOP presented by Forrester. In short, Forrester analysts concluded that traditional ERP systems—especially those on on-premises infrastructure—cannot keep pace with the progress and dynamics of business changes, hence becoming insufficient for companies aiming to build a competitive edge. Forrester introduced the concept of next-generation ERP—Digital Operations Platform. Its main principles include a flexible architecture based on services and loose coupling of individual modules. Emphasis is primarily placed on cloud solutions. The essence of the DOP concept is a creative approach and giving users greater control over system management. Business Central seems to fit perfectly into these assumptions. Therefore, Microsoft is also moving away from the term "ERP" and increasingly referring to its system as a business application.

Integrations and unlimited expansion possibilities

One of the key elements that distinguish Dynamics 365 Business Central is its ability to integrate with other Microsoft solutions. This allows users to utilize a full range of tools and applications that not only align but also complement each other. This means that a company can manage its business processes, both internal and external, using one comprehensive solution. An example is the integration of Business Central with Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Users have access to data from Business Central and can perform operations directly from Teams or Outlook, without switching between systems. This makes project management, customer communication, and teamwork more seamless and efficient. Additionally, there are extensive automation capabilities thanks to Power Automate tools. Add to that individual customizations that allow for perfect alignment with a company's specific needs or low-code applications created using Power Apps, and it turns out that Microsoft provides us with all the tools necessary for efficient management of a modern company, with essentially our imagination being the only limitation.

Microsoft embraces artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence in 2023 was prevalent in all cases. Today, it's hard to imagine a modern IT solution that doesn't leverage its benefits. The same goes for Dynamics 365 Business Central. Artificial intelligence allows companies to automate many processes and make more accurate business decisions. With AI, the system can analyze vast amounts of data, detect patterns, and forecast trends, which is extremely valuable for making strategic decisions.

Updates you aren't even aware of

You probably use many different applications on your smartphone. But do you know when they update? Usually, changes are made automatically, without the user's knowledge—you only find out about them after opening the application and noticing changes or new features. It's similar with Business Central in the cloud version. While Microsoft still adheres to two major update waves per year, smaller modifications and enhancements are introduced every month. All to ensure that users always have access to the latest solutions, and working in the application is even more convenient and faster. Just like in the smartphone apps we all use every day.

As you can see, Dynamics 365 Business Central is not just a tool for managing data and processes. The solution has long outgrown the boundaries of what is traditionally referred to as an "ERP system." It's a platform that promotes innovation and sets trends in the field of business technology. Thanks to its advanced approach to data management and AI utilization, Business Central enables companies to use data in innovative ways and create new business strategies.