Navigating The Dynamics SL End of Life: The Road Ahead Amid Extended Mainstream Support

The Dynamics SL End of Life is here. Let's assess your specific needs and identify gaps in the proposed solutions.

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    The Dynamics SL End of Life is a subject that has gained significant attention in the ERP industry. Dynamics SL is slated to end mainstream support in January 2024. The pressing issue of transitioning to newer, more agile systems is at the forefront of this support end. This blog aims to provide an in-depth discussion of what these new developments mean for your business and how to prepare for the inevitable transition.

    Why is Microsoft Phasing Out Dynamics SL?

    Microsoft is investing heavily in new technologies, with a focus on cloud-based solutions like Dynamics 365, which offer more features, scalability, and security than their older counterparts. Phasing out older software like Dynamics SL enables Microsoft to concentrate its resources on pushing the boundaries of what modern ERP solutions can offer. This shift aligns with the industry-wide move toward digital transformation, IoT, and real-time data analytics.

    A Closer Look at the New Support Timeline

    Microsoft managers have outlined the extended roadmap for Dynamics SL, which now includes three more cumulative updates to SL 2018. The end date for extended support, however, remains unchanged at July 11, 2028. Post-mainstream support, only security patches will be provided—no year-end updates after 2024 will be available. That said, existing customers can still buy new users or modules during the extended support period.

    Planned Updates Before Mainstream Support Ends:

    **CU11 (December 2023)**: Will provide the last round of year-end updates.

    Implications for Existing Dynamics SL Users

    While the extension in mainstream support is a relief, it’s essential to understand that the clock is still ticking. Companies need to consider the risks associated with running End of Life software, including security vulnerabilities, compliance issues, and operational inefficiencies.

    Security Risks and Compliance

    During the extended support period, Microsoft will only release security patches. While this addresses some concerns, it leaves the system susceptible to new types of attacks and challenges in adhering to industry-specific compliance regulations.

    Operational Inefficiency

    While Microsoft continues to patch issues in Dynamics SL, no new features are being added. This limitation can make your business fall behind in a market where real-time analytics, AI-driven decision-making, and cloud-based solutions are rapidly becoming the norm. 

    Migration Options: The Focus on Dynamics 365 Business Central

    Microsoft has recommended Dynamics 365 Business Central as the path forward, offering a new promotion, “Bridge to the Cloud 2,” to facilitate this transition. This promotion provides a 40% discount for three years, along with dual access rights, allowing you to continue using your on-premise system while taking advantage of the cloud-based solution. This offer is only good until the end of the year.

    Read on for more information on taking advantage of this Dynamics 365 Business Central license offer.

    Project-Centric Capabilities: A Point of Concern

    During the Community Summit this year, attendees raised concerns about Business Central’s project-centric capabilities, which don’t fully align with what Dynamics SL offers. Microsoft acknowledged these gaps, recommending an ISV solution atop Business Central for areas like field service and project management. The solution is Progressus and focuses on allowing SL users to migrate to Dynamics 365 Business Central with similar and enhanced project capabilities than Dynamics SL. More information about Progressus can be found here: Project Accounting Software – Progressus Software 

    Integration Capabilities

    One of the essential aspects brought up during the summit was the difference in integration options between Dynamics SL and Business Central. The shift to a modern ERP might require companies to rethink how they bring third-party data into the system, which could necessitate additional training and a potential overhaul of existing workflows. 

    SL Overlay Solution for Business Central

    Velosio has also developed an SL overlay solution for Business Central designed to make the transition smoother. This overlay provides familiar functions, terminology, and reports for existing Dynamics SL users, making it easier to adapt to the new system. More information about these solutions can be found here: SL Overlay – Plumbline Consulting 

    Final Thoughts and Next Steps

    The Dynamics SL End of Life is inevitable in January 2024. The focus now should be on assessing your specific needs, the gaps in the proposed solutions, and how best to fill those gaps. Whether it’s through taking advantage of promotions like “Bridge to the Cloud 2” or looking into ISV solutions that can sit atop Dynamics 365 Business Central, the goal is to prepare for a future that’s more secure, efficient, and aligned with modern business requirements. 

    By understanding the implications of the extended support timeline and Microsoft’s proposed migration paths, companies can make informed decisions that not only mitigate risks but also position them for long-term success in the evolving digital landscape. 

    Pathway by Velosio

    Velosio’s Pathway program offers a comprehensive solution for migrating from legacy systems to modern, cloud-based ERP solutions. It is designed as a step-by-step journey to guide businesses from the limitations of systems like Microsoft Dynamics GP and SL to advanced cloud-based ERP platforms like Dynamics 365 Business Central and Progressus. The program addresses various challenges, such as technological limitations, scalability concerns, security risks, and the need for mobility and remote work capabilities​. 

    Key offerings of the Pathway Program Include: 

    • Seamless transition to cloud-based solutions while retaining essential project-centric features​​. 
    • Solutions to end-of-life issues for Dynamics GP and SL, with support ending in 2028​​. 
    • Addressing challenges like change management and adoption of new products​​. 

    The Pathway program provides multiple migration options tailored to specific business needs, including staying within the Microsoft ecosystem with Dynamics 365 Business Central, combining it with Progressus for project accounting excellence, or opting for Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations for enterprise-level power. Additionally, there’s the option to “Lift & Shift” onto Azure for cloud security without system change, or move to another cloud-based ERP like Oracle NetSuite​. 

    Complete the form on the pathway page to speak to our migration specialists or email