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LS Retail | 10 January 2019

LS Central and the hybrid cloud: a roadmap to the future

LS Central and the hybrid cloud: a roadmap to the future
LS Central (formerly known as LS Nav), our unified commerce management system for retail and hospitality, was recently released on a new platform: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft’s newest ERP offering and the latest incarnation of popular ERP system Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Business Central has a lot in common with Dynamics NAV. The application code is the same, and all of the essential features that Dynamics NAV users are familiar with are still there. On the other hand, Business Central also has the cloud in its DNA, and seamlessly integrates to all the services in the Dynamics cloud.

An evolution, not a revolution

LS Central opens up exciting new options for users, while also being a logical continuation of LS Nav.

A familiar environment…

LS Central has the same codebase, functionality and business environment as LS Nav 2018. If you are familiar with LS Nav, you will find yourself at home with this new version. And as this is, essentially, a new version of LS Nav, upgrading from earlier versions of LS Nav requires the same amount of effort as moving say, from LS Nav 11.04 to LS Nav 11.05. To maintain your customizations to the system, you just need to ensure that your add-ons have all been built using the events and extensions technology.

…plus the power of the intelligent cloud

While maintaining continuity, LS Central also brings new possibilities to the table. For starters, users get total integration with other products in the Microsoft cloud. This means you can tap onto Microsoft’s cloud investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and use services such as Office 365, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Power BI to boost your forecasting ability, improve productivity, deliver personalized recommendations, and get business insights.

Multiple deployment options

With LS Central, you have more deployment options than ever before. The system can be run on premises, as software as a service (SaaS) in the Dynamics 365 cloud, or as a hybrid solution.

1. On-premises: flexibility and resilience

The on-premises version of LS Central is very similar to what you are used to with LS Nav. Despite the name, it can be deployed either on-premises or in a private cloud. In-store, you can choose if you want to run online POS devices, standalone (offline) POS, or both. You also have the freedom to decide to purchase a perpetual license, or a subscription.

This version of LS Central is already available worldwide. If you want to upgrade to the latest technology, this is the version you should choose. You get the familiar LS Nav environment and functionality – plus, you can easily move on to the other versions of LS Central when they become available.

2. SaaS, in Dynamics 365: innovation in the cloud

This version runs in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud, and is available as Software as Service. It works exclusively with online Point of Sale terminals. It is already available for the US, Denmark and Germany, and it will be released in more geographies in the upcoming months. Although your country may not already be on the roadmap for LS Central as SaaS, there is no need to stay stuck on old technology while you wait for the system to become available. Our advice? Buy a new LS Central on-premises subscription license now. You will be able to upgrade – easily! – to LS Central as SaaS as soon as it becomes available in your country. In order to simplify the transition later on, always use the events and extensions technology for your add-ons and customizations.

3. The hybrid model: combining innovation and resilience

In later releases, we will introduce a hybrid deployment option for LS Central. The hybrid model gives you the benefits of the cloud, while also enabling you to maintain the resilience and in-store up-time that you are used to.

Innovation in the cloud

As the system is hosted in the Dynamics 365 cloud, you don’t have to worry about security issues, updates, maintenance or management: Microsoft takes care of it. On top of that, your business can take advantage of all the services in the Dynamics 365 intelligent cloud.

… and resilience offline

With the hybrid model, you can host your system in the cloud while also running standalone store servers. This means that your business won’t be affected by sudden losses of connectivity. You also get the freedom to decide whether you want to run online POS, offline POS, or a mix of the two. The hybrid version of LS Central promises exciting opportunities – but there is no need to sit on outdated technology while you wait for its release. You can take a first step to the future now, with an LS Central on-premises subscription license. Make sure you always use the events and extension technology for your customizations and add-ons, and you will be able to easily upgrade to the hybrid version as soon as it becomes available in your country.   We believe that finding the right mix of on-premises and cloud applications for your organization will be the key to competitive differentiation and success. With LS Central, you can do just that.

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