Microsoft Dynamics GP has been the mid-sized business market's ERP workhorse for more than 30 years. During that time, Microsoft focused its efforts and innovation on ensuring that Dynamics GP has remained at the top of its game.
But times have changed, technology has advanced, and Microsoft is now investing its research and improvements in Microsoft Dynamics 365 BC (Business Central) as their core cloud product for mid-market accounting organizations.
If you are currently using Microsoft Dynamics GP and loving what it does, you will probably face a choice of upgrading to Dynamics 365BC, either now or in the future. This post will provide the information you need to help you make that decision.
The first thing you'll want to know is that Microsoft is not abandoning Dynamics GP users. They will continue to support the solution for a while longer. If your Dynamics GP system works well for you, if you have customized it and invested in training for your GP users, you may not want to switch now. But should you wait until that becomes your only alternative? You don't have to decide right now, but being prepared can only benefit your organization when the time comes to make a move.
Understanding Microsoft's Dynamics GP present policy and its plans for the future will help you work out your long-term business plan.
Dynamics GP supported through 2024
Microsoft has affirmed that it will support Dynamics GP with thrice-yearly releases through 2024. Because it is such a popular solution with many users, they will likely continue to support the product to some extent, even beyond that date. The thrice-yearly releases will include security enhancements, Intelligent Edge enhancements, and new features requested by the Dynamics GP user community.
New features in the October 2020 GP release included:
- Full financial reconciliation automation
- Copy and pasting purchasing transactions directly from Excel to GP's Payables transaction window
- More user-requested fields in GL transactions
- The ability to import and export stock counts to Excel
- Improved credit card transaction importing
- Enhanced multi-factor authentication
Microsoft has instituted a Modern Lifecycle policy for many of their products, such as Office 365, Dynamics 365 BC, and Power BI. That policy guarantees that users will have continuous support, including new features and enhancements, tax updates, and bug fixes if they install at least one of the three GP updates offered each year. Microsoft has scheduled new GP releases every year in June, October, and November through 2024.
What about Dynamics GP and the Cloud?
Dynamics has been around since long before cloud computing became a viable alternative to on-premise ERP implementations. It is true that GP can be adapted and hosted in the cloud and accessed with a web server, but that is not how it was designed. Microsoft does not plan to make Dynamics GP a bona fide cloud product; it will never be a true SaaS or multi-tenant solution.
Dynamics GP users who want to extend their capabilities without abandoning the GP platform have several options, including hosting GP in the cloud and leveraging Microsoft's Intelligent Edge capability. Intelligent Edge allows Dynamics GP users to access an instance of Business Central's Power Platform. Power Platform is a suite of products bringing artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and rapid app development to non-technical users.
You have some time but think about your future.
The crux of the matter is that you don't have to decide right now, but you will have to make a decision within the next few years. There's an argument for making your decision sooner rather than later. Businesses looking to grow and expand their capabilities will want to take advantage of the latest technology and make full use of the cloud. To access all the innovative technology and features Microsoft is rolling out, you will need to move from Microsoft Dynamics GP to
With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central being the natural path into the future for Dynamics GP customers, this is an ideal time to
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