December 16, 2020
The Microsoft Dynamics GP Roadmap and what it means for your business
If you are a Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains Software) user, you have probably wondered whether to stay on Dynamics GP or to migrate to a new ERP.
The good news is Dynamics GP will be around for a while, so, if you have invested significant time, training, and customizations into your GP implementation, or if you are unsure which direction to take at this time, there is nothing you must do right away.
However, you will have to make a decision at some point because there will come a time where GP is no longer viable. Now is a good time to take a look the GP roadmap to see where it is now and where it is going to determine whether or not it will continue to work for your long-term business plans.
What Microsoft Is Saying: Dynamics GP Will Be Around Through 2024
Microsoft has committed to supporting Dynamics GP with three releases every year through 2024, and it is likely they will continue to support the product beyond that. These three releases will consist of security enhancements, additional features, Intelligent Edge enhancements, and top features requested by the user community.
For example, some of the new feature highlights introduced in the latest GP release last October include:
- Automating a full financial reconciliation
- Copy and paste purchasing transactions into the Payables transaction window from Excel
- Additional user-defined fields in the GL transaction entries
- Import/Export stock counts to Excel
- Importing credit card transactions
- Support for multi-factor authentication
Beginning with the October 2019 release, all versions of Dynamics GP will follow Microsoft’s Modern Lifecycle Support Policy. Microsoft uses the Modern Lifecycle policy for many of their other products as well, such as Microsoft (Office) 365, Dynamics 365 Business Central, and Power BI. The Modern Lifecycle Support policy ensures customers receive continuous support, including new features and enhancements, tax updates, and bug fixes, as long as users install at least one of the three GP updates every year. New GP releases are scheduled to occur in June, October, and November/December through 2024.
But GP Is Not Designed For The Cloud—Nor Will It Ever Be
One thing GP users should know: Although GP can be hosted in the cloud and accessed with a web server, it is not designed to be run in the cloud. Microsoft’s roadmap for GP does not include enhancements to make GP a true cloud product, meaning it will not be a true SaaS, or multi-tenant, product.
GP users looking to expand their capabilities without migrating off the GP platform can look at several options, including hosting GP in the cloud and leveraging Microsoft’s Intelligent Edge capabilities. Intelligent Edge allows GP users to connect to an instance of Business Central that will allow them access to the Power Platform, a suite of products that brings artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and rapid app development into the hands of non-technical users.
The Bottom Line: GP Is Okay For Now, But What About the Future?
As you can see, Microsoft has committed to supporting Dynamics GP for the next few years. But if you want to expand your capabilities, grow your organization, take full advantage of the cloud and other current technology, now is the time to look for other options. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central being the natural path into the future for Dynamics GP customers, why wouldn't you speak with the Business Central experts at ArcherPoint? Contact us for a personalized demonstration
of Business Central.