As an Account Executive for Encore Business Solutions, one of my favorite things to do is meet with my clients. Fortunately, I have the chance to chat with my Dynamics GP clients on a daily basis. During my calls, I get asked numerous questions about the current and future state of Dynamics GP, as well as what Dynamics 365 Business Central is and options going forward. In this blog, I discuss the top 5 questions I receive (plus one bonus question!) with some answers and links to other resources to help navigate the future of Dynamics GP.
If you’d like to skip ahead to a certain question, click on one of the questions below:
- Has Microsoft announced plans to sunset Dynamics GP?
- What is the Modern Lifecycle Policy and what does that mean for Dynamics GP?
- Is Microsoft still adding features to Dynamics GP?
- We’ve heard a lot about Dynamics 365 Business Central. Are there similarities between Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central?
- We’re trying to decide between staying on Dynamics GP or moving to Dynamics 365 Business Central – what are our options?
- How can Encore help us?
1. Has Microsoft announced plans to sunset Dynamics GP?
The answer is no. Microsoft has not announced plans to sunset Dynamics GP. If you’re currently on a supported version of Dynamics GP through version 2018 R2, you’re on the older support lifecycle during which you have Mainstream Support for five years followed by Extended Support for an additional five years. For example, if you’ve recently upgraded to Dynamics GP 2018 R2, you will receive mainstream support for the product through 1/10/2023 followed by extended support until 1/11/2028.
However, if you’ve upgraded to the most recent version of Dynamics GP, you’re now on the Modern Support Lifecycle. With this policy, there is no Mainstream Support followed by Extended Support for an additional five years, which brings me to another question I’m frequently asked.
2. What is the Modern Lifecycle Policy and what does that mean for Dynamics GP?
Microsoft made the decision to move Dynamics GP to its Modern Lifecycle Policy like most of its other products, including Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations.
With this new support policy, each year you’re guaranteed at a minimum:
- A feature update in October that includes new features
- Year-end updates in November (US) and December (Canada)
- Mid-year update (typically in June/July timeframe) depending on regulatory changes for the year
In addition, there may be hotfixes released throughout the year and with each of the releases there will be continual quality fixes for each update.
With this policy, we encourage clients to stay current and apply at least one update per year, if possible. We will continue to support our clients regardless of whether clients choose to update. However, if a client does run into an issue that was fixed in a prior update, the customer will need to apply the latest patch to receive the fix, according to Microsoft.
3. Is Microsoft still adding features to Dynamics GP?
Yes, Microsoft is continuing to add features to Dynamics GP based on information received from end users. Dynamics GP users then have the opportunity to vote on the feature suggestions or suggest one of their own.
4. We’ve heard a lot about Dynamics 365 Business Central. Are there similarities between Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central?
Yes, there are similarities between Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central! Although I want to point out that Dynamics 365 Business Central is a different solution from GP, so your company would be transitioning from one solution to the other. I discuss what Dynamics GP user’s options are going forward further in this article.
Dynamics 365 Business Central is Microsoft’s next generation solution and it’s more than an ERP solution. The interface is similar to Dynamics GP and it seamlessly integrates with Office 365 (Microsoft 365). From a hosting perspective, you can choose between having Business Central in the Microsoft Azure Cloud or on-premises. In Business Central, there are many Dynamics GP features and functions that you know and trust. See our infographic for more information of features gained in Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Here are a few articles that show how to do some functions in Dynamics 365 Business Central if you’re used to doing them in Dynamics GP:
- How to See Outstanding Receivables in Dynamics 365 Business Central (If You’re Used to GP)
- How to Create a New Account in Dynamics 365 Business Central (If You’re Used to GP)
- How to Do a Journal Entry in Dynamics 365 Business Central (If You’re Used to GP)
- How to Run a Trial Balance and Aging Reports in Dynamics 365 Business Central
- How to Easily Import Data into Dynamics 365 Business Central
- Introduction to the Fixed Asset Module in Dynamics 365 Business Central
- How to Process AP Cheque/EFT Payments in Dynamics 365 Business Central
If you’d like to see a comparison article between the two solutions, read our Dynamics GP vs. Dynamics 365 Business Central article.
I also want to share some links of our recorded webinars that discuss Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- Dynamics 365 Business Central Overview – This is an overview and a high-level demo of Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- Showcase of Dynamics GP Processes in Dynamics 365 Business Central – Our team members show some of your everyday Dynamics GP processes in Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- Dynamics 365 Business Central | Next Level Functionality – In this webinar, you will see an overview of and processes within sales, inventory management, and procurement.
- How to do Common Dynamics GP Processes in Dynamics 365 Business Central – Many topics are shown in these two recorded webinars! See how to do common Dynamics GP processes in Dynamics 365 Business Central.
5. We’re trying to decide between staying on Dynamics GP or moving to Dynamics 365 Business Central – what are our options?
We’ve worked with clients who have transitioned from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central and continue to help clients evaluate whether they should stay on Dynamics GP or make the transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central. Here are your options:
1. Stay where you are on GP and renew your BREP
- If you love Dynamics GP, we are here to support you. Our recommendation is to make sure that you remain on a current version of the software as this helps to reduce support costs.
- Continue to get access to upgrades and updates, access to CustomerSource, technical support, a knowledge base, and more.
2. Stay on-premises by:
Upgrading to the latest release of Dynamics GP with the Intelligent Cloud
- If you’re on a current version of Dynamics GP, you have the ability to add Intelligent Cloud, which takes your data and replicates it in a read only Business Central environment.
- This option allows you to try out Cloud benefits without transitioning your whole system.
- By staying on-premises, you’ll need to manage software upgrades and infrastructure.
Transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central
- By staying on-premises, you’ll need to manage software upgrades and infrastructure.
- This will require a similar amount of investment as transitioning to Business Central in the Cloud.
3. Transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central in the Cloud
- This creates the greatest savings and other benefits over the long-term.
- No future software upgrades and better management of infrastructure.
- Combines disconnected systems through one seamless integration with Outlook, Teams, and Power Platform.
- Enables real-time data and business analytics to generate actionable insights.
- Security and governance, as well as back-up and recovery.
6. How can Encore help us?
As your partner, Encore is here to support your business’s technology. If you stay on Dynamics GP, we have an entire GP team here to support you. If you’re looking at transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central, we can start the planning process and discuss what that means for your organization. Either way, you have a team of experts at Encore that are here to help and support you in your ERP path going forward.
No matter what ERP path you choose right now, we recommend scheduling a meeting with your Account Manager to create an ERP roadmap for your organization and plan what the future looks like over the next one, three, and five years.
We know there are a lot more questions about the future of Dynamics GP and whether Dynamics 365 Business Central is the right solution for your organization. We’re here to help guide you and answer your questions as you decide what the best move is for your organization. If you would like more information regarding which solution is right for your business please contact us.
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