Microsoft's focus in recent years has been directed towards Dynamics 365, their business management suite designed to unify all business areas through connected applications. However, legacy products such as Dynamics GP are still widely used and trusted by many organizations to provide a strong backbone for their financials. Given this shift in focus, it can be hard to understand the current state of affairs for Dynamics GP. This blog post will clear up some of the confusion that surrounds the future of Dynamics GP.
What is Dynamics GP?
Microsoft Dynamics GP is a standalone ERP system designed for small-to-medium sized businesses. Once called Great Plains, it has been offered by Microsoft since the early 2000s. Its core features include financial management and accounting, inventory management, operations, sales, service, HR, payroll, and reporting. Having been in the market for many years, it has built up a trusted following as a reliable ERP system that can support the long-term growth of companies.
What is Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 is offered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product. It is a cloud business management suite that merges both ERP and CRM capabilities through purpose-built applications. These applications include Finance & Operations, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service Automation, Retail, and Talent. An advantage of Dynamics 365 is its deployment model. Each application is designed to be deployed independently, letting companies buy only the modules they need and adding additional ones as needed. The combination of these applications provides a full end-to-end solution that covers a wide variety of business functions and roles that extend beyond simply ERP.
Microsoft has also released Business Central: a cloud ERP suited for small-to-medium sized (SMB) companies. This software offers SMB companies a single comprehensive solution for managing their finances, supply chain, customers, employees, and projects. It provides a refreshed and modern user experience that makes the system intuitive and easy to use. There are two versions of Business Central: Essentials and Premium. Essentials covers Financial Management, CRM functions, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, and Project Management. Premium extends functionality for Service Order Management and Manufacturing.
Like Dynamics GP, Dynamics 365 contains integration with Office 365, SharePoint, Outlook, and Power BI. However, it also comes with PowerApps and Flow. PowerApps lets companies build their own applications with tools that do not require code, thus allowing for applications tailored to unique business processes. Flow is a workflow automation tool that lets companies integrate Dynamics 365 with outside services and applications as well as automate processes and repetitive tasks.
What does Microsoft's focus on Dynamics 365 mean for me?
Despite Microsoft's heavy focus on Dynamics 365, Dynamics GP remains a strong ERP system that will continue to be supported. No matter which version of Dynamics GP you are using, there are plenty of support options to meet your needs. Working with a partner has the advantage of obtaining support from a company who knows the software inside and out. Rand Group is an experienced GP partner that has assisted companies for many years with supporting the health of their systems and attaining their organizational goals. Rand Group also hosts Dynamics 101, a knowledge center dedicated to training for Dynamics products, including CPA certification courses.
The latest version of GP is Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 R2. If you are running on any of the earlier versions, Rand Group can assist you in upgrading your system. If you are interested in Dynamics 365, it would require a new implementation as there is no upgrade path directly from Dynamics GP. We can help you decide if undertaking a switch to Dynamics 365 would benefit your business. Contact a support representative today for more information.