Updated December 2017: Microsoft Dynamics GP is actively being SUPPORTED and SOLD
by Microsoft via authorized partners. We expect that Microsoft Dynamics GP will be supported and enhanced for many years to come. As Microsoft is starting to promote its new cloud-based Dynamics 365 ERP directly via its website, Microsoft is relying heavily on partners such as Endeavour Solutions to continue to promote and educate clients on the LONG TERM value of Dynamics GP. See below for the current product roadmap. Note: Dynamics GP 2018 was recently released on December 1 2017. Dynamics GP 2013 R2 is ending Microsoft support in spring 2018, if you have Canadian Payroll you will need to upgrade GP to GP 2015 or higher before next spring.
With GP 2018 and GP 2016R2, Microsoft has significantly improved the Web Client with a complete rewrite and redesign in HTML5, which is the modern technology that allows browser applications to automatically resize themselves on tablets and smartphones. Released in December 2017, the New Dynamics GP 2018 represents the culmination of many "user requested" functions and enhancements made over the past few years. As seen in the "what's new PDF" this recent release represents user-centric functions from 2015, 2016 and 2017/18.
Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains ERP) was recently designated as a "MATURE PRODUCT" by Microsoft, which suggests that future releases will continue to focus on smaller usability and workflow enhancements rather than large structural design changes. For an ERP system, where stability and predictability are paramount, this is a welcomed designation.
Based on Endeavour's experience internally and more recently with clients who we have helped to upgrade to Dynamics GP 2016 R2, we'd like to share the following:
1) The general consensus is that all of the ISV and 3rd party products are fully compliant with GP 2016 R2, most will be compliant with GP 2018 by Feb 2018. We suggest, if you are on GP 2010 or GP 2013, you start to plan your GP 2016 upgrade ASAP, you're now 5-6 versions behind. An added comfort is that GP 2018 is quite similar to GP 2015R2, (even the “2018: What’s New” guide references GP 2016 and GP 2015 in sections), and therefore based on Endeavour's last 36+ months working with GP 2015 and GP 2016, we know what to expect with functionality and capability. There is no need to delay in your upgrade planning and preparations.
2) Arguably the TOP reason to upgrade, is the Mature workflow capabilities that can further refine and automate your business processes. Originally released in GP 2013 R2 and enhanced in GP 2015 and GP 2016, the workflow capabilities within GP 2018 are robust and well worth exploring. In our opinion, spending the time to map out and automate your business processes Advisory Services is the best way to enhance the strategic nature and ROI of your ERP. Core workflow capabilities include a variety of e-mail based approvals where Line of Business users can approve items without going into or needing a license for GP. Cascading approval processes, time outs and exception handling have each been thought out for approval processing related to each of GP Financial, Sales, Purchasing and Inventory transactions / cards.
3) The web client is stable and functions well. As with most long term GP users, especially those who use GP every day for data entry, the thought of using the GP web client rather than the full desktop client sounds a little foreign. However, once you get past the initial learning curve and navigation (15 min. or so), the web client has been reported to be "acceptable" as it strongly mimics the desktop version with the layering of windows within the browser. It should also be noted that the web client works in Chrome, Firefox, IE 11/Edge as well as Safari for those clients with Apple Mac users. That being said, we still recommend the GP desktop client for every-day use, and leverage the web client for ad-hoc inquiries, quick inquiry access on evenings and weekends, or for mobile access while outside of the office.
4) Tablet and mobile access is also good
and is getting our team’s creative juices flowing for potential new business scenarios. However, using dedicated mobile applications such as SalesPad Mobile
, or Dynamics 365 for Sales - CRM
, or web forms connected via SmartConnect for Dynamics GP
may alleviate the need for purchasing additional full GP licenses for an extended group of mobile users.
Image above – GP 2016 R2 on an iPad: Customer Screen, Smartlist in background above the desktop.
5) Within GP 2018, there are new All-In-One viewers
See a GP 2016 demo at www.endeavoursolutions.ca/dynamicsvideos
for Sales Management and Inventory Management. These new All-in-One viewers complement the Purchasing All-in-One viewer released with GP 2015 R2. Generally, viewers make it easier to view the documents related to a given transaction, without the aggravation of having to drill down into multiple documents and screens.
6) From a technical perspective,
out Endeavour technical team looked at the new Systems Requirements for GP 2018.
Two items to highlight:
There are numerous new SQL Server 2016 database, virtual machine and hybrid cloud options available for GP 2016 & GP 2018, many of which are worth evaluating as part of your future upgrade plans; and,
Microsoft Office 2010 is no longer supported, so this may be a great time to consider the new Office 365 Enterprise cloud and desktop applications. Endeavour Office 365
Management Reporter (MR2012 CU16) is still being updated with its most recent update being released March 2017 - to include a variety of fixes including support for GP 2016 Dexterity Shared Components and a variety of new fixes / cumulative updates.
Windows 7 is no longer supported.