Microsoft Dynamics GP Background

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a mid-market business accounting or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that stores data using Microsoft SQL Server. The application is written in Dexterity and is one of the four accounting packages under the familiar brand name, Microsoft Dynamics. 
The solution was developed in 1993 by an independent software company, Great Plains Software, hence the abbreviation GP. Microsoft purchased the company in 2001.  

What is the Future of Microsoft Dynamics GP? 

Microsoft announced the termination of their support for the program by 2025. This news came as a shock to most small and mid-sized businesses running Dynamics GP. 
The program is expected to be active until 2028. Microsoft will continue to offer support after the termination for a period of 2-5 years. David Cervelli, I/T strategist from Strategic Systems Group, remarks, “The period Microsoft is offering is pretty long within the I/T world.” Microsoft has been providing support to the program; however, the releases have not been significant over the past few years. 
Microsoft plans to continue with the standard client support. However, after 2028, a new type of support will kick in, known as Modern Life Cycle Policy. However, Microsoft is yet to move all its users to the new support model.  

Can I continue using Microsoft Dynamics GP after its termination? 

Users have the option of sticking to Dynamics GP as long as they advance install the periodic updates. You will have to plan for your Dynamics GP environment and third-party tools. The level of effort required depends on the level of customization you want to carry forward. You may also have to test your processes one or two times to confirm that the upgrade is successful. The upgrade may end up catching bad data which can be a barrier to the process. It is prudent to plan for data scrubbing and testing upgrades before going live. You may also need to upgrade all the third-party tools installed integrated with your Microsoft Dynamics GP installation. 

Is it possible to transfer Microsoft Dynamics GP to a public or private cloud? 

More people are transitioning from hardware storage to the cloud for mass data storage. Microsoft Dynamics GP is an on-premises application; however, you can have someone host it for you on a cloud service. There are quite a number of options to explore; however, the software is not a cloud application like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? 

Users have the option of migrating from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central. Microsoft offers a Bridge to the Cloud Promotion, which allows for concurrent use of Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central for four years. In addition, licenses are sold on a monthly subscription basis as opposed to annual renewals. 
David Cervelli added, “The main problem lies in systems synchronization. The more you try to synchronize systems, the harder it gets.” There is a great tool that users can use to migrate all their data from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central. It is possible to selectively migrate companies from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central. You may have a scenario where one company moves to Business Central while the rest are still in GP. However, Dynamics GP users should not treat this as an upgrade, but rather an implementation. Business Central is a different application that behaves differently yet is as intuitive as GP. 
Since Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud application, it may take some time to understand its operation. It is not an on-premise application like Dynamics GP. Before making the transition, in is essential to understand how cloud-based applications work. Business Central uses a web interface that can be challenging to a new user. 
Microsoft Dynamics GP - The Past, Present and Future

Why should you not go from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central? 

There are quite a number of companies that are comfortable with the existing on-premises GP application. However, most of these companies are small and mid-sized companies with limited resources and personnel to transition to a new environment. It such cases, it may be best to simply stay on Dynamics GP for a few more years. 

How do you transfer data from Dynamics GP to the cloud? 

Microsoft offers a synchronization tool to facilitate the transition from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central. This synchronization tool simplifies the data transfer of basic tables from Dynamics GP to Business Central. The balance of the data migration will require additional Extract Transfer and Load (ETL) processing. The standard ETL approach entails pulling the data from Dynamics GP to a data warehouse where the users work with the data before they are loaded to Business Central. 
The world of technology is rapidly growing. As a user, if you are content with your Microsoft Dynamics GP installation, you can implement third-party tools to extend its functionality. This can buy you a few more years to continue using Dynamics GP. However, it is essential to consider and plan for an eventual transition to a cloud-based platform. 
Look out for features that will be added to Dynamics GP in the next few years. In most cases, the updates will contain what you need, but they may not always offer additional functionality. It is good to start planning early for your upgrade or migration to a cloud-based solution. The future of technology and data storage lies in cloud-based computing. 

Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central right for you? 

Under the Bridge to the Cloud Promotion, you can compare the features of Dynamics 365 Business Central with those of Dynamics GP to determine which is best for your business. There are a lot of things that Business Central does better than Dynamics GP. However, if Dynamics GP can handle your business requirements, you can install third-party tools that will extend its life. If you feel that you’ve outgrown Dynamics GP, then you should consider making a shift to Dynamics 365 Business Central. 
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