Should Your Business Transition from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365?

January 15, 2020 Cady Jackson

Having years of experience as an Account Manager focused on Dynamics GP, I have had a lot of great conversations with CEOs, CFOs, accounting professionals and IT professionals about the roadmap of Dynamics GP and whether they should transition to Dynamics 365. If you’re one of the millions of Dynamics GP users around the world, it’s a decision you’ve likely thought about and you probably have several of questions. What should we be asking about Dynamics 365? What are the pros and cons of GP vs. D365? Do I have to move to the cloud with D365? Is it more affordable?

And the first question is typically this…

Is Microsoft still supporting Dynamics GP?

You might have heard otherwise but, yes, Microsoft is still actively supporting GP. What is changing is that there is no growth path for GP from Microsoft. Just like your business, technology has evolved a great deal. Smartphones, the cloud, artificial intelligence, IoT, mobility and more have revolutionized ERP and Microsoft is investing heavily in taking their customers into the future but certainly is not abandoning the GP family.

What are the advantages of transitioning to Dynamics 365 from GP?

Many businesses started with Great Plains more than 20 years ago and are still going strong with Dynamics GP today. You may have a ton of customizations and third-party add-ons and, at the end of the day, it’s serving you just fine. We appreciate that and it’s why we always encourage you to work with a trustworthy partner who will help you explore all your options and costs, even if that means the best decision for you is not to move to D365 quite yet.

However, if you’re curious about some of the advantages you’ll have with Dynamics 365, here are some of the top benefits GP customers really like:

  • Dimensional accounting. This is a change for GP users, but one that is game-changing for accounting professionals. Growing businesses typically find themselves with a bloated chart of accounts in GP that can be inefficient, ineffective and inaccurate. Dimensions enable you to create a clean, segmented and simplified chart of accounts and really elevate your insight and reporting. Watch our OnDemand webinar on how dimensions work in D365 because you have to see it for yourself to appreciate how powerful this feature is.
  • Reporting. Dimensions enable you to slice and dice your data virtually any way you want so reporting is more insightful and meaningful. Instead of spreadsheets, you can use the seamless Power BI integration that makes it fast and easy to consolidate all your data and create visual dashboards tailored for any role.
  • Multi-entity management. If your business has grown, or is growing, Dynamics GP can require customizations or third-party solutions to manage multiple entities. Dynamics 365 is built to manage multiple entities, currencies and languages out of the box.
  • No more concurrent users. If you’ve ever had to log out of GP so someone else can work in it (or have been the one waiting hours or even over a weekend), you know how frustrating it is and the delays it can cause. With a Dynamics 365 license, you can access the system at any time, on any device, or even multiple devices at the same time. Another huge productivity boost.
  • Flexibility. GP can be quite rigid and require a lot of workarounds to get your work done. Dynamics 365 is more flexible and allows you to create role-based processes, automated workflows and you can even create your own apps with Power Apps.
  • Outlook integration. Are you in Outlook most of your day? Dynamics 365 has unmatched integration with Outlook and a lot of functionality is actually embedded.  It’s a big productivity boost not having to shift back and forth between windows and applications.
  • Flexible cloud options. One of the concerns some GP customers have about Dynamics 365 is that you’ll be forced to move to the cloud. That is not the case. Western Computer can implement D365 in the cloud, on-premise, or a hybrid environment to fit your access and security requirements.
  • Automatic updates. Your Dynamics 365 subscription includes all updates and enhancements installed for you so you are always on the latest version without additional fees or effort on your part. On that note, updates and upgrades can present problems and costs with GP due to heavy customizations and third-party systems. With Dynamics 365, it is much smoother. Our technical specialists are happy to dive deeper into this with you.
  • Seamless integration. D365 is built for integration between its applications, Office 365, Power Platform apps and a huge library of ISV applications on Microsoft AppSource. Functionality is often embedded within the system instead of a bolted-on application.
  • Scalability. With subscription-based licensing, it’s much easier for administrators to scale functionality and add or remove users. You can choose the applications and licenses you need today, change them tomorrow and quickly be up and running. It’s also faster to onboard new users.
  • Mobility. Dynamics 365 was designed for mobility across its applications so it’s easier to grant secure, remote access to unified information. Companies that have remote workers or field operations will find D365 an excellent foundation to provide a more modern and flexible workplace.

You have options

While we’ve highlighted some of advantages of transitioning from GP to Dynamics 365, it is not a decision to take lightly or make quickly. We are here to help you assess your needs and look at the options, timing and pricing that make the most sense for your business. In addition, Western Computer will help you and your team with change management—a key factor in reducing fear and improving user adoption. Contact our experts to start the conversation.

About the Author

Cady Jackson

Cady Jackson is a Digital Transformation Executive. Based in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Cady brings over 14 years of experience in the Dynamics channel with extensive knowledge in warehouse management and document management.

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