Microsoft Dynamics GP to D365 BC Considerations
Article

Your ERP Roadmap: Considerations for Moving From Dynamics GP to D365 BC

March 24, 2021

Microsoft Dynamics GP has been on the market for over 20 years and is one of the most widely used accounting software solutions. As some versions of Dynamics GP near the end of their lifecycle support, you need to evaluate if the solution will scale with your business as you grow and meet the evolving requirements of a changing market. Even though it’s working today, will that be true tomorrow and beyond, and are you really able to maximize your investment in the software?

Here are some key areas to consider as you plan your Dynamics roadmap for upgrading to a supported version of GP or migrating to the next level of Microsoft ERP solutions, Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC).

Modern, Cloud-Based Solutions Help Keep Employee Satisfaction High

The recent pandemic has challenged many businesses to make their teams’ everyday systems available for remote and flex-time workers. Employees are inefficient and ineffective if the tools they are using are difficult to access when away from the office – not to mention it causes significant frustration.

This is typically resolved by moving software to the cloud. Providing your team with a user-friendly and intuitive solution that can be accessed across any device, from anywhere with an internet connection ensures they can complete their daily tasks. Also, moving to a true cloud solution eliminates the need for an RDP and VPN, which can put a strain on IT resources for troubleshooting connections.

Both Dynamics GP and D365 BC have cloud capabilities, but D365 BC is a true cloud solution, which means it was built specifically for the cloud rather than taking the software you own and hosting it in the cloud as you would with Dynamics GP. A true cloud solution is often more agile in adding headcount, taking advantage of available business apps for your system and accessing the most recent release of the software.

Another area that can keep your employees’ satisfaction level high is providing them with a modern, easy-to-use business tool. While Dynamics GP remains one of the most used solutions, the user interface is less modern, as there has been little change during the past 20+ years. The look and feel of D365 BC is similar to other Microsoft 365 Office products, so it’s easy and intuitive for users to adapt to the system.

Below is an example of D365 BC’s modern user interface. One of the most noticeable features is that there is no longer a left-hand menu.

Microsoft  Dynamics GP to D365 BC Considerations

Questions to Answer

Many GP users have been using the system for a long time, so it’s important to look at how the solution has scaled with your business and how it may need to in the future. The nature of businesses often changes over time, so you should make a list of how your organization has evolved to date and predict what your future needs will be.

Here are some common questions to answer as you plan your ERP roadmap to decide whether you should upgrade your existing Dynamic GP system to the latest version or migrate to D365 BC.

  • Have you outgrown your current Dynamics GP chart of accounts? After using Dynamics GP for many years, your current account structure likely has grown unmanageable, and you might want to add more segments for your business. As you plan for your next upgrade or migration to D365 BC, review how you can improve your reporting, reduce the number of accounts and track multiple entities.

    If you’re planning to upgrade your instance of Dynamics GP, it’s important to consider if you need to restructure your chart of accounts. If you choose to migrate to D365 BC, you’ll want to map out your current structure to the dimensions in D365 BC, which are values that categorize entries so you can track and analyze your information. For example, dimensions can indicate the project or department for an entry.
  • Do you require additional integrations within your organization? With Dynamics GP, you can integrate with many other business applications whether you are on-premise or hosting in the cloud. Most of the integrations for Dynamics GP require customizations for initial setup, as well as ongoing updates for new releases. For example, Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (previously known as Dynamics CRM) integrates with Dynamics GP, but it requires significant customization to implement.

    If you’re already using other Microsoft business applications, such as Office 365, D365 BC seamlessly integrates with these Microsoft applications and product suites. Plus, it already comes built-in with Microsoft Power BI dashboards and an existing integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (D365 CE). You can also download and integrate apps or extensions from Microsoft AppSource to further customize your solution and meet unique business needs.
  • What additional functions are required for your business? Some of the most common areas customers are looking to improve include more flexibility with reporting, dashboarding, job cost and project accounting. Weighing the impact of the different features and functionalities within Dynamics GP and D365 BC will help determine how to best address those improvements. Some of the most popular functions in D365 BC include:
  • What is your total cost of ownership? The total cost of ownership (TCO) of your software should be evaluated and in alignment with your budget as you determine your path forward. As an on-premise or hosted solution, Dynamics GP requires hardware upkeep, your IT team’s time maintaining the servers and software as well as upgrade time and expenses. 

    In turn, as a cloud solution, D365 BC requires a monthly subscription and the one-time initial migration of your data, but you won’t incur upgrade fees and automated updates will keep your system current. Outline the TCO of your solution for both the short and long term to determine if it aligns with your budgeting goals.

Ultimately, it’s a big decision to upgrade to a supported Dynamics GP version or to migrate to D365 BC. Your business is unique, and you should identify the options that will drive success for your strategies and improve the efficiency of your team.

Our Dynamics team can help you evaluate the right path to meet your unique needs as well as answer questions about support and services for either your existing Dynamics GP solution or migrating to D365 BC. Reach out to our experts for more information.

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