Microsoft Dynamics GP Support for an ERP Migration

Microsoft Dynamics GP support for successful data migration to new ERP

Microsoft Dynamics GP Support: Migrate to Acumatica or Business Central

One great aspect of the tech world is the constant innovation. Not content to rest on their laurels, developers are always seeking to upgrade and optimize the products we utilize in both our businesses and personal lives. But this commitment to innovation can be a double-edged sword: sometimes it seems that just as we come to rely on a particular device or software, it becomes obsolete, replaced by a newer version or usurped by an altogether different product. 


Case in point: Michael Morton, a vice president at Microsoft, announced in late 2022 that the latest release of Dynamics GP, version 18.5, would be the last to contain major new features. While the prognosis for GP isn’t as dire as it might initially have seemed, the announcement evidently did raise some concerns about an eventual end to Microsoft Dynamics GP support.


In light of those concerns, this post will discuss some alternative ERP options as well as the ways a partner like Crestwood Associates can ensure a smooth transition to your new system. 


What the Announcement Really Means

Following the announcement he made at Community Summit North America, Morton was quick to clarify that the plan to stop releasing “major new features” was not a death knell for Microsoft Dynamics GP or the company’s support for the product. 


“This intent was to share that we do not expect significant new capabilities in Dynamics GP, such as new modules,” Morton told GP users and other stakeholders in a statement on LinkedIn. “Microsoft’s major investments and innovations will be in other Dynamics 365 offerings” – specifically Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance + SCM.


The company will focus future GP updates on regulatory (tax), security and hotfixes as well as providing upgrades in usability and reliability, the statement said. Microsoft Dynamics GP support will continue for the foreseeable future as outlined in the GP Modern Support Lifecycle, Morton wrote, reassuring readers that “if you are an existing GP customer, you can be confident in using Dynamics GP to run your business for years to come.”


The shift in priority, however, may understandably have some users wondering whether they should continue putting all their eggs in the Dynamics GP basket.


A brief history of Dynamics GP

Great Plains Software was founded in 1981, acquired by Microsoft in 2000 and became part of the Dynamics suite in 2005, at which point Microsoft changed the software’s name from Microsoft Business Solutions – Great Plains to its current Microsoft Dynamics GP. The midrange ERP is hailed as “one of the most popular and longest tenured business management software products on the market,” according to technology review site Software Connect


A PCMag review of Dynamics GP praised the software’s functionality and large number of customizable financial reports. On the downside, though, are the software’s unintuitive workflow and lack of user-friendliness.  


For companies looking for a comparable ERP product – or perhaps even one that echoes GP’s best features without having the same drawbacks – there are alternatives, namely, Acumatica and another Microsoft offering, Dynamics 365 Business Central. 


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Plenty of Features for Any Business

If you’re worried about a potential end to Microsoft Dynamics GP support but still want to stay in the Microsoft Dynamics universe, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a solid option. It’s the company’s best selling ERP platform, according to TrustRadius


Like Acumatica, Business Central’s claim to fame is that it is scalable, flexible and user-friendly. Users can add new modules and access additional capabilities as their business needs change and grow, and companies with previous Microsoft experience under their belts are likely to see a smooth transition to Business Central. 


Seminole Financial Services, working with Crestwood Associates to transition from Dynamics NAV to Business Central, found this to be true. Having worked with Dynamics products in the past, preparing Seminole’s team for Business Central’s go-live date was “a breeze,” even with 20 companies comprising the firm. 


Even if it hadn’t been directly stated, recent and planned updates make it clear that Business Central is a key beneficiary of the shift in investment from Microsoft Dynamics GP to other Dynamics products. Some of these updates include: 

  • A faster UI with fewer interruptions.
  • The ability to access all data from Power BI without the need for a developer or consultant.
  • A range of new tools for Business Central admins and partners to manage environments and apps.


Acumatica: Scalability Meets Flexibility

Acumatica has been a winner of PCMag’s Editors’ Choice award across three product categories. The magazine touts the software’s “excellent” browser-based user experience and its easy navigation as well as its scalability and flexibility. Acumatica is especially beneficial for manufacturing and distribution companies because of its robust inventory management capabilities, the magazine said. Available for cloud deployment, Acumatica is highly customizable through reselling partners like Crestwood Associates


Acumatica success stories include Green Bay Packaging, whose switch, with the help of Crestwood Associates, to Acumatica from legacy systems saved the company hours upon hours that were previously spent on batch process-driven financial reporting. Acumatica also helped Green Bay Packaging increase visibility across entities and enabled real-time financial insights. 


Another satisfied customer is skincare company Biopelle, whose implementation of Acumatica enabled their sales team to tap into vital information that has helped drive increased numbers and efficiency companywide.  


A Smooth ERP Transition Hinges on Successful Data Migration

When exploring new ERP options, a company needs to consider the not-insignificant matter of data migration. While the concept of data migration is incredibly simple – it means moving digital information from one storage space to another, whether that be from a local server or device to the cloud or from one cloud setting to another – the execution might not be so straightforward. 


According to Microsoft, there are several steps to a successful data migration, including: 

  • Assessing how much data your company has, where it is and what its quality is
  • Planning how you will migrate the data and at what rate, and determining who will play what role in the migration project
  • Continually testing to ensure data is transferred properly
  • Validating the migration project via a final audit

Why Crestwood?

At Crestwood Associates, we are software agnostic. Our experienced consultants will work with you to find the right ERP solution and customize it to meet the unique needs of your business. Having achieved success in 5000+ ERP implementations throughout the globe, we will support your business through every step of the process, from needs assessment and planning to data migration to go-live and beyond. 

Want to find out how Crestwood Associates can help your organization achieve a smooth ERP transition? Request a consultation today!

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