When Microsoft announced end of life support for Dynamics Great Plains (GP) many small and midsize businesses were caught off guard. While technology often faces the end of life, the announcement came as a surprise. However, many nuances and updates have been released by Microsoft since. In this post, we’ll detail what you need to know about Microsoft Great Plains end of life and the next steps to consider.
Microsoft Great Plains End of Life
There is plenty of confusion around the Microsoft GP end of life. While you may see articles highlighting the end of Microsoft GP, the reality is that this only applies to products within Microsoft’s fixed lifecycle policy. For any implementation of Dynamics GP 2016 or later, support is not ending.
Businesses running versions of Dynamics GP older than 2016 should begin to consider alternative solutions.
- Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 end of life
- Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 end of life
- Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 end of life
Many versions of Dynamics GP will follow Microsoft’s Modern Lifecycle Policy.
No matter which category your business falls under, Microsoft has developed an end of life approach that enables small and midsize businesses time to make the transition to updated software without having to fear their current product be retired before they are ready.
Understanding Microsoft’s Modern Lifecycle Policy
In October 2019, Microsoft revealed the Modern Lifecycle Policy for Dynamics GP. Products covered by the Modern Lifecycle Policy, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP for 2016 and later, continue to receive bug fixes, security updates, support, and servicing. To ensure the product is up-to-date, customers simply need to ensure they download one of the planned releases, which are typically released in June, October, and December.
For small and midsize businesses running Dynamics GP, under Microsoft’s Modern Lifecycle, you no longer have to fear a formal end of life if you continue to download one update per year.
If your business is running an older version of Dynamics GP, be sure to verify when end of life will occur according to Microsoft’s Fixed Lifecycle.
With that said, even if your version of Dynamics GP is yet to face end of life, it may be time to consider an ERP upgrade.
Upgrading from Microsoft GP to Dynamics 365
As a leader in the software space, Microsoft is ready to support you as one of its long-standing industry-leading products nears end of life. For most small and midsize businesses, a clear option would be to transition to Microsoft Dynamics 365. While Dynamics GP has provided robust tools for many small and midsize businesses, Dynamics 365 Business Central offers an upgrade that extends its capabilities.
For your workforce, transitioning from GP to Dynamics 365 should be a smooth one given the familiarity of the product. While there will be new features and enhancements, the same look and feel that you’ve come to expect from Microsoft will remain present. For any business, eliminating the need to retrain employees on a new system is a major win. Additionally, the product boasts a significant upgrade from GP.
Why Upgrade from Microsoft GP to Dynamics 365? Benefits Explained.
While it may not be necessary to upgrade from Microsoft GP to Dynamics 365 for your business, there are benefits to upgrading including:
- On-premise technology can be more costly than cloud-based technology as it often requires a dedicated team of IT experts to maintain and upgrade
- Flexible solution enables you to pay only for what you need (add and remove users easily)
- Intuitive interface employees can quickly adapt to (extensive training not required)
- Access to improved features keeping your business competitive in the ever-changing marketplace
- Security and agility for your business operations backed by Microsoft Azure
- Robust integrations to ease your operations with third-party solutions such as Office 365, Power Platform, etc. as well as custom solutions offered in the developer marketplace
- Data stored in a single data center allowing you access to the information you need at anytime
- Exceptional reporting capabilities through Power BI
Transition from GP to Dynamics 365 without the Stress
If the end of life transition feels overwhelming, our team is here to help. Many small and mid-sized businesses are feeling overwhelmed by the reality they face. A big decision looms: do you work with an after-market support team? Do you transition from GP to Dynamics 365? Do you consider a different ERP solution altogether? These are big questions to answer and can easily leave you feeling overwhelmed, but it is possible to make a smooth transition–whatever you decide.
Transitioning to a new ERP system is a big undertaking. For small and midsize businesses faced with a potential transition, having a team of experts to guide you through the process can alleviate numerous headaches. Our team is here to help as you determine your next step when it comes to your ERP system. Contact our team to schedule a consultation.