As Microsoft release more and more updates for its core Dynamics 365 products, the same question keeps on getting asked over and over again regarding its other products, particularly around Dynamics GP: Does this mean that Microsoft Dynamics GP is dead?
Based on the noises coming out of Microsoft and our own intuition as a Microsoft Gold partner for over 20 years, it’s damn clear GP is around to stay for a while yet! It is important to dispel any rumours that you may hear from any other vendors who are telling you they know “for sure” what’s going on at Microsoft. Always ask for proof from Microsoft and only Microsoft.
Otherwise these other vendors/partners are just “selling” you based on just fear and not any facts to back up what they are saying.
Don’t you want to work with a partner that tells you the truth and simply provides you with the best products/services that your business deserves and best meets your specific requirements?
We’ve heard from a number of our existing Dynamics GP customers that have received inaccurate information from other partners including statements similar to the below:
- Microsoft will not be supporting Dynamics GP in 2020
- Dynamics GP is being deactivated by Microsoft
The above statements are completely untrue!
Here’s why, we’ve heard some concerns from customers around the uncertainty of the Dynamics GP roadmap hence why we’ve taken the steps to provide you with the latest and most accurate information about what the future direction of Dynamics GP looks like for 2020 and beyond.
As you probably already know, Microsoft released a new version of Dynamics GP last October which changed the name from “Dynamics GP 2018 R2” to just “Dynamics GP”. Following this new release & name change, Microsoft also announced that Dynamics GP was moving to the “Modern Lifecycle Policy”.
So just what is the Dynamics GP Modern Lifecycle Policy?
As we alluded to above, Microsoft is moving it to the “Modern Lifecycle Policy”. With this in place, Dynamics GP will be supported for a continuous one year. Put simply, this means that a new release will be available every single year which falls into line with all the other Microsoft products.
Microsoft’s Modern Lifecycle Policy is a positive step for those users who want to stay on Dynamics GP for the foreseeable future as it will continue to offer ongoing support and servicing in the form of hotfixes, patches, bugs, new features for Dynamics GP. These updates are locked in right up to 2024 by Microsoft as shown in the below table taken directly from Microsoft.
Feature Update (new features and bug fixes)
Update (tax updates, bug fixes)
Update (tax updates, bug fixes)
October 1, 2019
Past the date
To stay current, you must be on one of the 2019 releases. This ensures that you can upgrade to next year's updates.
To stay current, you must be on one of the 2020 releases. This ensures that you can upgrade to next year's updates.
To stay current, you must be on one of the 2021 releases. This ensures that you can upgrade to next year's updates.
To stay current, you must be on one of the 2022 releases. This ensures that you can upgrade to next year's updates.
To stay current, you must be on one of the 2023 releases. This ensures that you can upgrade to next year's updates.
To stay current, you must be on one of the 2024 releases. This ensures that you can upgrade to next year's updates.
So what’s the latest regarding Dynamics GP updates and ongoing support?
In addition to the locked in new releases that Microsoft has committed to above, Microsoft has also stated that they will be doing three-yearly minor updates for Dynamics GP as well.
One of the main stipulations of the Modern Policy is that in order to stay fully updated, Dynamics GP users will need to ensure that at least one of the three yearly releases is completed. This will help to make sure that you are using the most current version of Dynamics GP and allows you to retain the support from Microsoft.
In other words, if you have already upgraded to the latest version of Dynamics GP (released in October) and you do one of the three yearly minor updates, you will not need to worry about the late 2020 release but will again need to do one minor update in 2021 to ensure that you stay updated.
For those that are using older versions of Dynamics GP, these will be staying on the existing Fixed Policy Lifecycle. However, if you wish to retain your support, please find below the support end dates for the older versions:
- Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 – Mainstream support end date 14/4/2020
- Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 – Mainstream support end date 13/7/2021
- Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 – Version 18.00.0727 and prior (anything before October 2019 release) – Mainstream support end date 10/1/2023
Should I move to the Cloud and what options are available?
Well this largely depends on what you are looking to achieve as a business & whether the benefits gained by moving partially to or going full Cloud outweigh leaving things the way they are with your current Dynamics GP version or considering an upgrade to a newer version of GP instead. The best way to easily assess this is for Advantage to come into your business and audit your current system and see where there are areas for improvement and from this we can impartially advise you what option would work best for your business.
In terms of moving partially to or going full Cloud, there are a number of options available:
There are many different reasons for you to migrate or transition from a traditional on-premise solution to a Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation on Azure. One of the key reasons is that an on-premise solution requires in-house IT staff members to maintain and support a local server infrastructure which can be prohibitively difficult and expensive due to the complexity of an on-premise deployment and in-house skill set.
Advantage can ease that complexity and cost by providing:
- A fully managed Dynamics ERP service: Let us take the strain, so that you don't have to worry about anything IT related.
- Comprehensive backup and disaster recovery on Microsoft's cloud in multiple locations.
- 24/7 monitoring by our Network Operation Centre: If anything happens, we'll react immediately.
- Your own private cloud: Dedicated Azure tenants with customer owned data.
- A secure environment: Unparalleled security intelligence proactively identifying any threats.
With all the new features across both GP and Business Central, it is difficult to make the right move. However, here is a brief outline of the indicators that show that it may be time to consider Microsoft Business Central as a solution.
Here are some of the things you should consider if you want to move from your current GP solution to Dynamics 365 Business Central:
- You are willing to learn a new software interface
- You feel Dynamics GP is too expensive on a yearly basis
- You have a specific compelling reason to switch (a particular feature or annoyance)
- You are fine with hosting your data and application in the cloud
- You don’t rely on a Dynamics GP add-on/ISV for critical business processes
If you have any more questions around the Dynamics GP Roadmap, please do get in touch. We would be more than happy to discuss the future of your Dynamics GP solution as well as how we can help you choose the best option that best suits your business.