After April 4th Announcement – Upgrade to 18.5, Migrate to Cloud Hosting with a CSP, or Move to a Cloud ERP Solution? 

At LBMC Technology Solutions, we don’t take the trust you place in us as your technology partner for granted and we take our responsibility for keeping you informed of technology changes very seriously. We realize that you have made a large investment of time and money into your Microsoft Dynamics GP solution and that you have developed a tremendous amount of expertise and confidence in the solution over the yearsUnlike other ERP partners, we continue to invest in and grow our Microsoft Dynamics GP practice and we have become one of Microsoft’s top partners due to the depth of our expertise across the entire Microsoft Dynamics portfolio of solutions.     

On April 4, 2023, Microsoft announced that it will be ending the sales of perpetual licenses for Dynamics GP, a popular accounting and ERP software for small and medium-sized businesses. The company also revealed that it will stop selling new licenses of GP in 2025 and 2026 respectively. Instead, Microsoft is urging its GP customers to migrate to its cloud-based offering, Dynamics 365 Business Central, which provides users with access to enhanced functionality, better integration, and improved security. 

According to Microsoft, the move away from perpetual licensing is part of a broader shift toward cloud-based software solutions, which offer greater scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness than traditional on-premises solutions. The company has already been encouraging its customers to migrate to the cloud for some time, and this latest announcement is just the latest step in that direction. Microsoft has promised to support GP customers throughout the transition process, providing guidance and assistance to ensure a smooth and seamless migration. 

In light of this announcement, current GP users should carefully evaluate their options and consider migrating to Dynamics 365 Business Central or another cloud-based ERP solution. By doing so, they can take advantage of the many benefits that cloud-based software has to offer, such as greater mobility, improved collaboration, and enhanced data security. To learn more about Microsoft’s announcement and its implications for GP users, visit the official Microsoft Dynamics GP blog. 

We have been providing information directly from Microsoft to you regarding the future roadmap of GP.  We realize that there has been some misleading information in recent months about when GP will no longer be supported.  We want to continue to bring clarity around the timing of the roadmap from a support perspective and ensure you that our GP and project management team stand ready to support you on GP as long as you choose to use it and as long as Microsoft supports it. 

Based upon Microsoft’s announcement that no new significant functionality will be added to Microsoft Dynamics GP, we are recommending that every customer is proactively considering and planning for the future of their ERP solution and the industry’s move to cloud-based ERP solutions.  We will continue to provide educational information through webinars, live events and demonstrations, all aimed at making you feel confident with moving to a cloud-based ERP system when it is right for your organization.  

Running Dynamics GP 18 or Older: What you Need to Know NOW 

Microsoft has announced the technical roadmap for GP and when previously released versions will no longer fall under mainstream support. As of January 10, 2023, Dynamics GP 2018 and GP 2018 R2 are out of mainstream support, as well as all previous versions, Dynamics NAV and Dynamics SL.  

Product Mainstream Support 
Dynamics GP 2013 and GP 2013 R2 Ended April 4, 2018 
Dynamics GP 2015 and GP 2015 R2 Ended April 14, 2020 
Dynamics GP 2016 and GP 2016 R2 Ended July 13, 2021 
Dynamics GP 2018 and GP 2018 R2 Ended January 10, 2023 

Dynamics GP 18 R2 and Older No Longer Under Mainstream Support. What Does This Mean? 

This means there are several vulnerabilities to address for those on these previous versions including some security vulnerabilities. If for any reason your version of GP is no longer supported and there is a critical system or software issue related to your Dynamics GP system, Microsoft support is not available, and LBMC’s ability to support you would be severally limited or not available. 

So, what’s your next best step? It is very important that all Dynamics GP customers are on a supported version of Dynamics GP that is part of GP’s Modern Support Lifecycle (i.e., GP 18.5 and higher). This ensures that you will have access to the updates provided by Microsoft in June, August, and December of each year which will include your regulatory, security and hotfix updates. LBMC’s ability to provide support to you and your company can be significantly impacted if you are not on a current version of Dynamics GP. 

For those organizations running a supported version of Dynamics GP, there are several considerations to make. Your organization may operate best on Dynamics GP, but with mainstream support ending for GP 2018 and older, you need to upgrade to the latest version of GP 18.5 to be on the Modern Lifecycle. Upgrading to GP 18.5 will not only add all updates, features and functionality of Dynamics GP, but it will also add layers of security that are critical to your organizations security policies.  

If your business has evolved but your processes haven’t, now might be a good time for a Business Process Review (BPR) 

For many organizations who have grown in size or complexity over the years with no real change to their financial business processes, engaging us to perform a Business Process Review (BPR) can be very beneficial.  A BPR not only identified potential gaps in finance processes, but also finds potential time and money savings that can be realized by implementing new functionality. Organizations that have disparate systems may find new efficiencies in AP or AR processes, new integrations, or process automation to streamline financial processes. No matter where you are in your cloud journey, a BPR can be a good first step to fully understanding your options and areas for increased efficiencies.  

Now is the time to Upgrade and Enhance Dynamics GP with a Cloud-Hosted Environment 

Additionally, if considering an upgrade to 18.5, now is the perfect time to convert from an on-premise Dynamics GP version to a cloud-hosted version. By converting to a cloud-hosted environment such as AWS or Azure, you will continue to receive updates and new releases, all managed by your Cloud Service Provider (CSP). We’ve outlined the top 5 benefits of moving to the cloud:  

1. Cloud-Hosted Dynamics GP Offers Increased Flexibility and Scalability

One of the biggest benefits of moving Dynamics GP to a cloud-hosted environment is increased flexibility and scalability. With a cloud-hosted solution, businesses can easily scale their system up or down as needed, without the need for additional hardware or IT resources. This means that businesses can easily adapt to changes in their operations, such as a surge in demand or a new business process, without having to worry about the limitations of their current IT infrastructure. 

2. Moving Dynamics GP to the Cloud for Improved Security

Another major benefit of moving Dynamics GP to a cloud-hosted environment is improved security. Cloud-hosted solutions are generally considered to be more secure than on-premises solutions because they are managed by experienced IT professionals who have the expertise and resources to keep the system secure. Additionally, cloud-hosted solutions are typically backed up regularly, so businesses can rest easy knowing that their data is safe in the event of a disaster. 

3. Cloud-Hosted Dynamics GP Can Offer Cost Savings

Moving Dynamics GP to a cloud-hosted environment can also help businesses save money. With a cloud-hosted solution, businesses no longer have to invest in expensive hardware or IT resources, and they can also reduce their energy costs and office rent. Additionally, cloud-hosted solutions can be attractive to many clients because they are paid for on a subscription basis, rather than require a large upfront capital investment.  

4. Moving Dynamics GP to the Cloud Allows for Improved Collaboration

Another benefit of moving Dynamics GP to a cloud-hosted environment is improved collaboration. With a cloud-hosted solution, employees can access the system from anywhere, at any time, using any device. This makes it easy for teams to collaborate and work together, even if they are located in different parts of the world. Additionally, cloud-hosted solutions typically include built-in collaboration tools, such as instant messaging and document sharing, which can further improve teamwork and productivity. 

5. Partnering with a CSP to host Dynamics GP in the Cloud Means Better Support and Maintenance

Finally, moving Dynamics GP to a cloud-hosted environment can also provide businesses with better support and maintenance. LBMC Technology Solutions’ Cloud-hosted Dynamics GP customers are managed by experienced IT professionals who can provide your business with the support you need to keep your system running smoothly. We manage, update and maintain your environment automatically, so businesses don’t have to worry about staying current with the latest software updates. We do all the heavy lifting for you, every step of the way. 

With a CSP like LBMC Technology Solutions hosting your GP, you will ensure the hosted server environment on which GP is running is on the latest versions of system software and includes all the latest updates and features without the manual oversight or monitoring of previous on-premise GP environments.  Eventually, when the time is right to select a cloud-based ERP solution, the migration to the new system will be much less complicated.  

Move to the Cloud or Move from Dynamics GP to Dynamics BC? Which is Right for You?

It may be that you have determined now is the right time to make the move to a cloud-based ERP system and you are actively researching and evaluating a new system. For many Microsoft Dynamics GP clients, their first thought is to migrate to Dynamics 365 Business Central. BC might be the perfect solution, particularly for companies who have complex supply chain planning, warehouse management, inventory, distribution or manufacturing requirements. 

Business Central is a fantastic solution for midsize and larger businesses who have heavy distribution and manufacturing needs.  In addition, many companies may choose BC because they want to fully leverage the integration of their ERP software with the entire Microsoft stack of business and office products including O365 and Dynamics CRM. Dynamics BC offers an all-in-one, cloud-based business management solution that combines all the features and functionalities of Dynamics GP with the power of Microsoft Azure. 

Top 5 Features of Dynamics BC that Make it a Great ERP Solutions for Manufacturing Companies 

Here are some of the top features and functionalities of Dynamics 365 BC that make it the perfect choice for manufacturing companies: 

  1. Manufacturing module: Dynamics 365 BC has a fully integrated manufacturing module that enables businesses to manage their entire production process, from planning and scheduling to tracking and analysis. The module also supports multi-level bills of materials (BOMs), production orders, and routing and capacity planning, among other features. This helps manufacturing companies to optimize their production processes, reduce waste, and increase overall efficiency. 
  2. Inventory management: Dynamics 365 BC has a robust inventory management system that helps businesses to manage their inventory levels, track stock movements, and optimize their warehouse operations. The system also includes features such as serial and lot tracking, item tracking, and bin and location management. This ensures that manufacturing companies always have the right amount of inventory on hand, reducing stock-outs and increasing operational efficiencies. 
  3. Financial management: Dynamics 365 BC has a powerful financial management module that enables businesses to manage their financial operations, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, and cash management. The module also includes features such as multi-currency support, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting. This helps manufacturing companies to streamline their financial operations, reduce errors, and improve cash flow management. 
  4. Sales and purchase management: Dynamics 365 BC has a comprehensive sales and purchase management module that enables businesses to manage their sales and purchase orders, quotes, and invoices. The module also includes features such as price lists, discounts, and payment terms. This helps manufacturing companies to improve their sales and purchasing processes, reduce errors, and increase customer satisfaction. 
  5. Power BI integration: Dynamics 365 BC integrates seamlessly with Power BI, Microsoft’s business analytics platform. This enables businesses to gain real-time insights into their operations, track key performance indicators (KPIs), and make data-driven decisions. This helps manufacturing companies to optimize their operations, reduce costs, and increase profitability. 

With its robust manufacturing module, inventory management system, financial management module, sales and purchase management module, and Power BI integration, Dynamics 365 BC provides everything that manufacturing companies need to succeed in today’s competitive business environment. So, if you’re still using Dynamics GP, it might be the time to migrate to Dynamics 365 BC. 

Moving from Dynamics GP to Sage Intacct: Cloud-Based Accounting for Modern Business 

While Dynamics BC is a good fit for many organizations, it may be too complex for many small and midsize businesses.  If your organization is focused on streamlining and simplifying your financial operations, a cloud-based solution like Sage Intacct might be a better fit.  

With Sage Intacct, you can get exactly what you need and eliminate the other tools that you don’t need or won’t use. And once it’s set up, you don’t have to employ technical resources to keep it running, upgraded to the latest version—or to ensure that your important data is protected and secured. As a software as a service (SaaS) product, Sage Intacct takes care of that for you.  

Sage Intacct was designed by finance professionals for financial professionals and incorporates all the nuances regularly faced by finance teams.  This includes breaking down allocations for improved reporting, as well as multi-company and multi-book accounting capabilities. With many robust features, Sage Intacct is the only cloud-based ERP system endorsed and recommended by the AICPA. 

Top Reasons that Might Make Sage Intacct Your Next Best Move from Dynamics GP 

We’ve outlined some of the top reasons that make Sage Intacct a natural next step for many GP users:  

  • It’s a true cloud-based software system
    This alone enables rapid and successful deployment since you don’t have to install anything on servers or workstations. It also enables easier scalability and sets the stage for better collaboration since your teams will have anywhere/anytime access to Sage Intacct. Since Intacct is a true cloud-based system, there is only one version and it is updated quarterly by Sage.  You only pay your annual software subscription and no longer have to worry about planning nor paying for upgrades.  There is no downtime which keeps your organization more productive
  • Managing multiple entities
    Sage Intacct really shines for companies managing multiple entities.  Intacct provides a tremendous amount of flexibility for reporting on all entities in a consolidated fashion or on individual, or predetermined group of entities.  It is also extremely easy to process inter-entity transactions, allocations, and consolidations. 
  • Advanced budgeting
    Sage Intacct offers its own advanced, collaborative, integrated budgeting—no ISV required—with complete security and version control. You can have budget contributors who aren’t users of the financial system thereby allowing business managers to take part in the budgeting process without the need to use complex Excel spreadsheets that need to be revised and updated
  • Stronger dimensions
    Sage Intacct’s inherently structured dimensions give you greater control and visibility when it’s time to analyze data and run reports, as well as the ability to perform in-depth analyses. The power of dimensions is also what makes creating dashboards to display KPIs, trends, and other critical data so easy
  • User-friendly software
    When implementing new software, you want users to get up to speed in hours, not days. Sage Intacct has an intuitive UI that’s easy to navigate—regardless of whether it’s being used by financial team members or others in your business. There’s a plethora of training videos as part of Sage University which is part of the annual subscription.  In addition, Intacct has a help section on every module and page.  Imbedded videos allow users to see examples of how they can complete the tasks they are currently working on
  • Easier integrations with third-party applications
    Sage Intacct understands that every organization has their own tech stack that works best for them. It’s for this reason that the platform integrates so well with many of the most popular business applications. This means that you and your teams can keep using the tools you’re most comfortable with, reducing disruptions and frustrations and eliminating those upgrades you’ve come to dread
  • Buy With Confidence Guarantee
    Sage Intacct offers a Buy With Confidence guarantee, which promises 99.8% guaranteed uptime. Get financial piece of mind with LBMC Technology Solutions and a trusted ERP solution.  

Upgrade Dynamics GP, Move GP to the Cloud, Evaluate Dynamics BC and Sage Intacct. What NOW?

We get it. Implementing new software is a daunting prospect: it takes time, money, and energy to find the right solution and get it set up. If you’re going to do it, you want to get it right—as painlessly as possible. The good news is that this process is much easier and smoother now than it used to be. With cloud-based solutions, you don’t have to build anything or install anything on your servers and workstations—eliminating disruptive and time-consuming processes. And as new features are released and your business grows, all you have to do is log in to gain access to the new tools you need. Transitioning from GP doesn’t have to be painful.  

LBMC Technology solutions has been providing award winning ERP implementation and support solutions or decades. And as a top partner with Sage and Microsoft, you can be sure you are working with best-in-class experts who will make sure you get exactly what you need, seamlessly. 

Whether you are currently evaluating a new solution or researching ways to get the most out of your current Microsoft Dynamics system, LBMC Technology Solutions can help. Interested in learning more about LBMC Technology Solutions’ suite of ERP services? Contact us today to start evaluating your options and see what the next best step is for your organization. 

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