Is this the end of Great Plains (Dynamics GP)?
You may be here because you’ve been told that the end of Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly known as Great Plains) is near.
We’re happy to tell you that this is false! While it’s true that Microsoft is encouraging legacy customers to move to Dynamics 365 Business Central – there is no urgency that you must make that move now.
Let’s look at the receipts:
Microsoft has a published product roadmap to support Dynamics GP into 2028 and beyond. That provides GP users an additional seven or more years of continued upgrades, features, and support.
Microsoft’s Lifecycle site shows key information about each version of Dynamics GP. The following sections provide direct links for each listed version.
If your Dynamics GP solution is governed by Fixed Lifecycle
The following older versions of Dynamics GP are governed by the Fixed Lifecycle Policy:
|Product||Mainstream support||Extended support||Lifecycle definition|
|Dynamics GP 2013 and GP 2013 R2||Ended April 4, 2018||Ends April 11, 2023||Dynamics GP 2013/Dynamics GP 2013 R2|
|Dynamics GP 2015 and GP 2015 R2||Ended April 14, 2020||Ends April 8, 2025||Dynamics GP 2015/Dynamics GP 2015 R2|
|Dynamics GP 2016 and GP 2016 R2||Mainstream support ends July 13, 2021||Ends July 14, 2026||Dynamics GP 2016/Dynamics GP 2016 R2|
|Dynamics GP 2018 and GP 2018 R2||Mainstream support ends January 10, 2023||Ends January 11, 2028||Dynamics GP 2018/Dynamics GP 2018 R2|
If your Dynamics GP solution is governed by Modern Lifecycle
The current version of Dynamics GP is governed by the Modern Lifecycle Policy. The Modern Lifecycle Policy offers support and servicing, including bug fixes, new features, and latest tax updates. Under this policy, Dynamics GP customers stay current by taking at least one of the three all-inclusive Dynamics GP updates, typically released in June, October, and December each year. The October update typically delivers new capabilities. The two other updates will typically consist of hotfixes, tax updates, and any relevant regulatory updates.
The following table outlines the release schedule for the three committed all-inclusive updates of Dynamics GP each year.
|June update||June 1||Tax updates, regulatory updates, hotfixes|
|October update||October 1||New capabilities, hotfixes|
|December update||December 1||Tax updates, regulatory updates, hotfixes|
What do you do now?
There are many companies looking to modernize their technology, and have begun an evaluation of options inside and outside the Microsoft ecosystem. This search also includes Microsoft’s Business Central product, the natural successor to GP.
With further investigation, many realize that the migration is not as straight-forward as initially assumed. When moving from GP to Business Central, it is important to understand that it’s not a basic upgrade, as GP and Business Central are completely different products. Customers have countless options when evaluating which partner to work with on their BC implementation. The good news is that BC has a deep and rich ecosystem, not all partners are equal. You will want to consider a partner who has extensive experience with GP, migrating GP to BC, implementing BC, and providing support. You also will want to evaluate their pricing models. You can learn more about the considerations for moving to BC here.
The good news is that you do not need to make the move today if you are not ready. You can, and should however, begin to reap the benefits of the cloud even if you are staying on GP. When you’re ready, we can help you explore your options.
Establishing a Long-Term Dynamics GP Strategy with SMB Cloud
There are a few things we always recommend our clients to think about. In today’s business environment, companies will want to have a plan to address key topics:
Empowering Employees Remotely
Changing work and employee requirements may also have nudged your business towards adopting a hybrid work policy. This means that while you may have implemented measures in the interim, you are now looking towards a more permanent and secure solution to empower your employees to deliver results from nearly anywhere. So why not enhance your Dynamics GP to enable your team to
get full access to information and systems whenever they want it?
Backups & Disaster Recovery
With on-premise deployments of Dynamics GP, you are reliant on your IT team for regular and routine backups. It’s not unlikely that these backup policies and disaster recovery (DR) procedures are insufficient. Most IT teams are overly taxed on ‘break-fix’ demands and don’t have the opportunity to put in place important business continuity concepts that include DR.
Like any financial system, your Dynamics GP deployment needs watering and sunlight. Tax table changes, new configurations, technical issues, access issues. Your organization should have on-call access to certified professionals that have experience dealing with issues as they pop up. It’s possible to put in an ‘insurance policy that is cost-effective and provides the elastic capacity you may need in this area.
If your Dynamics GP is deployed on-premise (sitting on a server in your office) it could be vulnerable to modern security hacks like malware or ransomware. Cloud security decreases the burden on your IT team, and provides equal levels of security when data is accessed from different locations. Cloud security may also offer options that were otherwise cost-prohibitive for an on-premise setup.
How does SMB Suite help companies that are running Dynamics GP today?
SMB Suite has been implementing and supporting clients running Dynamics GP for over 20 years. We are a Microsoft partner that is certified across a number of business applications including Dynamics GP, Dynamics 365 Business Central, and Dynamics 365 for Sales.
SMB Suite’s Dynamics GP Long-term Strategy Offering
We offer clients a Dynamics GP Long-term Strategy that addresses important considerations like cloud deployment of Dynamics GP, support, and upgrades. Our Long-term Strategy includes a number of components:
- Moving Dynamics GP to SMB Cloud
- Providing Dynamics GP Application Support
- Putting in a long-term Dynamics GP Upgrade Plan
- Providing additional IT Managed Services
- Providing clients with an on-ramp to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, including data migration, if and when they are ready
SMB Suite’s Difference from other partners is that:
- Our “All-in-One” pricing model provides these services as a monthly fee, without lumpy upfront investments. Our approach is outcome-based without surprises.
- As your independent advisor, we can put in a long-term plan for all your technology needs.
- SMB Suite has over 30 years of experience as a Microsoft partner and has been deploying in the Cloud for almost 20 years.
Try us out
If you are interested in learning more about SMB Suite’s Dynamics GP Long-Term Strategy offering, give us a call. In fact, if you want to put us to the test, take advantage of our free Dynamics GP support by emailing support@SMBSuite.com. We are offering new clients access to our amazing support team.