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Posted 2nd November 2023
Microsoft have formally confirmed that Great Plains (GP) is now sunset and heading toward End of Life. For many organisations this will mean no new operational functionality will be added to the latter version of the solution, with only hotfixes and regulatory functionality added where necessary. Over the last number of years, Microsoft have shifted their investment to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, benefiting from a new coding language, a modern interface and feature rich cloud-enabled technologies that help organisations further streamline and automate their workflows.
Any organisation running on a version prior to GP 18.5 will be aware that they have been out of mainstream support since the start 2023. Extended Microsoft support will be concluded by 2028. The routes for the organisations in this scenario will either be:
Before embarking on a specific path, we recommend reviewing all options and seeing what suits the business, your objectives and longer-term plan. The team at BCN can help support you on this journey.
Microsoft have circulated that new licenses for GP will end from 2026, meaning this product will be supported by fewer organisations as many partners and providers transition to support Business Central. As a result, GP customers may find it increasingly difficult to find good GP support and resources.
Did you know:
A crucial part of disaster recovery planning is ensuring that your business insurance provides sufficient coverage for the costs of remediating a disaster. Therefore, the policy wording and terms must meet your business needs. Note: Some policies mandate that software used is actively in support by the vendor (Microsoft) and up to date where possible.
We have listed Frequently Asked Questions below to address key questions raised when considering what to do next:
Dynamics GP has been offered by Microsoft for more than 20 years and is a mature, on-premise solution with a large user base. Business Central delivers the next-generation, cloud-based ERP system as part of Microsoft’s suite of business applications.
Microsoft have and continue to invest heavily in the research and development of Business Central and customers have the advantage of benefiting from two major releases in April and October. Each release provides access to the latest features and functionality with Business Central means you benefit from always being on the most up to date version.
The main difference between Business Central and Dynamics GP is the design of each product. Dynamics GP is a legacy product initially developed for on-premise deployment, updated in recent years to support some cloud functionality. Business Central is a newer solution built to replace GP and NAV specifically for the cloud.
GP and Business Central both provide similar functionality for:
For a full list of the complete functionality of Business Central, click here.
Moving from a legacy ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution to a new cloud solution can be tricky but with our BCN experts to help you manage the transition. Each migration is individual to the business, and partnering with an experience organisation such as BCN, can help you unlock the full power of your IT investment.
Microsoft have provided documentation to support this route for organisations, available here:
Migrate Dynamics GP data to the cloud – Business Central | Microsoft Learn, and here
Compare Work in Dynamics GP to Business Central – Dynamics GP | Microsoft Learn
The first suggestion would be to undertake a review on your IT estate. This would include infrastructure, service providers and software vendors used across the business.
A RAID assessment of the estate will then provide a list of actions and priority list to tackle first and protect your organisation. Should you not have the skills in house to deliver this BCN can support and provide resources to support this initiative with you.
Many organisations may not be aware that there are funding options available for digital transformation projects. This can be in the form of loans and grants from local and regional bodies. If you would like an indicative idea of the investment required for a new or upgraded solution, click here to obtain an indicative ballpark view.
At BCN we have prepared a few resources for you to help on your journey.
Streamline and grow your business with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central