Microsoft Dynamics GP to D365 BC Considerations

Why Now Is the Time to Move on From Microsoft Dynamics GP

April 17, 2024

Dynamics GP has been a cornerstone in the business world for over two decades, but the time has come for finance leaders to embrace what’s next.

Microsoft is phasing out the sale of new Dynamics GP licenses, with the sale of perpetual licenses to new customers ending in April 2025. In April 2026, the sale of subscription licenses and any new sales of Dynamics GP licenses will end. However, Microsoft is committed to providing Dynamics GP support under the Modern Lifecycle support policy through 2028.

If your organization has growth plans or wants to stay competitive at its current size, don’t wait to start planning your next move. Here’s why now is the time to switch from Dynamics GP to a true cloud solution so you can ready your business.

You Can’t Afford the Risk

The thought of upgrading to a new system can be overwhelming. However, it’s important to consider the risks of sticking with an outdated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution: Disconnected systems. Siloed, error-prone data. Security vulnerabilities. Manual workarounds. The complexity of making your on-premise ERP work “for now” may be costing you more than you think.

What happens if your Dynamics GP database, the heart of your operations, becomes corrupted and severely compromises your access to critical business data? An unexpected update could take down your entire accounting system for an extended time, causing you to lose thousands or even millions of dollars when you can’t process orders. Operating your business on Dynamics GP can be risky due to the limited support and potential lack of updates or enhancements.

Dwindling support

Though GP may work well for you today, will that be true next year and beyond? Dynamics GP has been on the market since 1993, which will make partner and vendor support harder to find as Microsoft phases out the product. And once Modern Lifecycle support ends, the risks of continuing to use Dynamics GP will soar.

Using an outdated, unsupported ERP system can delay your response to disasters, and you may have limited or no access to technical support if you need to resolve significant issues. Even if you can find the level of support you need, the long-term investment could cost more than moving to a modern, cloud accounting software system — and it’s ultimately just an expensive bandaid to delay an inevitable transition.

Risk to your exit strategy

Continuing to use a legacy ERP can also pose a risk if you anticipate a leadership change or if you’re considering a merger or acquisition. Imagine trying to sell your business while using outdated and unsupported technology. Potential buyers and investors will not view this situation positively, potentially leading to a loss of interest or lower business valuation. A healthy business requires a modern, supported ERP solution to complete a successful transition and maximize the potential transaction value.

Increased security concerns

Though Dynamics GP is a reliable tool, it has limitations, especially regarding cybersecurity. A true cloud ERP solution is more secure than a cloud-hosted or on-premise solution. When ERP applications are in the cloud, you gain real-time support for security updates, including vulnerability patches that reduce data and systems exploitation risk.

Third-party add-ons are often incorporated into Dynamics GP to extend its functionality due to the software's lack of advanced security features found in modern cloud solutions. These add-ons leave you vulnerable to cyber threats. And with the rise of cyberattacks and data breaches, it’s crucial that you prioritize cybersecurity. Yet how much of your budget is going toward ongoing cybersecurity hardening and improvement around your Dynamics GP environment? For most businesses, the answer is little to none.

Microsoft and other leading ERP providers are investing millions of dollars in cybersecurity protections. By moving to a cloud-based ERP, you’ll likely benefit from much stronger security than what a typical on-premise system can provide — and you won’t have to worry about routine maintenance. Switching also saves on infrastructure expenses related to hardware and server maintenance.

Stop the Workarounds

It’s important to identify if GP can keep up with the demands of your evolving business. The honest answer is probably not. The cost of ownership and the complexity of managing the Dynamics GP environment is only increasing, and many organizations are living through those limitations.

Is your environment heavily customized? If you have a labyrinth of add-ons and plug-ins Frankensteined together to help Dynamics GP meet your needs, consider if the costs and complexity are worth it. Typically, it makes more sense to upgrade your back-end accounting and stop the workarounds.

Moving to a true cloud solution means your organization is no longer constrained by an ERP you’ve outgrown. Instead, you can access a more flexible and scalable solution that adapts to your changing needs. Explore ERPs with advanced automation and workflow capabilities that better fill your process gaps.

Workforce Talent and Remote Access Require a Modern ERP

The pool of workforce talent that knows Dynamics GP will continue to shrink. And with its outdated user interface and limited integration capabilities, GP can seem cumbersome and frustrating for new staff training on it, who are probably used to more intuitive solutions. As generations continue to enter the workforce, they are even less likely to have experience with legacy ERP technologies like GP and may be less willing to work with its limitations.

Also, consider the impact of virtualization on employee access needs. With the significant shift to remote work, your staff must access the tools required to do their jobs from anywhere, anytime. Because Dynamics GP has limited mobility and relies on remote desktop protocol and virtual private network connections, logging in away from the office can be a challenge. By moving to a cloud solution, you can provide your team with a modern, user-friendly ERP they can access on any device, from anywhere with an internet connection.

4 Questions to Answer About Your ERP

If you’re on the fence about upgrading your Dynamics GP, think about how it aligns with your existing business and what you need it to do as you continue to grow. Consider these four key questions as you evaluate your current system and consider your ERP migration path:

  • Have you outgrown your current Dynamics GP chart of accounts? After using Dynamics GP for many years, your current account structure likely has grown unmanageable, and you might want to add more business segments. As you evaluate your migration path, review how you can improve your reporting, reduce the number of accounts and track multiple entities.
  • Do you have applications or data sources that are not integrated in your organization? You may already have GP integrated with other systems or applications. However, consider what integrations you need moving forward that could eliminate manual tasks and workarounds, reduce errors and provide timely insights.
  • What additional ERP features and functionality do you require? Weighing your business needs against feature sets, including reporting flexibility, dashboarding, job cost and project accounting, will help you determine which ERP is best for your organization. For instance, a distributor may require improved inventory, order processing, sales and customer management to easily integrate with logistics, shipping, CRM, an e-commerce site and business intelligence tools.
  • What is your total cost of ownership (TCO)? Evaluate the TCO for maintaining Dynamics GP versus adopting a new ERP system. Consider factors such as ongoing maintenance, support costs and scalability in both the short and long term. Determine if your budget can sustain the increasing costs of Dynamics GP, and assess how a cloud solution might better align with your financial goals.

Find Your Smartest Path Forward

Don’t let a legacy solution become your legacy. Letting go of your longstanding ERP and migrating to a new solution is a big decision, and taking the leap can seem overwhelming. But making the switch sooner rather than later is crucial to keep you in control of your transition.

Before you jump ahead and purchase a new ERP, evaluate solutions that will improve your team’s efficiency and capabilities and boost your cybersecurity posture. Transitioning from Dynamics GP to a true cloud ERP solution can transform your operations through automation, end-to-end data visibility and greater security.

Ready to Make the Switch From GP?

Choosing and implementing a new ERP system is significant, but you don’t have to navigate the switch alone. The right guidance can help you turn your Dynamics GP migration into a catalyst for growth. Download our ERP Selection Guide and learn how our award-winning business application ERP consultants can help you evaluate your requirements, avoid common pitfalls and plan the most efficient transition.

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