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Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions

Don’t Let Bad Dynamics GP Customizations Hold You Hostage


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    Don’t Let Dynamics GP Customizations Hold You HostageThere are some instances where doing customization to Microsoft Dynamics GP does make the most sense. But in my opinion, a Dynamics GP partner that starts suggesting customization right away, without exhausting all other available options, is not looking out for your best interests.

    There are two ways that Dynamics GP customizations can hold you hostage.

    Unable to Upgrade

    Every new version of Microsoft Dynamics GP has tons of new functionality. And if you are paying your annual Enhancement fee to Microsoft, you have access to this new version at no cost.

    But some companies that have done extensive customization to Dynamics GP can only look at the features of the new version and dream about how good it could be. Many times they find themselves anchored to their outdated version because they are afraid that any change will break the customization and it will be too expensive to fix. So it’s better not to rock the boat, and just make do with what they have.

    That is just sad.

    In my experience, customizations done by ISV partners do not fall into this category as they are kept up to date, include documentation and do not stand in the way of upgrades.

    Unable to Work with a New Partner

    When it comes to anything custom, code or scripts, usually only the person who wrote it can truly understand it.

    Most clients are not willing to pay for the extra time that it would take to document a customization properly. So if you are no longer able to work with the original author, you almost need to start back at square one. If no knowledge transfer can be done the customization has to be reverse engineered so the new partner will understand how to work with it.

    Sometimes the author is available but they will refuse to give you the custom code if you decide to divorce your Dynamics GP partner and work with someone else. In this case you are literally held hostage.

    To avoid this sticky situation add language to your sales contract that says that you own the source code. Ask for a copy of the source code when the customizations are written and a refreshed copy after each upgrade.

    What can you do if you are in hostage situation?

    If you find yourself in this situation you could ask an unbiased third party (not the company who wrote your customization) to evaluate your system to determine your options.

    • Perhaps you had the customization done a long time ago and since then the functionality you need is available in Dynamics GP out of the box. You can upgrade to a fresh clean version.
    • Perhaps there is an add-on tool that is now available that would accomplish the same goal. An add on tool is different than a customization because someone else is responsible for the cost of keeping that add on tool compatible with Dynamics GP.

    Using a clean system without customizations can create a sense of freedom.

    Customizations to Dynamics GP can serve a purpose. We do them ourselves. But they should be done carefully, by a Partner you can trust, for a specific purpose that can't be solved in other ways.

    Dynamics GP Upgrade Resources

    30 Questions to Ask About the Cost of Accounting Software

    If you want to work with an honest Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, contact CAL Business Solutions. 860-485-0910 x4 [email protected]

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