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Fresh from Convergence 2011: Top 10 Enhancements Planned for Microsoft Dynamics GP


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In April, members of the Sikch Microsoft Dynamics GP team attended Microsoft Convergence in Atlanta with a lot of our clients.  Microsoft Convergence is the premier Microsoft Dynamics event which Microsoft hosts each year.  It was a great opportunity to attend learning sessions, meet with Microsoft executives, network with fellow users and learn about the future of the Microsoft Dynamics GP product.  Following is a list of the top 10 announcements showcasing the exciting future that Microsoft Dynamics GP users can expect in their product:

 

  1. Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 is scheduled for release on May 1, 2011.  R2 is basically a new service pack, but Microsoft calls it a “minor version.”  This minor version, as opposed to a major version, is focused on three main areas:  (1) enhance insight, (2) make it easier, and (3) extend connections.
  2. As part of enhancing insight, R2 comes with a cool tool called Business Analyzer.  This tool is meant for executives to query the Microsoft Dynamics GP data by viewing Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) – sort of like the Metrics section of the Homepage.  Only Business Analyzer uses a “Light User” license (i.e. DCO license) as opposed to a full Microsoft Dynamics GP user license.  With Business Analyzer, executives can drill into these KPIs for additional information.  For instance, if I have a chart that displays sales by product line, I could double click on one of the product lines and drill into a map of the United States that has states highlighted in different colors based on where the majority of the sales occur.  Business Analyzer is powered by SRS and can be deployed as a separate application or on the Homepage/in the Navigation Panes in Microsoft Dynamics GP.
  3. As part of making it easier, R2 comes with a Word Template Generator that will make it easier to take existing Report Writer reports and turn them into Microsoft Office Word Templates.
  4. With R2, you can now add dynamic text to emails in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010.  For instance, if I type %Vendor Name% in the greeting of my email, Microsoft Dynamics GP will automatically pull in the Vendor Name to create customized emails when sending Sales Order Processing and Purchase Order Processing documents.
  5. Microsoft has improved the Navigation Lists that appear in the left-hand Navigation Pane on all functional homepages.  These Navigation Lists are now 300% faster.  For instance, in one test Microsoft performed, a certain Navigation List that used to take 12 minutes to run now takes 3 seconds!  
  6. The next version of Microsoft Dynamics GP (Version 12) will be out in 2012/2013.  It will include a web client deployment where clients will simply open Internet Explorer, enter the URL, and poof!  Microsoft Dynamics GP is installed!  Not all features will initially be available using the web client deployment.  Initially, users will only be able to access Financials and Distribution in this manner.
  7. Other NEW and EXCITING features in Version 12 will include the following:  (1) reconcile IV to General Ledger routine, (2) Fixed Asset Historical depreciation reporting, (3) THE ABILITY TO SELECT YOUR PRINTER AT THE TIME OF PRINTING A DOCUMENT…this almost brought a standing ovation!!, and (4) the ability to reprint PM check stubs and remittances (finally!!).
  8. In terms of migrating from FRx to MR, it all comes down to prepping FRx before moving anything into MR.  There is a TON of clean up that needs to take place in FRx before you are ready.  Once the reports have been migrated, you should run EACH of your FRx reports and compare them to your respective MR report.  We strongly recommend working with Sikich for this migration, as you can leverage our expertise from past migrations.
  9. Feature Pack 1 for MR has been released.  It includes currency translation in Microsoft Dynamics GP BUT it only works if the you are using Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, SP1.  The reason for this is because it was actually the Microsoft Dynamics GP team at Microsoft that added tables in Microsoft Dynamics GP to make the currency translation piece work in MR.  The MR team at Microsoft just pulls the data from the tables added by the Microsoft Dynamics GP team.
  10. Feature Pack 2 for MR will be released the second half of 2011.  It will include the ability to add comments to MR reports as well as the ability to schedule reports.  There will also be new output options, including XPS and SharePoint with alerts.  At this time, Microsoft has no plans to EVER include email functionality in MR reports.  According to Microsoft, their studies have shown clients do not want this feature.  Instead, clients would prefer to publish their reports to SharePoint and let people know with the alerts feature.  Additionally, Microsoft has no plans to EVER publish to Adobe PDF.  This is partly due to licensing issues since Microsoft does not own Adobe.  Additionally, Adobe PDF files can be changed while XPS files from Microsoft can have electronic signatures that prevent tampering.  Lastly, Adobe PDF files do not embed fonts.  If I created an Adobe PDF file on my workstation and emailed it to you, but you do not have the font I used on your workstation, you would not be able to read my file.  In contrast, Microsoft’s XPS files do embed fonts so that problem would not occur.

Convergence is always a great event to connect with peers, partners, Microsoft team members and industry experts to share ideas and knowledge. If you would like to discuss more of what's in store for your Microsoft Dynamics solution, please contact us at Sikich. We are a Microsoft Dynamics GP partner in Chicago IL and serve the Midwest specializing in the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Follow us on Twitter at @Sikich_Tech and contact us today for more information.

by Sikich, Missouri Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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