Traditionally, ERP has been a large software package with a substantial server installation as well as a large client application. Along with the maintenance of the server components of ERP you would also have to maintain the client installations with regular updates and service packs. Even with MS Dynamics GP you have to maintain the client installations with service pack updates and new add-on installations; over years it has eased that process by way of auto application of the Service packs and using other MS systems like System Center. MS Dynamics GP is not a simple application. It has enterprise level functions to perform and needs to cater to different needs of various departments in an organization. Currently, we live in times where your applications auto update and the installation of apps on your mobile device can even be done by babies; so can this model of simple application management be replicated to Dynamics GP?
We are seeing this trend emerge in ERP packages by the way of SaaS (Software as a Service), ERP packages like Acumatica, WorkDay, and in some form, MS Dynamics GP. Microsoft has gone even further with promising GP as a service based architecture in its roadmap. Imagine a simple app on your mobile device just for requisitions. This would allow you to enter in requisitions from anywhere, even while travelling, and route it if it is above your approval limits; all that without you having to open up your laptop and wait for your Dynamics GP application to load up.
Users in the finance department deposit checks using their mobile device which most banks offer today. Imagine the user experience such that at the same time these checks are entered, they are applied and deposited within Dynamics GP. Even today with the GP 2013 web client, you can perform most of your tasks right out of a browser. But, if you are talking about a better user experience with native mobile apps then the future is not far away. With “GP Next”, the vision detailed in the GP roadmap, is to build out a service infrastructure which would then enable MS ISVs and developers to build self-service apps like expense management, time & attendance, social interaction, etc. In terms of application management, most of the work would be to setup & maintain the server components of GP making the applications on various clients be self-service like the ones on mobile & tablets. The server application management could be further eased by leveraging the MS Azure platform and hosting the GP server components there. Graduating MS Dynamics GP to a true cloud solution would make it’s web service enabled; which would in turn allow new self-service applications to be built for GP.
This advancement in the Dynamics GP system architecture will provide the enterprise users with mobile functionality, device tailored to user experience (a different level of interactivity with the application whether it is a mobile device or a PC), and an easier application management.
Want to know more about GP Next? Have questions? Contact Dave by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1.866.960.0001. Of course, stop by
By: Dave Vora, Business Consultant for KTL Solutions