Microsoft Dynamics GP has a lot to offer. If you are considering Microsoft Dynamics GP to help run your business, this GP cheat sheet is your friend.
This GP cheat sheet includes:
- GP and the Cloud
- Customization and Integration
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- What about AX, NAV and SL?
- How to Buy
In days past, companies using GP purchased both user licenses and individual modules. This is no longer the case. Now Microsoft, in an effort to streamline processes and improve user experience, bundles everything. As a result, the buying process is much easier.
The Starter Pack includes the Financial, Distribution and Payroll/Human Resources modules. The Extended Pack adds the Manufacturing Suite, an Advanced Distribution Suite, Project Accounting and Field Service.
There's also a Customization Pack that provides advanced customization and integration tools. Everyone must purchase the Starter Pack and, based on your specific needs, you may also require the Extended and/or Customization Packs.
Microsoft has an informative brochure that lists the specific modules included with each pack. You can download it
Microsoft Dynamics GP offers three types of users:
- Full Users can do anything. This is what your core accounting team and your operations data entry people will use.
- Self-Serve Users on the other hand are designed to extend the reach of the system to those who might not normally have reason to actually log in. Self-serve users can enter time cards, enter project related time sheets and expenses, enter and approve purchase requisitions, and view their employee record and pay stubs.
- Limited Users are a mix between a full user and a self-serve user. Limited users can do everything a self-serve user can do, but they also have read only access to the entire system. Using security settings you can restrict this read access to areas that are appropriate.
There is one other type of user that should be of interest and that would be Management Reporter Users. Management Reporter is used for the creation, distribution and analysis of financial statements. You get an unlimited number of management reporter users.
3. What about the Cloud?
Microsoft Dynamics GP has both on-premise and cloud options. On-premise is where you buy the software up front and run it on your own computer hardware. Cloud software, often called software-as-a-service, or SaaS, is where the software vendor hosts the software for you and you just need an internet connection to reach the hosted solution “in the cloud.” Instead of purchasing the software outright, you pay a monthly fee for the cloud option.
If you have an existing information technology (IT) infrastructure and personnel to support it, on-premise can be a very cost effective way to purchase Microsoft Dynamics. If you are a start-up or have limited IT resources, the cloud option might make more sense.
4. Office 365
Being a Microsoft product, Microsoft Dynamics GP has a wide range to ways to leverage Microsoft Office. Some notable ways include:
- Single click list exports to Excel – these lists can be of anything you want, vendors, customers, transactions, inventory items, etc.
- The Microsoft Word letter-writing assistant lets you create templates right in Microsoft Dynamics GP so you can easily print letters or email your business partners.
- Imports from Excel (or any CSV file for that matter) are easily set up using the Integration Manager module.
- Dozens of Excel-based Analysis Cubes and Pivot Tables are ready to use out-of-the-box for everything from inventory to sales to vendor analysis.
Microsoft Dynamics GP offers a tremendous amount of functionality out-of-the-box – but it doesn't do everything. Nothing can. All businesses have their own unique requirements. To that end, Microsoft supports a thriving independent software vendor (ISV) community for Microsoft Dynamics products. The ISVs create, sell, and support add-on apps for the Microsoft Dynamics products.
Examples of popular add-ons include:
- bar code scanning for warehouse operations
- eCommerce sites
- MICR check printing
- credit card processing
- time clock systems
- …and more
There are also many industry-specific add-ons. When it comes to third party products, Microsoft Dynamics GP is one of the most supported products in the world. Chances are if you have a hard-to-fit requirement, someone has already found a way to make it work with a Microsoft Dynamics GP add-on.
Traditional apps are also available. Go to the app store of your preferred tablet vendor and download the
6. Customization and Integration
The ISV community is great, but situations arise where an out-of-the-box solution does not yet exist. In those cases, GP has tools to help. You have the ability to do simple things (such as adding fields to screens) and can build your own modules. Integration-wise, you can perform batch imports from a legacy system or you can automate integrations using web services. If you can dream it (and it’s logical), you can generally get the job done with Microsoft Dynamics GP.
7. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a sister product to Microsoft Dynamics GP. CRM provides sales tools for both prospects and customers, marketing tools to help reach more customers, and customer service tools to better serve the customers you have.
Like GP, CRM is also available in both on-premise and cloud versions. Microsoft CRM integrates with GP, allowing, for example, salespeople to see prior customer history and service issues before making a call. It would also allow for orders entered within CRM to automatically flow into GP.
8. What about AX, NAV and SL?
Microsoft has four enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions available. They are:
- Microsoft Dynamics AX
- Microsoft Dynamics GP
- Microsoft Dynamics NAV
- Microsoft Dynamics SL
GP and SL have their origins in North America, while AX and NAV were originally developed in Europe. People often wonder which solution is right for them. Unfortunately, it takes more than a blog post to answer this, but to sum up:
Dynamics AX is designed for large and/or multi-national corporations. Where GP, NAV and SL are all designed to be used (to a large extent) out-of-the-box, Dynamics AX should be thought of as a development platform used to meet the demanding requirements that exceed that of a typical small or medium sized business. It is also not typically suited for the middle market, as solution prices easily start at half a million dollars and rapidly go up from there.
Dynamics GP is the leading middle market ERP solution in North America. It's a strong fit for virtually any industry owing to its rich out-of-the-box functionality and widespread availability of third party add-ons. Due to the large customer base, there is widespread support available for GP.
Dynamics NAV can be thought of as the European version of Dynamics GP. It is widely used and supported in Europe and offers very strong multi-country capabilities. Support is not as strong in the US.
Dynamics SL is a strong fit for project-oriented companies, especially those in any kind of construction business. It has a smaller install base than GP and therefore consultants are not as widespread.
A Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation typically lasts anywhere from one to six months. For example, if you are looking at the financials or financials-plus-distribution series, you will be in the one- to three-month range. Adding project accounting or manufacturing can bump you up into the four- to six-month range.
Implementations generally have some (or all) of the following phases:
- Installation (on-premise)
- Module Setup and Configuration
- Customization (if needed)
- Integration (if needed)
- Data Conversion
- Go Live Support
10. How to Buy
Microsoft Dynamics GP is sold through Microsoft partners. It’s the job of the partner to work with companies to understand their requirements and propose a proper solution. The solution proposal will have two parts: the software and the implementation services. Software (unless cloud) is typically charged up front, and implementation services are charged as they are performed.
Most partners have relationships with financing companies that help you finance the software, implementation services and even the hardware required to run everything.
Take a step in the right direction.
Want to know more? InterDyn Artis is a Microsoft Gold certified partner
by InterDyn Artis