Our Journey from Microsoft Dynamics GP to the Business Central Cloud Part 1: Where We’ve Been

Like many companies today, we have decided it's time to make the switch to the cloud. We've decided to document our journey in order to help others who are considering the move as well. Follow along with our multi-part series about our migration from Dynamics GP to Business Central.

Where did our time with Microsoft Dynamics GP begin?

Integrity Data was established 25 years ago, driven by customers needing creative solutions to complex issues that weren’t solved out of the box with Great Plains – now called Microsoft Dynamics® GP. Two guys joined our company visionary and the new team of three gathered in a garage to solve these issues for customers.

Over time, the opportunities for Integrity Data grew and so did the company. We decided back in 2002 that we needed to adopt the philosophy of “eating your own dog food,” meaning that we needed to be using Dynamics GP so that we can have first-hand insight into the needs of our customers.

As an aside, the earliest origins of the “dog food” phrase dates to the 1970s Alpo dog food commercial featuring Lorne Greene stating that he trusted Alpo for his own dogs. Around 1988, Microsoft began to encourage their internal employees to become users of Microsoft software using the “dog food” analogy. That same desire to eat our own dog food in order to have the best solutions for our customers, moved us from using QuickBooks to adopting Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains accounting software. (Back then, the logo was changing as often as the upgrades were occurring.)

Migration, migration, migrationOur Journey from Microsoft Dynamics GP to the Business Central Cloud Part 1: Where We’ve Been

We self-implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP with help from the “dev team” which consisted of those three guys from the garage: Patrick Doolin (CEO), Dan Doolin (Senior Solutions Strategist) and Bobby Jackson (Senior Architect). Those were interesting times.

Since then, we have migrated through the Microsoft “flavors” of Dynamics GP and are now on the Modern Business Lifecycle version of Dynamics GP.

Our dependency on Dynamics GP has grown, allowing us to use various vendors including Njevity, Journyx, Solver, Nodus and Binary Stream. We have even implemented some home-grown customization development from in-house developers. The ability of Dynamics GP to grow with our organization enabled us to leverage Dynamics GP in new ways to solve our organizational challenges and help others solve theirs.

As an organization we have adopted new technologies, growing with them, too, including our migration from Messenger > Lync > Skype for Business > Microsoft Teams. During this migration, we actually had an on-premise deployment of Skype for Business that included 3 servers in our server room. It was a complex implementation requiring significant maintenance by our in-house systems team. We’ve recently completed our Teams migration where the “backend” is all cloud-based making the utilization of this technology easy. We utilize much of the Microsoft “stack” including Azure, Office365, SharePoint and Visual Studio development tools.

What about Dynamics GP to Business Central?

Cloud computing is now the norm for Integrity Data in respect to our product and service delivery. Our ACA Compliance Reporting solution is an Azure application, our Dynamics GP Payroll & HR Expansion Pack products rely on Azure services for automating our registration services and our Payroll NOW software application is embedded in Dynamics 365 Business Central, a cloud-based ERP solution.

As we have grown with new Microsoft technologies, the value of the “cloud” to our team has become clear. This clarity drove us to prioritize our transition to cloud this calendar year for our key systems that store customer-related information. We believe the cloud will enable us to provide the experience our customers are demanding. These systems include Dynamics CRM to D365 CE and Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 migrations.

In coming posts, we’ll continue to share some specific information about our journey with the hopes that you will benefit from our experience in ways that will ease your own migration to the cloud.

Written by Integrity Data

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