Words matter. The words by the Microsoft executive on the main stage of the Dynamics GP general session at Summit NA sent shock and confusion through the room, the hallways, then social media.
Competitors didn't hesitate to jump on it.
On the other hand, the words said by the dedicated GP community members in an emergency "feedback session" to Microsoft do indeed seem to also have had an effect.
Microsoft redacted and clarified "what they meant" in writing. And I'm told the clarification will soon be posted on the Dynamics GP lifecycle page of Microsoft.com.
Words caused the damage, but words helped to fix it too.
But what actually happened?
The main points of controversy were:
1) Message from Microsoft on the main stage: There will be no more new releases, and no more new features, for Dynamics GP.
- Microsoft is fully committed to supporting our Dynamics GP customers. This will include new releases (e.g., 18.6, 18.7, 18.8, …) for the foreseeable future on the same timeline and schedule as we have done in the past several years, as outlined in the GP Modern Support Lifecycle.
- If you are an existing GP customer, you can be confident in using Dynamics GP to run your business for years to come.
- New releases will contain regulatory (tax), security updates, and hotfixes, ensuring GP remains up to date.
- New releases will also include updates in usability, reliability, addressing top customer issues, and other areas that are critical in ensuring businesses run successfully on GP.
- At the Summit we did make a statement about 'new features'. This intent was to share that we do not expect significant new capabilities in Dynamics GP, such as new modules. Microsoft's major investments and innovations will be in other Dynamics 365 offerings.
2) Message from Microsoft from the main stage: If your Dynamics GP partner can't move you to Dynamics 365 BC we have partners who can. Call one of these 4 companies (slide shown on the screen with 4 large VARs including their contact information)
- We recommend customers with any questions or concerns reach out to their existing partner, who best understands their business.
- Microsoft mentioned several companies that provide migration services. These services are intended as a 'partner-to-partner' resource, with customers continuing to work directly with their existing partner.
Note: it is my understanding that these 4 large partners work with Microsoft on Assessment/Migration tools for GP to BC. However, it was clearly inappropriate to say that at a USER conference if it was a Partner to Partner message.
In conclusion, the statement said:
"It is the case that Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Finance + SCM will be products which will see the majority of Microsoft's investments in ERP. We do encourage customers to talk with their partner about whether one of these products may be a good fit, while being assured that Dynamics GP will continue to be updated and supported, allowing customers to make the choice that is right for their business."
This is the same message Microsoft has said for the last several years, and if they had just stuck to that, nobody would have been shocked.
In my opinion, "That is what we said, but that is not what we meant" or "that was not the intent" is nice to hear, but the damage was already done. The clarification news will not travel as fast as the original salacious statements.
However, in the same statement, Microsoft also said:
- The GP ISV (Independent Software Vendors) ecosystem has always been strong and will continue releasing new add-ons that extend core Dynamics GP.
And I think that is a very important message.
What Should Dynamics GP Users Do With Their ERP Systems Now?
Dynamics GP users should be evaluating their options. This should be done by all successful companies.
At some point, it will make sense to migrate to a new ERP system. For now, there is still the choice to stay on the system they know and already own, Microsoft Dynamics GP.
And if a company is staying on Dynamics GP, they do not just need to treat it like an old car and drive it until it dies. They can continue to look at add-on tools to improve the system and their own productivity while the company grows. In fact, many of these tools can be used on any ERP system they choose to upgrade to in the future. There is no reason to just "limp along" now. Use Dynamics GP to its fullest!
With the right add-on tools, your company can use Dynamics GP to the fullest now and set yourselves up for the future.
To start, here are two sessions where you can see demos of NINE unique add-on tools designed for Microsoft Dynamics GP. You can watch live or on-demand and figure out if one of them is right for you.
- MSX Group (Financial Reporting & Budgeting)
- Titanium GP (Data Integration)
- Corporate Renaissance Group (Reporting)
- Rockton Software (Pricing Management)
- Avalara (Tax)Dynamic Budgets (Budgeting)
- Nolan Business Solutions (Cash Management)
- Pairsoft (AP Automation)
- Prophix (Corporate Performance Management)
Dynamics GP is alive and well. It is the trusted ERP system by tens of thousands of companies around the world. And it has an extremely loyal, hard-working community of Partners supporting it. While the majority of Microsoft's investments in ERP will go toward other systems, companies can continue to use, improve and thrive with their Dynamics GP systems.
Where Can You Get Microsoft Dynamics GP Support?
On the ERP Software Blog directory of Regional Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partners, National Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partners and Dynamics ERP Add On Providers all of these companies are listed as working with Microsoft Dynamics GP:
ACE Micro, LLC
Bam Boom Cloud
Blue Moon Industries
CAL Business Solutions, Inc.
Computer Resources, Inc.
DemandDynamics (Prelude Systems Inc)
Express Information Systems
Fidesic by Enliven Software
FMT Consultants Inc.
GP Support North
Intelligent Technologies, Inc.
Knaster Technology Group
KwikTag by enChoice
LBMC Technology Solutions
Next Generation Logistics, Inc.
RSM US LLP
SPS Commerce, Inc.
Syvantis Technologies, Inc.
Technology Management Concepts
The TM Group
WebSan Solutions Inc.
Reach out to these partners to help you make the most of your Microsoft Dynamics GP system now and evaluate your path for the future.
Are you a Dynamics GP partner that would like to be listed on the ERP Software Blog?
By Anya Ciecierski, ERP Software Blog, www.erpsoftwareblog.com