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January 22, 2024

Navigating Dynamics GP End of Life Transition

By Georgia Deery

Microsoft announced back in April 2023 that they plan to end new Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Microsoft Great Plains) sales in 2025 and 2026 and it is approaching End of Life.  In more recent years, Microsoft has shifted their investment to cloud-based ERP system Dynamics 365 Business Central to benefit from the latest cloud enabled technologies, a new coding language and a modern user interface.

What does this mean for Dynamics GP Users?

At this point, there’s no cause for immediate concern, but Dynamics GP users must be equipped with comprehensive information to prepare themselves for the future.  Even when Microsoft cease the sale of new Dynamics GP licenses, they are still committed to continue supporting GP customers until 2028. 

The current version of Dynamics GP follows the Modern Lifecycle Policy and there will be periodic product updates and regulatory functionality added but Dynamics GP will lag behind in terms of functionality.  Although enhancement plans are an option, transitioning to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can prove to be a more cost-effective solution.

Start conversations with your partner now to explore the options that align most effectively with your business needs.

Can Dynamics 365 Business Central offer the same functionality as Dynamics GP?

The primary difference between Business Central and Dynamics GP lies in their design.  Dynamics GP, a legacy product was originally designed for on-premise deployment and has undergone recent updates to incorporate some cloud features.  Business Central is a modern solution specifically designed for cloud deployment.

While the functionality remains comparable in both products, there are some distinctions in terms of features and integration:

  •       Hosting – Business Central is cloud and GP is on-premise

  •       Licensing – Business Central is run as a subscription model and GP is perpetual

  •       Upgrades – Business Central is automated and GP users have to manually upgrade

  •       Power BI – Business Central integrates with ease and GP is more complex to integrate with

  •       CRM Integration – Again Business Central integrates with D365 CRM with ease and GP is more complex

There are also some differences between the GL Account structure and financial reporting.

Getting to know a different look and feel of the product you use every day can be daunting, so Microsoft has put together some video content around getting acquainted with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and specific workflows between Dynamics GP and Business Central.

Migrating to the Cloud

Transitioning from a legacy ERP solution to a modern cloud-based alternative can be complex.  It’s vital for organisations to start planning with their partner or find an experienced Dynamics 365 Business Central partner to navigate them through the process. 

Microsoft have also published a comprehensive guide on ‘Migrate Dynamics GP Data to the Cloud’ detailing the end to end process ending up with a complete copy of your Dynamics GP database in the cloud. 

Top Tip – You can clear down some of your data before moving it to the Cloud.  Now is a great opportunity to clear out old and no longer needed data but use an experienced partner to advise.

What are my next steps with Dynamics GP?

Don’t wait until Dynamics GP reaches its end of life; take proactive steps now.  Delaying may put your organisation at risk of security breaches and compliance issues as there will be no new features and bug fixes available.

In the first instance, if you are running a version of Dynamics GP prior to GP 18.5 you should be aware it’s now out of mainstream support.  You can upgrade to the latest version to ensure the solution is in mainstream support, however, this could be a costly exercise and will have a limited time window for updates and functionality.

We would advise you to initiate discussions with your partner or engage with an experienced Dynamics 365 Business Central partner.   While the migration from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central may appear overwhelming, the advantages far surpass any challenges.  You’ll have access to features and capabilities that are not available in Dynamics GP, leading to increased efficiency and productivity, enhanced data security and substantial cost savings.

Ready to start the conversation?  Get in touch with us today to understand how we can help you migrate to Dynamics 365 Business Central.


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