Recently, Microsoft announced changes to its licensing for Dynamics GP and Business Central. While you, as a user of Dynamics GP may or may not have noticed this announcement, there are a few things that you may want to consider as these changes may impact your organization’s decisions regarding its ERP solution in the near or long term.
The Dynamics GP Community
As the premier User Group Community for the Dynamics Business Solutions and Power Platform products, Dynamics Communities, and its Proud Partners, feel it is important during this time of change to reassure all of you that we are completely invested in the Microsoft Dynamics GP product today and will continue this support for many years to come.
The Dynamics Communities site is your “for user, by user” learning platform, and your home for Dynamics GP. Dynamics GP community is a very active group of passionate people where you can find timely answers to your questions, share your knowledge & expertise, and network with like-minded people.
We are committed to supporting you, as a user of Dynamics GP, no matter where you are in your Microsoft Business Applications journey through the always-on Dynamics Communities learning platform and through Community Summit North America.
Dynamics GP Today
So, what’s going on with Dynamics GP, and what’s the impact on me? To answer that, there are a few things from the Microsoft announcement on April 03, 2023 that need to be clarified.
First, here is the full statement from Microsoft regarding Dynamics GP:
“The recent update also states that after April 1, 2026 sales of Dynamics GP will be limited to existing customers. Microsoft is focusing most of its resources on other products, and we want to make sure that new customers adopt systems that benefit from future innovations. We know that Dynamics GP has a loyal community and Microsoft is fully committed to supporting existing customers and partners. For existing customers there are no changes. We will continue to provide regulatory (tax) updates, security updates, and hotfixes to ensure the current version of Dynamics GP remains up to date, including any usability and reliability updates needed to address top customer issues that are critical in ensuring businesses run successfully on Dynamics GP.”
Second, here is what is currently known to the community, and what you need be aware of:
- This announcement was made via the Microsoft PartnerSource Business Center.
- These are the core points for End Users from the announcement:
- October 1st, 2023 (~6 months):
- Dynamics GP price will increase for new purchases.
- Enhancement Plans will increase by 1%.
- April 1st, 2025 (2 Years from now):
- New licencing for Dynamics GP will be Subscription-based only.
- April 1st, 2026 (3 Years from now):
- New Customer Sales for Dynamics GP is discontinued.
- No implications for Existing Customers (Current Enhancement Plan)
- You can continue to purchase new licenses and modules beyond 2026.
- October 1st, 2023 (~6 months):
Future Plans for Dynamics GP
This announcement and many other previous announcements from Microsoft indicate, Microsoft has been shifting towards cloud services. All On-Premises products, not just Microsoft Dynamics GP, will eventually be phased to the cloud or replaced with something on the cloud. The reality is that Dynamics GP will come to an end someday – but this could be in the 2030s (maybe).
It’s worth noting that Microsoft Dynamics GP 18.xx has been covered under the Microsoft Modern Lifecycle Policy since October 2019 and currently has no defined end date. Furthermore, Microsoft has made public commitments that they will continue to provide:
Regulatory (tax) updates, Security updates and Hotfixes to ensure the current version of Dynamics GP remains up to date, including any usability and reliability updates needed to address top customer issues that are critical in ensuring businesses run successfully on Dynamics GP.
Microsoft Dynamics GP developers have indicated that we should expect some awesome new features included the 18.6 release set for October 2023! And more new features planned for versions 18.7 and 18.8!
Recently, as of April 13th, 2023, the current Microsoft Dynamics GP Roadmap has versions planned through 2028, this roadmap, has not changed since its release in 2019.
- Companies usually do not publish software roadmaps more than 3 – 5 years out. So, it is highly likely that Dynamics GP could be extended well past that date.
- For Microsoft Dynamics GP versions prior to 18.x, refer to Understanding the Dynamics GP Lifecycle Policies for your Fixed Lifecycle Policies.
Your Dynamics GP Consideration Options
While some of these dates seem far off in the ERP space, they are closer than you think. This means that there are critical business decisions that need to be made in the near term to ensure that your company’s operations aren’t adversely impacted by unnecessary and costly downtime.
Now, could be the time to consider your path forward, which could fall into these areas:
Stay on Dynamics GP
You have made big investments into Dynamics GP and might have several third-part ISV solutions to keep your company running smoothly. There is nothing wrong with continuing to use the solution that works best for you.
However, please ensure that you are on the most up-to-date version of Dynamics GP (18.5), otherwise, you could be missing out on many time-saving, security, and functionality enhancements already included in the newest versions.
If you are an existing customer, nothing has changed
You can stay on Dynamics GP for the foreseeable future
Dynamics GP in the Cloud
There are many different solutions available for you to choose from to make this happen. You could simply host some or all of your in-house Dynamics GP Servers in the cloud, or completely move to a full Dynamics GP cloud solution, managed by one of the Dynamics GP partners. You have many great choices. Talk to your Partner, open a discussion on the Dynamics GP Discussion form on the DCI web site and/or come to Summit.
Integrating with Power Platform
Further, if you are not already taking advantage of Microsoft’s cloud-based solutions. There are many Power Platform offerings that integrate with Dynamics GP extending its capabilities and allowing you to tap into new functionality:
- Power Apps to create low-code, professional-grade apps
- Power BI for intelligent analytics to facilitate deep insights into your data
- Power Automate to automate routines, tasks, and processes
- Power Pages to connect to your customers through a secure, low-code business site
- Power Virtual Agents to create AI-powered conversational bots to empower your internal teams and engage externally with your customers
Move to a different Microsoft ERP solution
You may have already heard of the other Microsoft ERP solutions but aren’t sure which one to consider. At a high-level…
- For small to mid-sized companies, Business Central could be a viable option.
- For mid-sized to enterprise companies, Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations might be the best option.
Keep in mind that if you choose to move to one of these solutions, this is NOT a Migration, but a Full-Blown Implementation of a new application. We strongly encourage you to reach out to your Microsoft Partner to understand the options to ensure you are making the best decision.
The path to a new solution is littered with companies who have attempted to self-implement a new ERP product and ended up reaching out to a Microsoft Partner to help them out of a sticky situation as the implementation plan was not set up for long-term success.
Dynamics Communities, and the Microsoft Partners Ecosystem are here to help you navigate these decisions. This is not a decision lightly made. Investing some time and resources into understanding the information presented in this post may help save you a lot of time and angst in the end.
As for what’s next, here’s how we will continue to help the Dynamics GP community:
- The Dynamics Communities GP Discussion Forum is available to the community so that you can stay in the know.
- If you are already active here, please continue to post your questions or feedback.
- If you haven’t joined yet, now is your chance to jump in and connect with other passionate Dynamics GP folks.
- As new details emerge, we and the Dynamics GP Community Leaders will provide further details and share them on the Dynamics Communities site.
- Set aside some time to do a thorough evaluation of your Dynamics GP infrastructure and third-party ISV (add-on) solutions.
- Many of these companies are located here on the Partner Solutions Page.
- Additionally, you can connect with many of them during Community Summit 2023.
- Use your list of third-party solutions to evaluate the functionality/features of other Microsoft ERP solutions (if this is the route you choose).
- As part of your system evaluation, remember to include both your current and future business needs.
- Your company is dramatically different than when you first implemented Dynamics GP.
- With this in mind, begin to ask the hard questions to help formulate your path forward:
- What are my ERP needs?
- Do I have efficient processes in place?
- What are the potential risks that could…
- Impact our employees positively or negatively?
- Require cross-training, upskilling, or hiring new talent?
- Leave our business exposed to new cybersecurity threats that could potentially damage our business and reputation?
- What will be the true cost of the application implementation, data migration, process improvement, automation implementation, analytics solutions implementation, training, ongoing support, process improvement, and more?
While this is not a comprehensive list of assessment questions, it’s a good place to start. Additionally, Dynamics Communities will be offering a FREE guidebook in the coming weeks to help you understand the risks, costs, ERP application comparisons, pros/cons, risk assessments checklist, Dynamics GP ecosystem checklist, and more.
Again, you aren’t alone. The commitment from Dynamics Communities and many in the GP User Group community is to help make the best, informed decisions necessary for your company’s success, your customers’ success, and your community’s impact.
Lastly, as a show of support, the Microsoft Partners & ISVs Ecosystem is committed to all things Microsoft Dynamics GP long-term. As a personal note from them…
“We would like to thank all of you, the Microsoft Dynamics GP users, for your support of our products for the many years past and for the many years yet to come.”