You’re undoubtedly aware of the constant stream of new features and release updates from Microsoft for your Dynamics GP solution. And you’ve probably seen a fair share as well on presentations, articles and social media conversations about the need to upgrade. But how does that affect you?
This blog will explore the Why, When, What, Where, Who, and How of all things GP upgrade related, including the types of upgrades, supported versions, and the upgrade process so that you can control any costs and risks associated with these upgrades and your organization doesn't miss out on any business opportunities. This blog will also highlight the reasons behind Dynamics GP users opting to upgrade their solutions.
Here’s a brief snapshot of what drives existing Dynamics GP users to upgrade their solutions:
- The need to leverage new features for improved processes
- The decision to add ISV products to enhance efficiencies
- The need to opt for Service Pack, Hotfix or Compliance update for a GP matter
- The desire to benefit from reduced costs by doing timely upgrades
- The need to solicit support for Dynamics GP, Microsoft SQL, OS and/ or Office
In this context, the End-Of-Life needs special mention. For instance, there’s something called a Lifecycle Policy for Dynamics GP, a Windows Server End-Of-Life (Windows Server 2008 R2 has passed its extended date), a SQL Server End-Of-Life (SQL Server 2008 R2 has also overshot its extended date), and so on. Businesses that are using Dynamics GP currently are acutely aware of when this ‘time’ is about to run out, after which upgrading may become necessary.
When to upgrade?
Short answer – Before Microsoft Mainstream Support ends. There are, of course, other factors, some of which are:
- The need to implement a new Module, Feature, and/or ISV
- The need to install hardware that is Failing/ Old, New, or moving to the Cloud
- The desire to perform 1 hop (because Microsoft allows one version to be skipped while upgrading)
What gets upgraded?
Here’s a screenshot of what’s customarily included in an upgrade:
Where should the upgrade happen?
The possibilities in this regard are as follows:
A particularly interesting point is the reason behind doing a test upgrade first then following it up with the live upgrade. Just like a pilot, it is run to evaluate results and resolve glitches (if any), a test upgrade too is carried out with that thought in mind. ‘Cover your bases,’ so to say.
The entire upgrade process typically takes four weeks after which the old GP server may be decommissioned or repurposed.
As a business management solution that allows for better, more efficient control over important business processes, Microsoft Dynamics GP works like a dream for businesses that don’t need a full-service CRM. That said, the way forward is to maximize the benefit by signing up for timely upgrades. After all, it’s a question of making it better.