Dynamics GP Cloud Hosting: Why It’s Time to Make the Move

By Paul Johnson | March 1, 2024

Dynamics GP Cloud Hosting

When broaching the topic of Dynamics GP cloud hosting, there are several beneficial options businesses can consider when moving away from physical servers.

There are several benefits of moving to the cloud. With new technological advancements and the introduction of Microsoft Copilot and AI for various cloud-based applications, now would be a good time to consider taking advantage of what the cloud can offer you.

For companies running Dynamics GP, there are two main options for moving to the cloud:

  1. You can host your Dynamics GP environment in Microsoft Azure
  2. You can upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central

In this blog, we will detail the benefits of both options and also provide some insight into why it's time for your business to strongly consider making the move to the cloud.

Six Reasons to Consider Dynamics GP Cloud Hosting

The business landscape in virtually every industry is quickly evolving. Your organization's ability to make smart strategic investments is essential in ensuring a profitable, secure, and innovative future. While it's not the only way forward, it's increasingly becoming the best option for many businesses.

Whether you are considering hosting GP in Azure or moving GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central, here are six key advantages the Microsoft Cloud brings to the table:

Harness AI and Business Intelligence

Microsoft Copilot integrates easily with Dynamics 365 cloud-based systems and gives you access to a powerful suite of AI tools that can help you streamline business processes and improve your team members' work experiences. You can generate insightful content, easily capture meeting summaries, automate customer service processes, and much more.

Those operating cloud-based solutions like Dynamics 365 Business Central, can use Microsoft Copilot in their ERP system if they have a Microsoft 365 Copilot license. If you are running Dynamics GP, however, there is no way to use Copilot in that ERP system. You can still use it in Microsoft 365 apps if you buy the license but not in GP. This is a huge benefit of moving to the cloud.

Control Costs and Manage Scalable Solutions

Moving to the cloud opens you up to a scalable solution that will save you money. What scalable means are you can adjust it to the size of your business and make it bigger or smaller depending on your budget and how many team members you have. Essentially, you only pay for what you need, which ensures you keep costs under control. It also makes it easy for you to get access to a bigger system if your business grows, significantly reducing infrastructure costs.

Gain Access to Innovative Collaboration and Productivity Tools

Microsoft Cloud Solutions comes equipped with tools that make it easier for your team to collaborate from wherever they work. These tools also increase productivity and streamline your business processes. Some of these tools include:

  • Chat with Copilot
  • Complete faster bank reconciliations
  • Integrate AI with AL Solutions
  • Marketing text suggestions

These are just some of the tools you can unlock access to by moving to the cloud.

Built-In Security Measures

When you host your environment in the Microsoft cloud, you get access to state-of-the-art security measures powered by Microsoft. These are built-in and cost nothing outside of what you pay for your licenses. Stoneridge Software's cloud consulting team can help you get started in protecting your environment and provide you with a solid plan to move forward. This includes data backup, identity and access management, and disaster recovery. Since the cloud is always evolving, you can ensure that your system's protection is always up-to-date.

Operational Consistency and Reliability

Upgrading to the cloud minimizes downtime by making it easier for your team to focus on the most important aspects of their jobs. The disaster recovery functionalities mentioned above ensure your business stays resilient and your system stays reliable.

Stay Connected to the Future with Cloud Adoption

Having all of your business applications in the cloud is the easiest way to connect them. For example, to use the Power Platform with your Dynamics GP data, you need to install a connector. While it is possible to do so, it's much easier to combine Dynamics 365 Business Central and the Power Platform as they are both hosted on the cloud. More and more applications are requiring a connection to the cloud and having an ERP system that is already cloud-hosted will help you integrate them into your environment easier.

Dynamics GP Cloud Hosting: Dynamics 365 Business Central or Microsoft Azure?

Both options help connect you to the cloud, but they are different. The main difference is the cost. Upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central means you will have to go through a new implementation and a learning curve as it is a new solution for your users. If you are committed to staying with Dynamics GP, you can host in Azure for a monthly fee.

Let's compare the two options:

Migrate to Microsoft Azure

Dynamics GP cloud hosting Azure

Moving your Dynamics GP environment to Microsoft Azure eliminates the risks associated with on-premise servers while allowing you to continue using a system you and your team are comfortable with.

Moving your Dynamics GP environment to Microsoft Azure has several key benefits:

  • Resilience against local power disruptions - Your server stays up even if the power goes out.
  • Proactive security measures - On-premise servers are more likely to be the target of cyberattacks.
  • Cost predictability and flexibility in licensing - With Azure, you know what your monthly costs are and have the flexibility to scale that. You are also only billed for the resources you use.
  • Eliminate the costs that come with physical servers - This eliminates the need to spend valuable dollars replacing old physical servers if they malfunction or need to be replaced.

If you and your team like working with Dynamics GP but want to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud, migrating to Azure is the right choice.

Upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics GP cloud hosting Business Central

As mentioned earlier, upgrading to Dynamics 365 Business Central is a big job. It's a new system for you and your team to learn, it comes with a cost, and it's a brand-new implementation. While this might seem daunting, there are many benefits to doing it, including:

  • Better data security - Business Central is already hosted on Azure, ensuring your data and sensitive information are protected with some of the highest standards in the industry.
  • Predictability in cost of ownership and system updates - Similar to hosting in Azure, upgrading to Business Central gives you more visibility into the cost of your operating expenses. This frees up your team to focus on other work. Additionally, Business Central undergoes automatic updates, ensuring you and your team are always operating on the latest version.
  • Enhanced Productivity with a modern user experience and platform - While it is a different system, Business Central still has a similar look and feel to GP and is very intuitive. You don't need RDP or VPN and can access your system from anywhere at any time.
  • Greater Functionality and AI Capabilities - Dynamics 365 Business Central gives you access to unlimited add-ons and extensions, allowing you to fully optimize your environment based on your needs. You can also use the AI capabilities of Microsoft Copilot right in your Dynamics 365 Business Central environment. It also gives you more functionality than GP in several key areas:
    • Financial analysis and reporting
    • Cash flow
    • Warehouse Management
    • Job Costing and Projects
    • Enhanced Approval Workflows
    • And much more
  • Real-Time Insights and Analytics - Being able to look at how your business is performing quickly empowers you to make smarter and faster decisions to guide where your business is going. It does this through machine learning, Power BI, and the rest of the Power Platform.

If you aren't ready to move away from Dynamics GP, that's alright. Microsoft has released a GP support roadmap that goes until at least 2028. Additionally, Stoneridge Software is dedicated to supporting GP well into the future, regardless of whether you are on-premise or on the cloud.

Dynamics GP lifecycle

Pick The Dynamics GP Cloud Hosting Option That Best Suits Your Business

If you are considering moving Dynamics GP to the cloud, both of these options are very solid ways for your business to move forward. At the end of the day, you need to go with whatever suits your business and the users who power it. If you aren't sure where to start, you can reach out to the Stoneridge Software Cloud Consulting team. We will work with you every step of the way on your cloud journey:

  1. We'll start by sitting down with you and your team for an Envisioning Session, where we will discuss your goals and unique business needs. We'll also identify areas of improvement and come up with solutions to tackle those challenges.
  2. Once we determine the best path forward, we'll help you prepare your environment and your team for the move.
  3. Next, we'll help you with the implementation and training on the new features open to you now that you've moved to the cloud.
  4. Lastly, we'll continue to work with you by providing support and training as your system goes through updates and any potential changes you identify.

Get in touch with Stoneridge Software today to start your cloud journey.

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