Microsoft has announced a long-term roadmap for Dynamics GP that extends the planned lifecycle of GP to 2028 and beyond. Within the new roadmap, GP has officially moved away from the Fixed Lifecycle policy to the Modern Lifecycle. Under the Modern Lifecycle, users will find it more affordable and easier to upgrade their system to the latest version with new features, tax tables, and updates.
According to Microsoft’s announcement: The Modern Lifecycle Policy offers support and servicing, including bug fixes, new features, and latest tax updates. Under this policy, Dynamics GP customers stay current by taking at least one of the three all-inclusive Dynamics GP updates, typically released in June, October, and December each year. The October update typically delivers new capabilities. The two other updates will typically consist of hotfixes, tax updates, and any relevant regulatory updates.
We talked to two long-time team members on our Dynamics GP team here at Stoneridge after the announcement was made – Cory Severson, Senior Consultant, and Rob Wagner, Principal Developer, to get their thoughts on the extended GP roadmap.
Q – What were your initial thoughts when you heard about the official changes to the GP roadmap?
Cory – I’m excited to see this. This announcement solidifies the longevity of Dynamics GP. This is great to see because it should help put to rest the myths that Dynamics GP is going away and it shows Microsoft is dedicated to keeping GP as an ongoing product.
Q – How will upgrades be affected by the complete transition to the Modern Lifecycle Policy?
Cory – Moving forward upgrades will be simplified. As soon as users move to the Modern Lifecycle version, they will no longer need to complete a full installation to move to the most current version. When a new service pack is released, we can apply that to the system and it continues to tack on top of what you already have in place. In the past, an upgrade would mean your system could be down a day or longer. Now we’ll be able to complete upgrades in less than 4 hours in most cases. This means not only time savings, but savings on costs to upgrade and reduction in lost work time.
Rob – This means a lot of changes to customer’s customizations moving forward. There will be incremental upgrades when users want to add or change their system. Once on this foundation, customizations are going to be easier to put in place and won’t be so adversely affected when a new version is released.
Q – What would you recommend for Dynamics GP users as they plan their ERP for the next few years?
Cory – We would recommend moving to the Modern Lifecycle version of Dynamics GP. Mainstream support for Dynamics 2018 is ending in 2023, and the benefits of being on the most recent version are a great reason to make the move now. Microsoft continues to develop and add new features into GP based on user requests. There are many new things that can help users become more efficient and alleviate headaches they may be currently experiencing.
Rob – Everyone will eventually go to the cloud but not everyone is going to go immediately. This gives GP users some time and lets them move to Dynamics 365 on their own schedule. GP is like a trusty blanket that is going to keep your business going at the cost and price you’re willing to pay. GP is constant and it works.
Stoneridge will continue to support Dynamics GP long-term and can also assist with those who may be interested in transitioning to a SaaS, cloud-based solution, like Dynamics 365.