Microsoft Dynamics GP is on track for the promise of bi-annual significant update releases. Adding many new features with the latest build of Dynamics GP 2015 R2, I’d recommend staying current for more reasons than staving off an unsupported environment. Many of the changes revolve around reporting, namely better data integration with Management Reporter (financials), native SmartList design capability with refreshable Excel reporting, intercompany processing, and Business Analyzer has a companion app for mobile devices. Much of the Business Portal has been replaced with enhancements to the Web Client and a Dynamics GP desktop client designed to work with light user licensing for employee self-service and related functionality. Many additional workflow functions have been included for compliance and secure processing.
Security has been a main focus of the Microsoft Dynamics team for several versions now. Role based security is now complimented by Identity Management for the Web Client. This allows logon with an Active Directory account, or single sign-on to access the network, SQL and Dynamics GP. Given the ability to control access down the general ledger account level, this accomplishment brings Dynamics GP up to speed with the standard industry security models. We will continue to look for improvements to this model and future functionality of the Web Client to complete the circle on security meeting functionality.
Upgrading to the latest version of Dynamics GP is rarely considered without regard to infrastructure. The fact that Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 is no longer supported with Dynamics GP 2015 can be a costly proposition, pending the organization’s licensing agreement. Microsoft SQL 2012 – standard or express editions and up is a requirement for Dynamics GP 2015. Microsoft Windows 2008 Standard Edition service pack 2 or later is required for server operating systems (the last of the 32-bit core).
Many organizations are virtualizing their server environments, and with good reason. Easier to manage, better performance, and leveraging platform costs to get more from the investment are just some of the many reasons for remote application hosting. That said, it has never been a better time to install your Dynamics GP application for remote access. If the organization has not already made this investment, now is the time. It will pay for itself in user efficiency, IT management cost and organizational productivity. Less reliance on desktop and laptop version requirements, as well as more and more devices and apps in the tablet space, are enough reason alone to centralize processing for functionality and cost. There can be some licensing concerns when it comes to Office and other Microsoft aligned components, but overall the decision to virtualize and centralize application control is a cost benefit approach to business IT.
If you have any questions about security, licensing, upgrading or infrastructure design, RSM is a top Microsoft partner. From Dynamics implementations and training to network design, server virtualization and mobility, we can help. Contact our professionals for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 855.437.7202.
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By: Georgina Anderson – Great Lakes Microsoft Dynamics GP partner