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When To Consider Upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP versions 2010/11.0 If you are on one of the suppo

If you are on one of the supported versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP, such as 10.0 and 9.0 and you would like to upgrade to GP 2010 (released in April 2010 and promoted on Convergence 2010 in Atlanta) the question when to update is very legitimate.

There is no generic answer and it depends on your situation.  For example, if you feel that you could deploy advanced features in Distribution (especially Sales Order Processing module with such features as Bulk Print, Automatic Order Allocation, Bulk Confirmation – likely in Warehouse Management and Picking and Packing) which will allow you to retire old customization, or simply help with business procedures.  It also might be the case, when you may capitalize on numerous Excel report templates, new Report Writer report templates and new SSRS preset reports.  If at the time of decision making on Dynamics GP version update Microsoft has Sales campaign and you can save on licenses – this might be also the factor to consider.  On the other hand if you are on older nor longer supported version of Dynamics GP or Great Plains Dynamics: 8.0, 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0 or earlier – chances are high that your day-to-day data entry and transaction processes in GP are solid and you do not have to rush with upgrade, waiting until several service packs for Dynamics GP 2010 are released and tested on more enthusiastic members of Dynamics GP customers community.  Let’s review upgrade options without being too technical:
1. Optimistic approach.  If you like such features in Microsoft Dynamics GP as integration with Microsoft Office, Metrics, Custom Home Page, openness to Sharepoint, Microsoft Workflow (which seems to be one of the reasons, why GP screens are since version 10.0 are separate Windows applications and you may have too many applications open to come back to the form you need to work with), Web Based Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or Excel Reporting – we recommend you to try (possibly test) upgrade or fresh TWO sample company installation to play with the technologies now available in Microsoft Dynamics GP 11.0.  If you are new Dynamics GP customer, you should install and implement version 2010 without questions – do not expose your Corporate ERP implementation to the future unnecessary upgrade expense
2. Conservative Approach.  You are probably aware that software industry tends to push new products with reasonable (but not 100%) quality assurance, with future bug fixing (where you are in essence in similar position to beta tester, but with your ERP in production) in so-called Service Packs.  The introduction of Service Pack as philosophical concept is probably great invention, however it makes you probably more conservative, especially when you are not in real rush – why shouldn’t I just wait and see when new version has reasonable number of service packs released and users report that it is now good to be deployed?  There are no official statements on the Service Pack topic, however reasonable number of Dynamics GP Consultants believe that if two service packs are released – it is safe to upgrade to the new version
3. Historical Analogies.  Our Great Plains Consultants had hard time upgrading Dynamics GP version 8.0 to 10.0 – this upgrade was attempted and was finished before Dynamics GP 10.0 Service Pack 1 was released for publicly traded corporation.  Finally it was happy end, but we had very hard time in the process to achieve success in talking to Microsoft Business Solutions technical support team to have such issues as new security model rights to be transferred to the new version, where security was redesigned from scratches
4. Multistep Upgrade Path.  If you are several versions behind of supported Dynamics GP 10.0 and 9.0, please be aware that your upgrade process will be at least two steps (or more, especially when you are on Pervasive SQL 2000, Btrieve or Ctree DB platforms or even on such archaic Corporate ERP application as Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or Mac).  Multistep upgrade is similar to the surgery – it is required (or recommended), but it is complex and should be thought through.  The same to be repeated if you are on Microsoft Small Business Financial 9.0 or 8.0
5. Upgrade and Customizations, Modifications and Custom Reporting.  If you have Dynamics GP ISV products installed, please contact your ISV partner if they have upgrade path and product version, compatible with Dynamics GP 2010.  If you have in-house programmed or outsourced Great Plains Dexterity customization, please, be sure that you contact your original Dexterity developer to have source code in your disposition.  Microsoft Dexterity 2010/11.0 is still there and it is very similar to what it was before.  Custom reporting was often done in Crystal Reports or FRx in currently supported versions of Dynamics GP.  As we understood Microsoft plans to walk away from FRx and enable SSRS or Excel reporting for Microsoft Dynamics GP Financial Statements, Such as balance Sheet, Profit and Loss, Statement of Cash Flow
6. To request further help, please call us 1-866-528-0577, 1-630-961-5918, in Michigan 1-269-605-0330 or email us help@albaspectrum.com  If you are large wholesaler or distributor, you may expect that some level of WMS or SCM customized business logic should be programmed to automate your unique business processes.  We are available to serve you USA, Canada nationwide, and internationally.  Local service in Chicago, Southern California, Western Michigan, HoustonFree Web Content, TX

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum http://www.albaspectrum.com 1-866-528-0577, help@albaspectrum.com  Informational portal http://www.pegasplanet.com  Andrew is Dynamics GP Certified Master and specializes in challenging customizations, data conversions, integrations, reporting.  As an announcement, Alba Spectrum is opening the location in Benton Harbor/ Saint Joseph Area of the state of Michigan, where we are welcoming Dynamics GP customers, who need second opinion, barcoding, failed implementation recovery, version upgrade, challenging data conversions 



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