And why Microsoft’s new Modern Policy matters
Microsoft recently announced a key change regarding its Dynamics GP software that’s likely to motivate you to upgrade your Dynamics GP system sooner than later. It sounded subtle enough: They introduced a name change to simply “Dynamics GP” (no date attached) and announced the move toward a “Modern Policy” lifecycle — whatever that means, right?
The switch to Modern Policy is actually quite a big change and a huge reason for Dynamics GP users to stay more current. Here are seven reasons why you should consider upgrading your Dynamics GP software:
New ‘Modern Policy’ Lifecycle
With the October 2019 release of Dynamics GP, the product has moved to a Modern Policy. What does that mean for you? Previously, Dynamics GP operated under a Fixed Policy for updates, meaning that updates came out at a fixed time once a year.
With the Modern Policy, Microsoft expects to release minor updates three times a year: tax updates and bug fixes in June and again in November/December timeframe as well as new feature improvements in October. Additional updates may occur throughout the year as needed.
We probably can’t expect earth-shattering major improvements with each minor update. However, those small but meaningful tweaks can make a big difference in productivity, especially if you are — or aren’t — staying on top of them. For example, the October 2019 version includes several workflow improvements. This means there are lots of little opportunities to save time and increase productivity across the board with minimal effort.
Before you start to fret, rest assured that you don’t have to upgrade three times a year. As long as you upgrade to one of the three releases each year, Microsoft considers you to be on a current version.
Every time Dynamics GP is upgraded, it gains new functionality improvements. Microsoft is great about incorporating user ideas into future versions of a product to improve its ease of use. In fact, many of its new Dynamics GP features come from the top requested improvements from Dynamics GP users. Frustrated with the multiple steps to do a small task? Perhaps someone reported it and the process has now been streamlined. Every version gets better and has more user-friendly options designed to make your working life just a little bit easier.
Current Payroll Tax Updates
Upgrading to the latest and greatest version of Dynamics GP ensures that you can reap all the benefits of the latest and greatest features of the software. This includes the latest Payroll Tax Updates, a feature which may be critical depending on your company’s operations. In case you’re not aware, tax updates are only included for the first five years of a Dynamics GP version’s lifecycle.
Shorter Upgrade Downtime
Companies often choose to wait on upgrades. While this might be less disruptive in the short term, it’s not actually helpful in the long run. It is possible to skip a version and upgrade two steps up at once, but doing so is almost always more time-consuming — and more expensive, as we’ll discuss next. You will have more downtime for a large, multi-step upgrade, and it will take your team longer to learn to navigate all the new features with such a big jump. You’re actually better off to stick to a routine schedule that provides minimal disruption to your staff.
Less Expensive Upgrade
Similarly, upgrading more often is actually less expensive in the long run. This might sound contradictory, but it’s true. A small upgrade is much more simple and therefore requires fewer consulting hours and smaller fees, not to mention a more even distribution of the actual software upgrade cost. The bigger and more complex upgrades, on the other hand, require you to shell out a lot more money to complete a substantial task all at once.
The upfront cost isn’t the only difference. Smaller, more frequent upgrades also are less disruptive to your staff as noted above, which translates to minimal distraction from their critical tasks. Time is money and with upgrades, you can save money by minimizing the extended length of time spent on upgrading, training staff or using old workarounds instead of the latest process improvement features available in a newer version.
Complete Microsoft Support
When it comes to Microsoft accounting solutions, the company has a pretty standard support schedule that it will maintain for existing versions of Dynamics GP. You can expect to get what they refer to as Mainstream Support for the first five years of the solution. The second five years are downgraded to Extended Support. Under this level of support, you’re no longer able to request feature improvements and you have to pay out-of-pocket for some support tickets.
After 10 years since a version’s debut, Microsoft stops supporting it altogether. There are a couple reasons for this. First, the solution has likely worked out any bugs after 10 years of updates and fixes. Second, 10 years is a pretty good run for any software and there is likely new technology that has been introduced in a newer version.
Just like every version gets new functionality, every version also gets bug fixes. Think of it as a precaution to make sure your system is working that much better. If you know you’re getting rid of more bugs every time you do a Dynamics GP upgrade, you can be confident that your system will be that much more stable. It will also be more secure, since you’ll have Microsoft’s latest security enhancements fighting against any would-be attackers.
Bonus: It might already be included!
If you sign up for Boyer’s managed services, then you’re already entitled to an upgrade through your plan. Why not take advantage of it and reap all the above benefits? Not on a plan? Contact us now at 763-412-4315 or email@example.com to see how you can get on a plan — and get the cost of your upgrade included.