Dynamics users band together on working apart

With thousands of companies across the U.S. attempting to maintain normal business operations despite quarantine restrictions, Microsoft Dynamics ERP user groups have stepped up their game to help their cohorts navigate new ways of working.

Users of Dynamics 365 Business Central already have a fully operational cloud system, but for users of on-premise solutions like Dynamics GP, SL and NAV, the nearly nationwide shelter-in-place orders have placed a strain on business operations. Those who are members of their solution’s user group community have a definite edge.

Dynamic Communities, the brainpower behind Microsoft’s ERP user groups, released an entire series of April webinars focused on how to navigate working remotely and the challenges that come with it. The series features tips on everything from running a meeting in Microsoft Teams to continuing manufacturing operations to moving payments to ACH. Check out upcoming sessions of the Community Response Live webinars. Past sessions will also be posted online for those who missed a previous webinar.

In addition to the webinar series, local user groups are continuing to meet, just virtually. The larger user group community blogs have also been flooded with users asking questions and sharing tips on how to navigate various aspects of working remotely within their ERP system.

Payroll administrators in the Dynamics GP user group have been particularly vocal as companies try to determine best methods for tracking paid leave and sick leave as it relates to the coronavirus pandemic. Terry Heley, senior escalation engineer for Microsoft Dynamics GP, released a community blog offering tips for payroll users attempting to comply with the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

On a related note, users of Dynamics GP 2015 who use payroll will definitely need to upgrade this year. Heley confirmed that COVID will not change Microsoft’s existing lifecycle, which means the 2015 version of Dynamics GP falls off mainstream support this month and is no longer eligible for those key year-end updates.

If your company currently uses a Dynamics ERP solution but is not part of a user group, this is a great time to join. With users banding together to share valuable and timely tips and tricks, the fee is well worth the benefits.

Membership for each user group starts at $450 per year for the entire company. Plus, each group offers a free 21-day trial. Learn more at https://www.dynamiccommunities.com/usergroups.

And just in case you’re curious, plans for the much-anticipated Summit conference are still a go. The annual event is the biggest Dynamics ERP user group conference in the U.S. and is scheduled for early October in Tennessee. At this point, organizer Dynamic Communities believes it will be able to continue with the event as planned.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has expanded availability to its Teams solution so workers can more easily chat and hold video conference calls. The company is also offering a free six-month trial of Office 365.