As a Microsoft Dynamics GP user with a system that works well, you might find yourself asking the question – is an upgrade worth it? For many reasons, the answer is yes. A Dynamics GP upgrade will allow you to stay current with new features and enhancements, ultimately helping to maximize the value of your ERP investment.

Implementing a GP upgrade requires proper planning and testing to ensure your updated system runs smoothly. There are many factors, such as your GP upgrade implementation team, user acceptance testing, system audit, and more, that play a role in shaping the success of your project.

In this blog post, we explore several important reasons for upgrading your GP system. We also share a few items on our in-house Dynamics GP expert, David Laster’s, checklist to ensure your upgrade is a smooth success!

Why you should upgrade Microsoft Dynamics GP

Since version 18.2, Dynamics GP has been governed by Microsoft’s Modern Lifecycle Policy. Microsoft now releases more frequent updates to Dynamics GP that are easier to manage and deploy. Every new version comes with hotfixes, security updates, tax updates, and more, that enhance the usability and reliability of the software.

If you delay your Dynamics GP upgrades for too long, you could end up with a version that is no longer supported by Microsoft. This means you will miss out on important security and tax releases, updates to 1099-NEC, and more.

Further, moving two or three versions ahead is more complex than implementing a shorter GP upgrade. So, skipping upgrades can cost you more time and money in the long run.

To ensure you are getting the most out of your ERP investment, regularly upgrading your Dynamics GP system is key. And, if you’re on an enhancement plan, you’re already paying to access these software updates, so you should start leveraging new features!

An expert’s take: How to make your Microsoft Dynamics GP upgrade a success

GraVoc’s Director of Software Solutions, David Laster, is a Dynamics GP expert. David has been involved in over 300 GP upgrades, so it’s safe to say that he is well versed with the process and knows exactly how to stack the deck for success!

Here is David’s checklist of key items for a smooth Dynamics GP upgrade:


System Audit

Perform a system audit to take stock of all the components that will be impacted by your Dynamics GP upgrade. Create an inventory of your products, users, databases, integrations, customizations, reporting, and file types before you start planning the upgrade.


Your Dynamics GP Upgrade Team

Involve your IT and Finance teams in the planning process right from the start. While the GP upgrade is in progress, your internal teams need to be able to continue working on important day-to-day tasks. So, take the time to understand and document their daily tasks so that you can schedule all test upgrades, system launch, user training, and other items at hours that minimize disruption to their work.

Further, consider partnering with an experienced Dynamics GP consultant to streamline the upgrade process. The right partner will make it easier for you to properly plan and navigate your Dynamics GP upgrade.


Dynamics GP System Requirements

Evaluate Microsoft’s system requirements to ensure you have the right infrastructure to install and run your upgraded Dynamics GP software. Review minimum hardware requirements, server recommendations, and other necessary specifications to check if your existing software and hardware are compatible with the new GP system.

You can find the Dynamics GP system requirements for different customer profiles here.


Dynamics GP Upgrade Path (Hot topic)

This hot topic helps you build the path from your current GP version to the new, updated system. If you have been keeping up with your Dynamics GP updates, then your GP upgrade path should be straightforward.

However, if you are on an older version of Dynamics GP, then you will likely need to implement a few patch requirements before you install the latest software. For instance, if you’re on the Dynamics GP 2013 RTM and you want to get to version GP 18.3, you will first install GP 2013 R2 and then GP 2016 R2 in a ‘jump environment.’ From here, you can upgrade to GP 18.3 in the production environment.


Hardware vs. Hosting

Should you buy or lease your server infrastructure? Both options have their pros and cons, but the overall decision depends on your business needs. For instance, leasing the hardware might be the right fit if you want a lower upfront investment. Other factors to consider include your overall IT strategy, in-house IT team capacity, size and scale of your virtual workforce, and complexity of your business.


Upgrading ISV Products, Customizations & Integrations

Evaluate your customizations, ISV products, and integrations to review any upgrades or adjustments that need to be made to ensure all components are carried over to your new system.


What’s New in GP Training

Review the ‘What’s New’ documentation for every version in your upgrade to familiarize yourself with the new features and enhancements. Test-drive the new features before your live upgrade is complete to see how they work for you. If any new feature changes how you do things within your business, make sure to update the internal process documentation so everyone on your team is ready for launch.

Data visualization tools like Microsoft Power BI can also help with comparing the various GP version updates, enhancements, features, and more. Check out GraVoc’s custom Dynamics GP What’s New Feature Analyzer Power BI dashboard to learn more!


User Acceptance Testing

This process typically takes 2-3 weeks. Involve key users and devote sufficient time to test the new system. Create a list and allow users to perform their usual tasks in Dynamics GP to make sure everything works as intended and your team is comfortable with the new software. This period is a great time to identify and address any usability issues with your upgraded GP system before it goes live.

Need help with a Microsoft Dynamics GP upgrade?

Our experienced ERP consultants have years of experience in implementing and upgrading Dynamics GP solutions! Click below to learn more about our ERP services for Dynamics GP or contact us today to get started!

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