Summer 2021 – A lot has changed since I first posted this article. I am making some updates including: 1) Adding information about DUG (another User Group). 2) Adding information about my online Pre-Recorded Training Classes. 3) Info about my 2nd book. 4) Link to my YouTube Channel! 5) Live Training Classes (hosted by Dexpro Dynamics) 6) Information about SSRS (SQL) Reports. 7) Announcement about the GP Roadmap (updated through 2028 and beyond) 8) SmartList Builder/Designer
After posting this entry, I got some feedback that the title “How to Save – Microsoft Dynamics GP” was too negative. I went ahead and changed it to reflect the content of the article. However, I know that there is a huge need to improve user training of really cool features and if partners are not keeping up, it reflects poorly on an awesome and strong product…That being said, please enjoy my original post below:
I have been wanting to write my take on the future of Microsoft Dynamics GP for quite some time. I tossed around a couple ideas for titles and realized I needed to wait until I calmed down so that I didn’t write a Jerry Maguire style manifesto or a long and angry rant. Every few years, there is a big commotion in the ERP community about how Microsoft is about to get rid of GP. I searched the internet for the term “Is Microsoft Dynamics GP Going Away” and found a bunch of really old posts by GP Partners dealing with these concerns from their customers. I even found some dating back to around 2000 when Microsoft originally purchased Great Plains!
Thankfully before writing this blog post, I attended GPUG Amplify. The Opening Keynote featured Microsoft’s team talking about the investments that they are making in the product. I loved the demos for new features and integrations with PowerBI and PowerApps. It truly was one of the best “New Feature” demos that I’ve seen in quite some time!
With all of the amazing features that have been introduced in the last few versions, I am shocked, saddened, frustrated, and confused by the fact that so many GP Users do not know how to use them…or even worse…they don’t even know the features exist!
I wanted to write this post because I think there is a lot that can be done to improve the perception of Microsoft Dynamics GP. The theme of the Opening Keynote at a past GPUG event was the “One Microsoft” message. This was always my absolute favorite part of the “old” Convergence days and now it’s my favorite part of GPUG and DUG Events! I love that Microsoft Dynamics GP takes advantage of the power of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft PowerBI and now Microsoft PowerApps!
Here is the problem: There are many partners that have not kept up with the product and are therefore not adequately training their consultants who are, in turn, not training GP end-users.
Attention Microsoft Dynamics GP Partners: If your team isn’t keeping up with Microsoft Dynamics GP and how it integrates with other Microsoft tools, your clients will find another partner who is! But don’t panic! I want to help you! Please contact me to talk about how I can help your team! I want to get you affordable high quality training materials and I want to help your consultants keep current with new features!
HOW-TO SAVE MICROSOFT DYNAMICS GP
The biggest crowd-pleaser tips at any Microsoft Dynamics GP event are the ones that show how easily Microsoft Dynamics GP works with Microsoft Office!
Microsoft Excel – SmartList Export Solutions: You need to show users how to setup SmartList Export Solutions! This has been a part of the system for over 10 years! I showed users how to set these up at GPUG Amplify this year and someone told me that one tip “Paid for the Conference”! Here is a YouTube Video to show you how to set these up!
Microsoft Excel Reports (aka “Refreshable Excel Reports”): It takes about 5 minutes to deploy this powerful/free feature! Make sure you show users how to setup “Pivot Tables” and add “Total Rows”!
SmartList Designer and Builder: SmartList Builder does have some really cool features…but you are doing your company a disservice if you don’t learn how to use SmartList Designer if that is all you have access to! You can still do some pretty awesome reports that are impossible with out of the box SmartList. For more information about SmartList Builder vs. Designer, watch this free webinar I did with Dexpro Dynamics. (Note: SmartList Builder includes Excel Report Builder and SmartList Designer added “Publish” in GP2015. These both give the option to create customize Refreshable Excel Reports).
Microsoft SSRS (SQL Reporting Services) Reports: These take a little longer to deploy…but the return on that effort makes it worth it. You will be able to access GP data via a browser for all sorts of reports including AP and AR Aging Reports and GL Trial Balances. There are many reports that are only available via SSRS (including pre-built KPI reports and charts and graphs.
Microsoft Word Letter Writing Assistant: When I show users how easy it is to create their own templates, they are always super excited! This is a great feature for requesting Vendor W-9 forms and creating “Past-Due” letters for Customers.
Microsoft Word Templates: If you don’t know how to set these up, please join GPUG right now! The GPUG site has several recorded webinars on how to setup and use Microsoft Word Templates. These Word Templates allow for bulk emailing things like: Sales Orders, Invoices, Purchase Orders, Payment Remittances and more.
Anything with the word “Power” in it: The newest integrations between Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Office all seem to have the word “Power” in their name. If you do not have someone on your team familiar with PowerBI, don’t wait another minute! This is the future of GP reporting! If you haven’t heard of PowerApps, watch the Opening Keynote from GPUG Amplify! (If you want to learn more about PowerBI talk to Belinda Allen she also works with the team at Dexpro)
Outlook/Emailing from Microsoft Dynamics GP: Microsoft Dynamics GP has made huge improvements in emailing of documents and more recently the changes in Workflow allow for the approval of batches, PO’s, vendors, GL accounts and more. The approval can be done with a link in GP that updates the status from the email (without the need to open Microsoft Dynamics GP)
WHAT I AM DOING TO SAVE MICROSOFT DYNAMICS GP:
GPUG: I am a part of the largest Microsoft Dynamics GP User community in the world! A lot has changed but I am still so proud to be a speaker at every Summit event since before I started my company. My first time speaking at a Summit event was in 2015 in Reno. To learn about upcoming events visit: Community Summit.
DUG: The Dynamics User Group has been around for many years. They are growing and have expanded to include Microsoft Dynamics GP. They also host the wildly popular DynamicsCon event. I had a blast being a speaker and love that all the sessions are available for free. Past sessions are available on their YouTube channel (Full Disclosure: I am on the Advisory Board so I am a little biased and super excited to help the GP user group grow).
TRAINING MATERIALS: I wrote and published an easy-to-use Microsoft Dynamics GP Workbook that focuses on Month-End and Year-End Close tasks. Since first writing this post, I finished by 2nd book the “Microsoft Dynamics GP: New User Workbook!“.
ONLINE GP TRAINING CLASSES: My company (Training Dynamo) has partnered with DUG to offer self-paced online GP training via DUG Skill-Up. I am also working closely with the team at Dexpro Dynamics to offer both free 1-hour training classes (live and on-demand) as well as 4-hour bootcamps.
YOUTUBE: I have lots of free tips and tricks on my YouTube Channel! Subscribe and like and all that!
I hope that you can see that there are so many things that you can do to improve how you use, support, and sell Microsoft Dynamics GP! GP is here to stay so let’s work together to make it AWESOME!!