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 this year 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 the GPUG Amplify event! 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”!
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”!
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!
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! I am active on the “Open Forum” and at local and national events. I know that if I can get attendees excited about new features that they will call their partner and ask them to help them implement those changes.
TRAINING MATERIALS: I wrote and published an easy-to-use Microsoft Dynamics GP Workbook that focuses on Month-End and Year-End Close tasks. I am now working on my next book called the “Microsoft Dynamics GP: New User Workbook!”.
ONLINE GP TRAINING CLASSES: My company (Training Dynamo) will be offering training classes to both GP Consultants and GP Users. My goal is to help GP Partners improve the training programs they are offering to their clients. My first webinar will be a free overview/demo of SmartList Export Solutions, Excel Reports and Microsoft Word Letter Writing Assistant.
Update: The webinars below were held in 2017. I will schedule some new sessions for 2018. If you are interested in attending, send me a message via the “Contact Us” page on my website!
Monday, April 24th at 12:15 PM (Eastern)(past session) Wednesday, May 3rd at 12:15 PM (Eastern)(Session is maxed out!) Monday, May 8th at 3:15 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, May 16th at 3:15 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, May 23rd at 12:15 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, June 20th at 3:15 PM (Eastern) – Click to Register Thursday, June 22nd at 12:00 PM (Eastern) – Click to Register