Having working with Dynamics GP for 15 years now, it is hard to get my head around exactly how this can work effectively in the Cloud. I know it is there, and I know it is capable, but we have yet to implement a Cloud based site. It is not for lack of interest that is for sure. We have a high uptake in New Zealand for small businesses of Cloud based accounting systems such as Xero – that will start to follow for the larger systems.
When first released for the Cloud, there were a few too many gaps in the product for us to go out and suggest it to our existing client base. For those who already have an in house installation, there needs to be a more general desire to move to Cloud before we would tackle moving their core financials. Office 365 seems a simpler starting point for those businesses to me.
There is also the minor issue with legacy development – dexterity and vba based customisations that need to be considered and tested to ensure they will work in the Cloud or can be retired.
I have had a few of my newer installs talking about wanting a cloud based ERP. When looking at the core reasons, it is about a distributed workforce. When you drill into the requirements of what the distributed workforce needs, it is usually to raise Purchase Orders and process Goods Receipts or get access to information.
There are a number of very nicely priced web based PO systems available that work incredibly well with Dynamics GP. We have moved down the path of implementing Nolan Business Solutions eRequest product. It has an incredibly good price point, a relatively short learning cycle, great business support for us and a configuration back end that a savvy end user can learn to use. Because of the very integrated nature with Dynamics GP – the requirement for remote Dynamics GP users for the purpose of the purchasing process just disappeared.
The other main request is using information. Dynamics GP is easily accessible via reporting in Excel. The ability to create some pretty awesome dashboards using out of the box data connections means that information should be at your manager’s finger tips easier than ever. Mark Polino’s book (available in hard copy or ebook), Building Dashboards with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Excel 2013 provides some decent step by step exercises to help you explore this functionality. The days of users needing access to Dynamics GP to make an enquiry seem to me to be gone.
This then takes the use of Dynamics GP back to the core finance team. We are mostly seeing that these teams have full access to an in house network system or a cloud hosted desktop. This has tended to strip the need for us to move into Cloud Dynamics GP at this stage.
Does this mean the door is closed? – not at all. I fully suspect that we will need to be embarking down that path in the near future as we get growth businesses coming through that have started their lives already fully embedded in the Cloud. The Office 365 part of our business is working with more and more new clients, helping them to sort some of that core infrastructure. As the adoption of Office 365 grows, so will the adoption of the bigger Cloud ERP products.
Heather Roggeveen is a MS Dynamics GP Consultant with Olympic Software. After 15 years of working with the end user all the way from designing the solution to user training, she has become a Dynamics GP expert. Heather regularly shares her knowledge, including tips and tricks for end users in her blog articles. Follow her on Twitter @HRoggeveen to be notified of her latest articles. You can also like Olympic Software on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn or on Twitter @OlympicSoftware. For more information about Dynamics GP and how it could benefit your business, view the Dynamics GP page on our website or give us a call, 09-357 0022.