Microsoft Dynamics GP has been a workhorse. Trusted for decades, reliable for just as long, this product has both a storied history and a long list of satisfied customers (and consultants) who have believed in the value of this product for as long as it has been around.
But like any good horse, there comes a time when you need to start looking at its retirement. As we discussed in a recent blog, there’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you’re currently looking at the end of support and are probably trying to figure out what’s next.
Is the Modern Lifecycle Enough to Keep GP Relevant?
Whether you’re using GP 2015, 2016, 2018, or another variation of the Microsoft GP product, the end of support is coming. Still part of the 5-year/10-year Fixed Lifecycle policy, 2016 is approaching the end of Mainstream Support, 2013 and 2015 are in Extended Support, and 2010 is no longer in either camp.
But as announced by Microsoft, 2019 offered a new approach. GP, always part of the aforementioned Fixed Lifecycle policy, joined Dynamics 365, Office 365, and Azure in the Modern Lifecycle.
What Is the Modern Lifecycle?
Something we discussed in a blog announcing GP’s move to Modern Lifecycle,
“Products and services governed by the Modern Lifecycle Policy are supported as long as customers stay current as per the servicing and licensing requirements published for the product or service and have the rights to use the product or service.
Under this policy, the product or service remains in support if the following criteria are met:
- Customers must stay current as per the servicing and system requirements published for the product or service.
- Customers must be licensed to use the product or service.
- Microsoft must currently offer support for the product or service.
In simple terms, you get more updates. Like in all other Lifecycle Policies, updates are tailored to user requests and announced beforehand so users can prepare for any potential changes that will be coming to them.”
Three annual updates, sandboxing, and less disruption during updates. Sounds great, right? Well, it’s better than the old ways. But don’t be too excited.
Reprovisioning Doesn’t Mean Rebuilding
While the move from Fixed to Modern Lifecycle is a welcome change for many users, it’s simply a change in the support. Unlike Microsoft’s completely reimagined Dynamics 365 Finance (AX) and Business Central (NAV) offerings or the built-in-the-cloud Power Platform, GP is simply reprovisioned.
Unfortunately, this means that although you’ll get longer support windows, you won’t get the benefits of the cloud. Rather than a rebuilt solution, you get a modified product.
- Architectures, programming languages, and database integrations don’t change because of a change in policy.
- Investment is spent more heavily on fixes than it is on enhancements.
- Microsoft is rightly focusing its efforts on true cloud products of its own.
Simply put, you’re getting a product Microsoft doesn’t really want to support, at a cost that doesn’t add up, with an unpredictable support window (the GP Modern Lifecycle runs up to “TBA” in 2024).
There’s a better way.
Updates in the True Cloud: Robust, Reliable, and Easy to Understand
Many say that the move to the Modern Lifecycle is a big deal (we did). But when comparing the GP Modern Lifecycle to others—even those in Microsoft’s catalog, it doesn’t stack up. Compare it with a true cloud update schedule (like the one in Acumatica), and the difference is clear.
As we discussed in our True Cloud vs. Fake Cloud whitepaper, more and more companies have found a ton of value in their decision. True cloud products generate new value and deliver high levels of performance. Implementations are easy, and updates are even easier.
But it’s not just the ease of update that makes life simple. It’s the robustness of it. True cloud products need to stay ahead of the curve, meaning that the updates they put out are built to future-proof, not to simply adapt to a change in the tax code.
True cloud applications provide frequent updates. While this may sound like an awful time in an on-premises environment, in the cloud, these are reasonably headache-free. No longer do you have to worry about broken integrations, as they rely on open and resilient APIs to connect applications.
If you’re looking to learn more about this and other benefits of moving to the cloud, we invite you to read up on the following resources:
- 7 Ways the Cloud is Making Organizations Better (Part 1, Part 2)
- How Long Does It Take to Deploy a Cloud Computing Strategy?
- How Strategy Can Ensure a Secure and Efficient Move to the Cloud
- What Your Competitors Don’t Want You To Know About Cloud Computing
- Checklist: What to Expect from a Cloud-Based ERP System
Learn More about the Move from GP to Acumatica
Though there are many partners you can choose, if you’re a GP user looking to forge ahead, you’d probably benefit from a company who has worked on both sides of the migration. We’ve helped a variety of companies like yours to recognize the advantages of moving to the cloud, put a solution in place that will facilitate your business, and provide you returns for years. Learn more about migrating from Dynamics GP to Acumatica or other Dynamics GP alternatives.
Get to know more about our work with Acumatica, download our free guide titled Why Replacing Legacy Systems with a Cloud Solution is Now Mission Critical, and contact us for a free consultation.