Decided to upgrade to Dynamics GP 2015 R2? Keep these important factors in mind.
Posted on: June 25, 2015 | By: Jim Bertler | Microsoft Dynamics GP
As you know, Microsoft just recently announced the release of Dynamics GP 2015 R2, and the exciting new features and functionality are something to get excited about. There are lots of companies and partners that have been anxiously awaiting the release and who are getting their companies ready for the upgrade. Although the release of Dynamics GP 2015 R2 is not quite as complicated as other software releases like GP 2013 R2 from last year, there are still lots of important factors that will need to taken into account.
If you recall, the Dynamics GP release cycle is on a 6-month schedule. This new schedule has really altered how Dynamics GP clients and partners take on new projects. Here at Logan Consulting, we have had to make a number of changes in how we handle the upgrade process.
Going forward, upgrading Dynamics GP will become more routine, as the upgrades are now much more moderate impact on your technology and are more efficient. Regardless, it is still very important to plan and test perfectly before altering your production system. We will focus on the most important factors to pay attention to when it comes to upgrading your system, to ensure a painless and successful transition when moving from old systems to new ones.
System Requirements: One of the most obvious but often overlooked steps to consider is the system requirements of the new releases. System requirements can have an enormous impact on your plans for upgrading. It’s good to note that there are more than just “minimum software and hardware requirements” to consider. For instance, often times there are supported and no longer supported versions of software components integral to the process. For example. Dynamics GP 2015 doesn’t support SQL Server 2008 (all editions) anymore, and this obviously has a big impact on upgrade plans if you need to address a major database server upgrade beforehand.
IT Environment Engineering Changes: The system upgrade is usually seen as great moment to deploy new foundational technology, like moving to the cloud or deploying a web client- as the IT landscape is ever changing. If you plan on making these changes, you need to discuss it thoroughly to ensure everyone is up to speed and knows what to expect.
Fixing Performance: It is really important to read the list of known bugs and quality issues so you can be prepared for anything you may need to address in the process.
New Features & Performance Enhancement: Usually, new features are the part of the release that gets everyone excited. Clients love to read up on the new features, especially those that have the potential to cover a business requirement that used to be handled by a third party product. Other times a new release facilitates major performance enhancement. An example would be Workflow 2.0, as it replaced the need for the out-of-date business portal. There is a lot that can be impacted by new features and performance enhancement capabilities, so you should take a careful look at them to make sure your business requirements can match up or adapt.
System Customization: It’s tough to find an environment with no customization. More often than not, you will need to adjust and modify to your software to fit your business needs. Add-ons and third party products can certainly extend the capabilities of your Microsoft Dynamics GP software. When planning for your system upgrade, it's really important to note that customization takes a considerable amount of time to configure, and these add-ons or system customization will be affected.
Double Testing: We personally feel that having a separate testing environment that matches the production one is a great idea. It’s necessary to test all various scenarios in a separate testing environment and measure how the system addressed each of the factors above.
Improve Communication: A communication plan that you and your team use to facilitate discussion with all the involved stakeholders is essential. All departments and end users should be included in this process. It’s so important to make sure that everyone is prepared for the changes that will take place in your organization so they can be ready for the changes that will take place in their day-to-day.
As Microsoft gives us new features with Dynamics GP 2015 R2, we want to remain prepared for updates and do a lot of planning. It’s important to learn from lessons from previous GP upgrades and improvements so keep business running smoothly. If you have questions regarding the upgrade, get in touch with us – we are here to help.
2020 Nucleus Research Report on ERP Technology