To briefly summarize Dynamic Communities User Group Summit, a four-day conference with 7,000 attendees, including hundreds of partners, is tough to do. Yet, as we think about the User Group Summit, there are three prevailing themes that come to mind.
MICROSOFT’S MESSAGE: GP ISN’T GOING AWAY
Microsoft’s consistency in its commitment to product lines and surrounding strategy (for two years in a row) was a refreshing change. Typically, we hear an announcement that sends the users, ISVs and partners spinning. We came out of Summit with no major shifts or announcements to the lineup: Dynamics GP isn’t going away and D365 Business Central is building. These are two things in our Payroll world, that we can get behind. This focus will bring stability to partners and customers over the next year.
Watch our summary from The Payroll Office
While D365 Business Central is growing in functionality, enhancements and global customer base, the Dynamics GP user group still remains the largest attended group for this Dynamic Communities event. As we stated, there was some peace this year that people are generally happy with the investment they have made. Microsoft is road mapping GP releases through 2020 with verbiage of 2024 “and beyond.”
In the past year, we at Integrity Data have asked Microsoft Dynamics customers to tell us more about their payroll experiences in our Payroll and Afraid Survey. Of those surveyed, 88% are using GP Payroll, representing an average of 445 employees per organization, less than 4% are outsourcing, only 9% are looking to move off Dynamics GP for their payroll and one organization with 47,000 employees is trying to move to Dynamics GP for their Payroll needs.
The Microsoft Dynamics GP customer base is large, strong, committed and energized. This was demonstrated best in the Dynamics GP general session which highlighted Mike Polino’s stellar presentation of the great, new features and a crowd that is best described using the same, four adjectives. If you haven’t seen the recent updates, check out this blog.
D365 BUSINESS CENTRAL IS THE CHOSEN CLOUD SOLUTION
That being said, Dynamics 365 Business Central has established itself as the Microsoft cloud ERP system for SMB. Last year, we were all looking at each other as if to say, “Uh, hey…you go first, dive in and test the waters. Then, we will follow.” This year, however, many Partners and ISVs – including Integrity Data – have established themselves and product offerings in a way that support customers migrating to ERP in the cloud.
There are many organizations interested in the D365 Business Central (BC) cloud system. Their curiosity is piqued. They’re paying attention to the trends and, for lack of a better word, stability from Microsoft that will give them the confidence to move forward. It appears they understood where the future is, have an increased interest in Power Apps and Power BI reporting, and would be willing to migrate over. As with any change, people are nervous; especially with dollars, training, and systems on the line. Dynamics GP and D365 BC are two completely different systems; verbiage and functions in GP are different in BC requiring patience, learning of new processes and terminology that affect the bottom line. The financial cost to migrate is dependent on what GP version you are currently running. In one of the sessions Nicole, our Payroll Consultant, attended, a gentleman mentioned that it was going to cost him nearly $20,000 just to upgrade his SQL server for this migration, not including the cost of a Partner to help with data and implementation. The migration is a big undertaking and there is currently not a migration tool or path that doesn’t involve manual processes to move data more easily from GP. There were several sessions advertised on this topic that left each attendees with a mixed bag of inadequate tools to complete the task quickly and easily. While that might be the case in late 2019, you will see this landscape change very quickly in the next six months.
However, once you do take the step to migrate to the cloud, you won’t regret it. It has potential to help mainstream your systems in a huge way. Many customers who had migrated for both US offices and foreign offices and were pleased at how well everything is working together. That is exactly what you want to hear if you’re considering a move to Business Central. There are also financial incentives to move. We can expect to see this business line steadily growing.