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Submitted by Dynamics Insights on 15 February 2021

Migrating from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Dynamics Business Central: The Case for the Cloud

At some point, all Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) users will be faced with the big decision—to migrate to Business Central or another ERP. While Microsoft has said that they will continue to support Dynamics GP through 2024, at some point, GP will be going away.

There’s a lot of confusing information out there, so we’d like to clear the clutter and give you some straight answers so you can be as informed as possible before making the big decision about when to move to Business Central or another ERP in the cloud.

Setting the Stage: Important Facts About Microsoft Dynamics GP

Let’s start by ensuring we understand some basic but important facts about GP:

  1. Microsoft’s roadmap for GP shows they have committed to supporting GP with three releases every year into 2024 at least, so users can rest assured that GP will be around for a few more years.
  2. You can continue to run GP on premises or have the on-premises version hosted for you in the cloud for the foreseeable future, so GP users should know that they don’t have to make a decision right away.
  3. However, Microsoft has stated they will not be offering a cloud version of GP at any point in the future.

Dynamics GP Will Not Have a Cloud Option

The fact that Microsoft will not be creating a true cloud version of GP (a “true cloud” application is one that runs independent of hardware and can be accessed using only a web browser) is significant. Cloud-based software (also known as Software as a Service, or SaaS) has several distinct advantages over the typical client-server on-premises model used by GP:

  1. SaaS applications are more secure than running the same software on-premises. Believe it or not, cloud applications offer greater security than on-premises software. In fact, a recent report by cybersecurity experts at Coalfire showed that major cloud services providers are about half as likely (46%) to experience a data breach compared with large enterprises. For example, Microsoft’s Azure hosting environment offers state of the art security software, intrusion detection, geographically distributed servers, and backup and failover capabilities that are typically beyond the resources of the typical small and mid-sized company. Very few data breaches have been successful attacking cloud hosting providers like Microsoft Azure (or Amazon Web Services (AWS)). 
  2. 24/7 access from anywhere, on any device. Cloud-based applications can be accessed using any browser-enabled device, from anywhere an internet connection is available at any time of the day or night. And modern cloud applications will dynamically reconfigure the display of information to match the screen size and dimensions of the device used to access them (known as responsive design).
  3. Lower IT costs. Using a SaaS ERP means you no longer need to buy, maintain, or upgrade hardware ever again! This reduces the strain on company resources and your IT department, freeing up those budget dollars and personnel for more high-value work. 
  4. Instant upgrades. Software upgrades can become a thing of the past. Most modern SaaS applications allow users to elect to have software updates to take place automatically, so your team never has to face the daunting task of upgrading your software.

These are just a few of the many advantages of moving to a true, cloud ERP application and should weigh heavily on your decision whether to remain on GP or consider moving your ERP to the cloud.

Learn More About a GP-to-BC Move

To get more of your questions answered, download our FREE eBook, Moving from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. If you’d like to discuss your options, questions, and concerns about functionality, pricing, and the best timing for a move to BC, contact ArcherPoint for a FREE Assessment to help you determine the right path for business.

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