6 predictions for Microsoft Dynamics GP in 2016

November 13 2015

It has become something of a tradition for me in the latter parts of the year to predict what comes next for Microsoft Dynamics GP. You can view last year's predictions to see that some have come true while others may be in more of a "pending" state. Here are six new predictions about where GP will go in 2016.

1. Microsoft Dynamics GP and NAV will share more features with each release.

There's already a lot of sharing going on between the GP and the NAV development teams. The NAV team has been helping with the GP HTML 5 client due out early next year and the GP has brought financials improvements and their lessons from GP's workflow engine to the NAV 2016 release. No, I don't think this is some stealth effort to unite the products, they are way too different for that. I do expect this trend to continue with more sharing of features and know-how between the teams.

2. Paperless efforts will accelerate.

Two features in GP 2015 really get user's attention, Workflow and Document Attach. A lot of finance organizations want to eliminate paper. The interest in Document Attach combined with workflow has been huge. The barriers to document management adoption tend to be the budget and fear that the end result won't live up to the hype. GP Document Attach is the gateway to more robust document management solutions like Metafile's MetaViewer. Document Attach in GP is a bit like a first car, people are glad to have anything. After they discover features that can improve their life, it's much easier to justify the next level of functionality.

3. Paperless doesn't just mean documents.

Accounting departments are ready to be done with checks. Whether it's native solutions like GP's EFT offerings or the effective elimination of paper payments with solutions like Viewpost, I'm seeing more companies wanting out of the check printing process. I see this trend accelerating in 2016. There is a huge push around payments in the consumer space and folks are starting to ask for the same level of speed and efficiency from businesses they deal with.

4. Security will continue to get harder.

A recent CFO.com article highlighted attacks specifically directed toward SAP and Oracle. As the tier 1 vendors plug their holes, there is every reason to expect attacks to move down to mid-tier products like Dynamics GP. But security threats come from inside as well and security in GP gets more complex with each version. GP security now includes data control around SQL Server, GP's service based architecture, web services, and apps like Time Entry. That's before we get the potential of Azure security and identity management in the web client. All of this is in addition to application security for GP, SQL Server Reporting Services, workflow, and app security. Taking a risk based approach, identifying segregation of duties conflicts and monitoring transactions with security, audit and compliance tools from providers like (my employer) Fastpath can help provide a robust security framework to protect Dynamics GP.

5. Microsoft is going to have to fix their GP related mobile apps.

Did you know that GP 2015 R2 has iPad apps for Business Analyzer and Time Entry? Plus Android and Windows versions? The reason that partners aren't shouting this from the rooftops is that they are really hard and time consuming to configure and get working. GP didn't do a good job of balancing security against usability in these first releases. Most of the issues are around setting up security, but Microsoft is going to have to find a better answer. I've already spent some time on this previously in Taking Microsoft Dynamics GP beyond the security scramble. You can read more there. But just browsing the Apple app store indicates that both AX and NAV are ahead of GP when it comes to mobile. Maybe we should put some NAV developers on that task.

6. The HTML 5 client will be met with a shrug.

Don't get me wrong, I think that the HTML 5 client is critical to the long term health of Dynamics GP. The problem is that it's going to require GP 2016. A significant number of companies have made the jump to GP 2013 or 2015 and are happy there for now. I think we'll see heavier adoption down the road, I just don't think that 2016 will be its breakout year. Maybe 2017?

Those are my predictions for Dynamics GP for the next year. What are yours?

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About Mark Polino

Mark Polino is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a former Microsoft MVP (2007-2018) for Business Solutions. He is the author or coauthor of 5 books related to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Mark also maintains the Dynamics GP focused website DynamicAccounting.net. He speaks and writes regularly about ERP related topics. Mark has been a controller and CFO for a division of a publicly traded company and he has  worked as a consultant implementing ERP solutions. Mark holds additional certifications including Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) , Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Dynamics Credentialed Professional for Dynamics GP 2015 (Core Install and Core Financials), Xero Certified. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Rollins College. Mark lives with his family in Florida.

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cspanburgh's picture

Curt Spanburgh Magenium As always, I like Mark's comments. On the CRM side we are also looking for more HTML 5 in the product. Security also is a very big problem. I will not mention what I see out there in the trenches because it can create targets but there is a very big business case for VARs to take care of the data security for their clients.

pitcherda's picture

I agree if you're not using the web client this really won't make that big of a splash. But I use the web client a lot and am really looking forward to the new version. Congrats on the career move Mark. Doug Pitcher