A Microsoft Dynamics GP Crystal Ball: What to Expect for GP 11, BI, Management Reporter, Support

The fortune teller was closed due to unforeseen circumstances, so you get me instead.  I've peered into my crystal ball and have concluded that 2010 will be a milestone year for Microsoft Dynamics GP...so here are four key predictions I feel confident about making for the year ahead:

1. Dynamics GP 11 is going to be a big hit.

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About Mark Polino

Mark Polino is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Microsoft MVP 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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GP 2010

I could not agree more with Mark's assessment. GP 2010 seems to be very robust, but I too am very leary of the FRx replacement and Microsoft is deferring all questions related to the transition to Management Reporter. This will be of major concern, as most users I work with relay on FRx for their Financial Reporting needs and will be very hesitant to move to a new platform until this issue is resolved.

MR and Dynamics CPM in general

Microsoft's messaging around their Dynamics CPM strategy has been cloudy at best, with financial reporting being the most obvious part of the mess.

To understand the mess, it helps to look at the history of destruction. For the past 2 years Microsoft has been reducing investments in the Dynamics CPM products. Many of the internal resources formerly on the Dynamics CPM products (FRx, Forecaster, ER, MR) have been let go or their positions have been relocated, with no attempt made at retention. This holds true for all roles - Development, Test, Support, Sales, Marketing, Consulting, and Training and this holds true for all the Dynamics CPM products.

There are so few CPM resources at Microsoft, it's no wonder there's a cloudy mess and a fizzle of a long awaited MR release.

What we do know is MR is the replacement for FRx, starting with GP 2010 this spring. For those who have tested MR in the beta program, or have been testing it independently, we see all the heritage of FRx inside MR. It's a complete rewrite, much more Office like in the UI and fits the same need for high volume presentation quality financial reporting. MR is accountant friendly, all driven by the GL chart of accounts (or GL dimensions). Dimension friendly in rows, columns and trees, no more dependencies on Access, likely to be more stable and better in multi user environments. It does include some new features that have been requested by users for many years, but at the same time there's functionality in FRx 6.7 that does not exist in this initial release of MR.

Time will tell, but right now MR looks okay... not bad for an initial release. It needs added functionality to be successful in the long run and for the sake of all Dynamics users, we hope this occurs. The big question is - Will Microsoft increase its investment in MR and drive the product forward, or will Microsoft continue down the same path and let MR fizzle to death?

As for the door being wide open for non-Microsoft financial reporting solutions - It's a good thing for all that there are quality non-Microsoft financial reporting solutions available. For those who are feeling the pain of product shortcomings, and have the budget, there are some great alternatives.

Speaking of budget...we see the same cloudy mess (or worse) around Microsoft Forecaster and would sure like to hear some crisp budgeting and forecasting messaging from Microsoft.

minivan