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DynamicsCon Fall 2021 Preview: Stack the Deck for Success on Your Next Dynamics GP Upgrade

by Linda Rosencrance
Contributing Writer, MSDW
August 23 2021

Editor's note: This article is part of our preview coverage for DynamicsCon 2021. MSDW is a media sponsor of the event.

Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics GP and getting on the Modern Lifecycle Policy is very doable and something GP users should take advantage of sooner rather than later.

That bit of wisdom comes courtesy of David Laster, director of software solutions at technology consulting firm GraVoc, and a speaker at DynamicsCon, a virtual event running from September 20-23. 

Laster will be presenting the session titled: "Stack the Deck for Success on Your Next Dynamics GP Upgrade!"

The session is intended to demystify, expose, and break down the upgrade process from start to finish for anybody who uses Dynamics GP, he says.

You don't have to be technical, and users will definitely understand a lot of what's going on. The benefits of this will ultimately yield a more successful upgrade project because we have some expectations set. Get to the Modern Lifecycle, get the new features, get supported, get into a better place because ERP is evolving around us. Don't be left behind.

Attendees at Laster's presentation will learn some tips, techniques, and tricks that Laster has used over the years to help ensure the success of their GP upgrades. MSDW spoke with Laster about his session and GP upgrades in general.

MSDW:What has changed about GP upgrades in recent years? What has stayed the same?

Laster: Dynamics GP utilities is still the heavy lifting element – the workhorse – of the upgrade process. However, the long, tedious multi-step upgrades that we had in the past have gotten a lot easier as Dynamics GP has matured the last few years. And now we get more regular updates that apply much more quickly and seamlessly than ever before. So it's easy to stay current.

Does the Modern Lifecycle Policy change your approach to GP upgrades?

Most of our customers are now up to and staying current on that version because the Modern Lifecycle makes it easy to apply these updates and to stay current, not just with core GP but also with ISV products, customizations and reporting tools.

As an implementations consultant and a systems engineer, the Modern Lifecycle Policy helps me put better solutions in customers' hands. That's because [Microsoft] wants you to have one of three GP updates applied more frequently than doing a major upgrade like we were used to in the past. So it keeps me more in contact with customers with new features. Because the updates are more regular, customers are more accepting of them than they have been because it's not a major upgrade.

What is the impact of ISV products on GP users today who want to stay current? Does it hinder the customers? Are ISVs able to support them?

Let's say I haven't found an ISV product that I couldn't upgrade or replace yet. The ISV software providers are fantastic to work with depending on the level of complexity that a customer uses from an ISV. We work together with them to ensure that not only do we have the code that works but that any bugs or issues are fixed and worked out with the version of GP that we're working with.

The support is generally fantastic and quick, and the ISVs ultimately want the same high level of success with the upgrade that we're aiming for so they're in it with us. Sometimes they help, sometimes we don't need their help because they have a very standard, reliable upgrade process and tools and documentation that enables us as a partner to really be full service for our customers.

Are there any recommendations in your session that might surprise attendees?

I think maybe not so much in the slide deck as there will be conversationally as we're doing the presentation itself. There's a number of things that you would want to look at doing after the upgrade, the live upgrade, I think that would probably be the biggest [surprise]. I have some tips for maybe just before you click the buttons and just after the upgrade process is done that I think help ensure a big picture view of a clean upgrade. I'd like to leave things way better than when I got them. And I think that's part of the benefit of attending this session – learning those tips and techniques.

What else are GP users talking to you about these days when it comes to maintaining and upgrading their ERPs?

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.