We sent over Matt Fleming and Eli Clarke of our GP Business Unit. During their trip, they witnessed the exciting launch of Dynamics 365, found out the latest Dynamics GP related news and networked with likeminded GP professionals to launch a UK chapter of GPUG!
Sounds exciting! I know right?! Despite a busy couple of days, Matt has very kindly put together some words about his time over there:
A bit about Summit and Dynamics Communities
Dynamics Communities put on Summit every single year. Summit is an annual event where you can learn, share and network on all things Microsoft Dynamics. Every year there’s a range of activities you can take part in, things like: training sessions, networking events and boot camps.
Dynamics Communities also support Dynamics users all year round with their user groups. They cover every single Dynamics product: CRMUG, AXUG, NAVUG, GPUG and PBIUG. They were all founded to help users like yourself collaborate on how to make best use of your products.
Thoughts on Dynamics 365 – Quietly optimistic
The big secret was finally ousted at Summit. It represents the first step for Microsoft into the Software as a Service (SaaS) to take on competitors such as SalesForce. Whilst I was watching Scott Guthrie’s keynote presentation, I did genuinely think that Microsoft might actually be about to leapfrog their competitors. Things like: Business processes driven from Outlook for non-finance users, reporting out of the box within Office for Dynamics, CRM and ERP tightly integrated genuinely excited me.
The issue I had is that; keynotes are always going to be slick – this was the product launch after all. There was no mention of price too. So whilst I was impressed by the functionality on display, I was left with many, many questions unanswered at this stage. Of course, I reckon these questions will be answered over time.
A really important message from the Dynamics 365 announcement is that “nobody will be forced onto the cloud”. I think this is great, and affirms my original assumption that it’ll be another string to Microsoft’s ERP bow – not a replacement.
My thoughts on the future of Dynamics GP
I kept a close eye on everything to do with Dynamics GP. The existing ERP solutions (NAV and GP) will continue to be developed for the foreseeable future. AX 7 will effectively become Dynamics 365 Enterprise. We got a glimpse at the new GP roadmap and we can clearly see development is set to continue as far as 2019.
Errol Schoenfish, the Director of Product Marketing for Microsoft, presented some slides on the brand new HTML client and PowerBI integration. A big focus of his presentation was stressing that they’re really keen for GP users to continue providing feedback, so they can develop new features for future GP release. I’ve enclosed a link here so you can submit your suggestions for GP 2017!
The overriding message Microsoft delivered about Dynamics GP was loud and clear – Dynamics 365 will not be for everybody.
It became apparent that Microsoft understand that not everybody wants a web based ERP/CRM solution and as a consequence, have renewed their commitment to taking all of their current offerings forward.
Bringing GPUG to the UK
I’m delighted to announce that we’re doing our part to bring GPUG to the UK. Eli Clarke has been heading up the efforts for bringing GPUG over these shores.
As a forum for problem solving and knowledge sharing, it really is second to none. GPUG typically hosts a rich variety of webinars, chapter meetings, accreditation Q&A forums and other helpful materials.
One of the best things about GPUG – They’re entirely led by users like yourselves. They’re structured in a way that means they aren’t overly influenced by a partner or Microsoft.
I have scheduled a webinar in December to talk about the benefits of GPUG in the UK. During the webinar, Eli and I will be explaining what value Dynamics communities can offer you and your business. And we’ll also be hoping to make a special announcement about the first GPUG meeting in the UK!