By: Linda Rosencrance
As Microsoft gets ready to roll out Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 on May 1, partners, MVPs and others are buzzing about the product’s new features.
In March when the company officially announced the upcoming release, Microsoft said Dynamics GP 2016 is going to transform the way people and businesses interact with-and what they expect from-their business solutions.
“As customary, the new upcoming major release of Microsoft Dynamics GP follows the trend of delivering new functionality along with bug fixes,” Mariano Gomez, Microsoft MVP and Sr. Software Engineer at Mekorma Inc. told us.
Major Focus: HTML Web Client
One of the reasons is the new HTML5 client that will work across devices like iPads and Android, enabling users to work when they want, how they want, with the device they want, according to Microsoft.
However, the major focal point is the release of a new HTML5 web client, which truly puts Dynamics GP on any device running any HTML5-compliant browser – inching closer and closer to Microsoft’s corporate goal, says Gomez.
Mark Polino, director of Client Services at Fastpath Inc., believes that the HTML 5 client is going be a “terrific” addition to Dynamics GP.
“The Silverlight web client gave us a glimpse of GP anywhere and I think the new HTML 5 web client will deliver on that vision,” he said. “And the connections into Power BI help unify GP 2016 with Microsoft’s broader vision for data insights.”
Customers can also expect some major usability enhancements, especially with the introduction of new All-In-One viewers for inventory and sales, along with some tighter integration between project accounting and requisitions.
“There are roughly 40 new enhancements in this new release so I personally encourage customers and partners to follow the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog, from the Dynamics GP Product Management team to get the latest and greatest on the upcoming features,” Gomez said.
But Dynamics GP 2016 isn’t only about big features, Polino said. Payment runs using credit cards will help simplify corporate card processing and reconciliation and budget import exception reporting will add transparency to the process of building budgets.
“GP 2016 is full of refinements to features introduced in earlier versions,” he said. “[However], the timing, coming on the heels of GP 2015 may present a challenge for some companies who aren’t yet ready to upgrade.”
In a blog post, Microsoft GP MVP Ian Grieve commented on some of the new features of GP 2016. One of the features he said will be “very” popular is “Budget Import Exception Report,” i.e., the production of an exception report during the budget import.
“The main features are: When importing a budget from Excel, an exception report will print displaying accounts that aren’t set up in Dynamics GP,” Grieve wrote.
Although the Budget Wizard is a good tool, Grieve said it has always been problematic to identify accounts on the budget upload that didn’t exist.
“This new feature will make importing budgets far easier now any missing accounts are highlighted. I have a couple of customers who might be tempted to upgrade just to get this one feature (including one who just upgrade to Dynamics GP 2015 R2.”
Another new feature Grieve discussed in his post is “Prepayments on Purchase Orders,” which builds on the Prepayments feature that was introduced in Dynamics GP 2013 R2.
“But all the clients I spoke to about it said that it wasn’t useful as the prepayment could only cover the subtotal. This feature . . . allows the prepayment amount to cover taxes, freight and miscellaneous and the entire PO amount can be included in the prepayment. This update to prepayments finally makes them usable.”
LBMC Technology Solutions noted that the Dynamics GP 2016 Power BI Reports will enable users to access important data from their home page.
“This will allow your team a quick snapshot of the data they care about the most,” according to a company blog post.
LBMC pointed out that several changes to Smart Lists in Dynamics GP 2016 will help users save time. Fore example, one change will let users export and import SmartList definitions from SmartList Designer, shaving some time off reporting.
“And being able to create a new SmartList from a Favorite using Designer will reduce mouse clicks,” the company said. “This new functionality is more convenient than having to remove unnecessary columns from the default SmartList.”
Looking For The Big Picture
While the new features are welcome improvements, some in the GP community would also like to see the GP product team refresh their vision for the product. One Dynamics GP stakeholder, who asked not to be identified, said that while he loved that Microsoft was mining customer comments for new features, “the big vision” needs an update.
“As it stands, we’re getting features we want, but I’m not convinced that the team is reaching far enough to find features that we don’t even know we want yet,” he said. “The new stuff is cool, it’s just not ‘wow’.”