Microsoft Floats Dynamics GP 2015 ERP for SMBs Looking to the Cloud

By Pedro Hernandez  |  Posted 2014-12-02 Print this article Print

The newest release of Microsoft's ERP solution for SMBs features more seamless integration with the company's cloud services ecosystem.

Microsoft announced today that Dynamics GP 2015, the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for small and midsized businesses (SMBs), is generally available.

Updates include an expanded set of workflows, according to Gordon Macdonald, head of global outbound marketing for Microsoft's Dynamics ERP SMB segment. The enhancements "help streamline financial, purchasing, sales, payroll, and project expense related approvals. These new native workflows enable customers to quickly customize their solutions and accelerate business approvals," he wrote in a Dec. 2 blog post.

For shops that have standardized on Microsoft's software and cloud services ecosystem, Dynamics GP 2015 fits a little more seamlessly into their software environment and business processes, suggested Macdonald.

Dynamics GP 2015 features single sign-on support "through integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory to help users work seamlessly across Microsoft Dynamics GP, Office 365, and other cloud-based applications," he stated.

Microsoft has been working to turn Azure Active Directory (AD), the company's cloud-based user identity management platform, into a one-stop log-in solution for businesses with increasingly complex on-premises and cloud software setups. In October, Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise, told eWEEK that Azure AD provides "a single sign-on experience to 2,400 SaaS [applications]," including supported cloud services from rivals like Box, Salesforce and Google.

Dynamics GP has also switched to a service-based architecture, which Macdonald asserted helps "lower the cost and time required for customers and partners to create and modify business solutions built on Microsoft Dynamics GP." Sivakumar Venkataraman, a partner consultant on Microsoft's Dynamics GP Global Partner Services team, announced a more affordable version of the software for SMBs that require just a small subset of the software's feature set.

"As part of Dynamics GP 2015 release, Microsoft is also introducing a lower-cost self-service user license type for users who need only very light functionality within Dynamics GP," said Venkataraman in a statement. "The self-service user CAL [client access license] is a named user that will be applied per individual."

Aiding SMBs that want mobile business intelligence capabilities, Microsoft has already released "Business Analyzer R7, a 'companion' tablet application for Microsoft Dynamics GP that is available for download from the Windows, iOS, and Android app stores," reminded Macdonald.

The app enables users to glean business insights from Microsoft's ERP solutions, including Dynamics AX, Dynamics SL and, of course, Dynamics GP.

"Microsoft Dynamics Business Analyzer provides a dashboard where you can view and interact with reports, charts, or KPIs [key performance indicators] for your Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution," states an online Microsoft support document. "Choose from a set of default reports based on a specific role or personalize the application with the reports that are most important to you."

Dynamics GP isn't the only one of Microsoft's ERP offerings to get some upgrades.

Last month, Microsoft announced that its flagship product, Dynamics AX, was getting an update that enables hybrid cloud scenarios. Scheduled for a December release, the update will also include a mobile-optimized point-of-sale client for Windows-based devices and a new tablet-optimized user interface.


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