Sorry about the click bait title, but it got you to read this opening paragraph. This article is my opinion on Microsoft’s current marketing strategy for its Dynamics accounting/ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) product range and how, with a couple of minor changes, Microsoft can convert all of its Microsoft Dynamics GP customers to Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions in due time.
To understand what the problem is and what the simple solution is … read on …
DISCLAIMER: I am not directly involved with end customer sales of Dynamics GP or Dynamics 365 BC (Business Central). I have never used Dynamics 365 BC. These are my opinions based on my observations, as well as discussions and anecdotal stories with both customers and partners in the Dynamics GP community.
I am writing this article after attending the User Summit conferences in Johannesburg, South Africa and Melbourne, Australia followed by the GP Technical Conference in Fargo, ND, USA. At these three conferences I saw a big disconnect on the marketing messages from “greater” Microsoft vs the Microsoft Dynamics GP product team. It is this disparity that is causing problems in the market.
Microsoft Dynamics GP has an estimated client base (it is impossible to get accurate figures from Microsoft) from 35,000 to 48,000 sites. It is still a viable product with ongoing development and a new release scheduled for October 2019, which will move the product to the modern lifecycle with the product losing the year from the name to just be named “Microsoft Dynamics GP”.
I will not be comparing Microsoft Dynamics GP to Microsoft Dynamics 365 BC as there are other people out there much more qualified than me to do so and that is not what this article is about. What I will say is that the products are different and don’t expect to be able to match the products feature for feature.
What I am seeing from “greater” Microsoft, at general sessions and keynote presentations, is a complete blank when it comes to Dynamics GP. There is not a mention of it anywhere in any of the sessions or even on the Microsoft.com Dynamics 365 website. Now, if you do an actual website search, you can find the Dynamics GP webpage, but only if you go looking for it.
This total lack of Dynamics GP mentions helps perpetuate the incorrect perception that Dynamics GP is discontinued and is scaring customers into thinking that they need to move away from Dynamics GP.
Once that seed has been planted, customers are going to re-assess their ERP system and look at the full range of products available from Microsoft and its competitors. Based on the stories that I am hearing from many partners and customers, while some customers do migrate to Dynamics 365 BC, many are moving to competitive products and leaving the Microsoft family entirely because Dynamics 365 BC is not handling their requirements yet.
Changing Accounting/ERP systems is a very time consuming and expensive exercise and this should not be considered prematurely, especially when there is no reason to move away from a perfectly functional Dynamics GP system.
So, what could Microsoft do differently….
Simple, just show Microsoft Dynamics GP some love. Mention it (even in passing) at keynotes, give it a little more development resources so that it can keep getting improvements (and bug fixes). All this while continuing to develop Dynamics 365 BC along with a migration tool for Dynamics GP.
With this change in approach, existing Dynamics GP customers will feel comfortable to remain on Dynamics GP while watching the current status of the Dynamics 365 BC product and waiting until they feel that the core BC product and its ISV addons are ready to handle their requirements.
A small change in marketing and Microsoft would be able to move almost all of their current Dynamics GP customers to Dynamics 365 BC product within the next 10 to 15 years.
Please read my previous articles on the “future of Microsoft Dynamics GP” topic:
- #MSDynGP Dynamics 365 BC is not an upgrade from Dynamics GP
- #MSDynGP Don’t Believe All The Microsoft Sales Hype
- The future of Microsoft Dynamics GP …. again!
- The future of Microsoft Dynamics GP
What do you think? Please comment with your opinions…
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.