Microsoft Readies New Dynamics GP Application For Release

Microsoft is getting set to launch Dynamics GP 2010, the next release of its ERP suite for the midmarket. This week the application suite was released to manufacturing and the product is set for general availability May 1.

Among the new software's highlights are expanded reporting capabilities, tools for extending business workflows within the application set, and Web services for building links to other IT systems.

The release replaces Dynamics GP 10.0, which was released in June 2007 -- nearly three years ago. That, combined with the fact that many businesses held off purchasing software during the recession, has created some pent up demand for the new product.

"We've had a lot of e-mails requesting information about the new release," said Robert Cini, director at Connexia Consulting, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based solution provider and Microsoft partner that resells Dynamics GP. "We're expecting a good summer with a lot of new implementations."

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The new release of Dynamics GP, which is targeted toward midsize businesses with between 50 and 500 employees, is the only one of Microsoft's four ERP suites being upgraded this year.

The new software and its features are likely to be a major topic of discussion at Microsoft Convergence, the Dynamics applications conference being held in Atlanta starting this weekend.

Topping the list of enhancements to the software package is its expanded business intelligence and reporting capabilities. The applications offer more than 400 built-in reports that tap into the reporting and analysis services within Microsoft's SQL Server database and the Excel spreadsheet application. The reports are built around 15 customizable "role centers" -- that is, they are tailored to users based on their jobs and positions within an organization.

The new business intelligence features should create opportunities for partners to develop business intelligence practices, said Errol Schoenfish, director of Dynamics GP product management, in an interview. The market for business intelligence, analytics and performance management software grew 4.2 percent in 2009 to more than $9.3 billion, according to a new report from Gartner.

Cini said the reporting capabilities in Dynamics GP were a big hit with customers when they were first added to the 10.0 release and he expects the added reports and dashboards in Dynamics GP 2010 to be equally popular. Many adopters of the Microsoft application are moving up from applications like Intuit QuickBooks and even basic business intelligence tools represent a step up for many.

Dynamics GP 2010 also offers some 350 pre-built Web services, and interoperability with Microsoft Office Unified Communications and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. And new workflow capabilities provide channel partners with the ability to develop business processes for their customers, Schoenfish said.