The best ERP solution for small to midsize organizations just keeps getting better. Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2 is now available, and though it is not considered to be a “major release,” it delivers substantial updates to Microsoft Dynamics GP. Among the new features are new requisitions capabilities, a new workflow framework, and the first phase of updated identity management. In his announcement of the release, Microsoft’s Gordon MacDonald particularly touted Microsoft Office 365 integration and cloud backup with Microsoft Azure.
From Office 365, you have quick access to your email, calendar, contacts, and much more. When you open up your contacts list, you can click on someone to contact them with Microsoft Lync. You can collaborate and share documents more easily with enhanced integration between Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Lync. And you can easily create and securely share executive dashboards in Office 365.
The dashboards are role-tailored, so the relevant information is displayed to each user. You can drill down for a closer look, and you can open the dashboard data in Excel, then drill down for more detailed history and information behind the data.
Azure backup is self-explanatory. Your Microsoft Dynamics GP data can be protected with secure, easy to use database backup in the cloud on Microsoft Azure.
As for the new requisitions capabilities, employees can quickly create and manage workflows and requisitions within Microsoft Dynamics GP, and managers on the go can approve requests using email. And you can simplify procurement by consolidating multiple requisitions into a single purchase order.
The new requisitions capabilities are part of a phasing out of Business Portal for Microsoft Dynamics GP. The new functionality is built into the GP core, and it is more comprehensive. Business Portal could be phased out for Microsoft Dynamics GP sometime between the latter half of 2014 and 2015, but Microsoft will continue to support it through its support lifecycle.
Microsoft is also working toward a new native workflow engine that will no longer rely on SharePoint. The new requisition capabilities are among the first tools to use the new workflow framework. Microsoft is increasing the flexibility of workflows and improving the design and user experience.
Microsoft is also working to make Microsoft Dynamics GP logins simpler and more streamlined through improved identity management. This is a multi-phase project, and for this first phase, the focus is on improving the single company scenario for “on domain” users, so that they no longer have to authenticate separately for SQL.
What’s next? Can Microsoft Dynamics GP get your coffee for you? Well, not yet, but maybe in the next release.