Improved features, improved workflow capabilities, and host of new companion apps for are just some of the reasons to be interested in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2, due in May.
The latest update on the upcoming release came from Dynamics GP product manager Errol Schoenfish, speaking this week at Convergence 2014.
“And if that weren’t enough, we’ll be delivering Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 in this calendar year, so think December time frame,” Schoenfish told attendees at the Dynamics GP General Session at Convergence 2014 in Atlanta. “So you can look for six-month releases from us now on an ongoing basis to get the features to you as quickly as we can.”
MVPs Mark Polino and Mariano Gomez then took the stage to tell the audience about some of their favorite features in Dynamics GP 2013 R2 in sort of a dueling banjos-type presentation.
Azure backups is one feature that Gomez said was “dear to my heart.”
“With Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, now you have the ability to click only one button and have your backups stored directly into the Microsoft Azure storage infrastructure,” he said.
Polino, on the other hand, decided to offer a more functional feature.
“You’re working with cash receipts and you realize that you don’t know what checkbook it went into. Well, the new inquiry window in Dynamics GP now has the checkbook as well so you can now see it all in one spot,” he said.
Another of Polino’s favorite features related to emailing documents.
“One of the new features is that you can have a different email address for the different documents,” he said. “So you can send quotes to one person, and you can send invoices to another.”
Next up, Gomez highlighted a the document capture feature in Dynamics GP 2013 that lets users attach and email documents in one step.
“With Document Attach 2.0, you can email your attachments with all your transaction documents,” he said. “And how about the ability to actually reverse your fiscal years? Before you had to use Microsoft Services, now you have the ability to actually reverse your fiscal years, open them as you need, go back as many years as you need and record your transactions . . . depending on what your auditors suggested.”
At the session, Jodi Christiansen, Partner Technical Consultant at Microsoft talked about a couple new features coming in GP 2013 R2, the requisition feature and approval.
The new requisition features of GP 2013 R2 will begin the phasing out of Business Portal, the SharePoint based solution that has been used for several years to expose GP-based functions to non-core users. The new requisition capabilities will go into the Dynamics GP core through the desktop and web client.
The new native workflow engine in Dynamics GP 2013 R2 will no longer rely on SharePoint either. In the past, all GP workflow and approvals relied on a SharePoint engine for execution. But the next release will build a new native workflow architecture that will enable users to manage workflows from the web client and eventually be used for social collaboration and notifications.
Christiansen also talked about the new auto-hide feature in SmartList, as well as the introduction of SmartList Designer.
“This is a new feature where the navigation pane in SmartList will automatically disappear for you once you’ve clicked on your favorite in SmartList,” she said. “And if you right click, you can increase or decrease that space as well so if you do want to see it, but not real big, you can decrease that width as well. One of things we’ve added is SmartList Designer inside of GP 2013 so you can create a brand new SmartList from an existing SmartList that you already have.”
During the session, business leaders of the Batteries Plus Bulbs shared their story about the company’s use Dynamics GP 2013. One of the reasons the company decided to deploy GP 2013 was the web client, said software engineer Tom Monfre.
“It was important for us to quickly bring new users online and the web client only takes a couple minutes. All we have to do is set up their users accounts, give them permission, email them the URL and they’re ready to go,” he said. “We also have some users who are remote, so the web client was perfect for that. We have an aging terminal server. It’s time for it to go away and we have no plans to resurrect a new terminal server because of this.”
When it comes to the future of Dynamics GP, Schoenfish said what Microsoft has to do for its customers is provide access to information across multiple devices, create features that help customers do their work, and deliver that solution.
“Your partners can extend that solution out into different form factors, into different user experiences, so that you can consume and interact with the information in new ways in the future,” he said.
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By Linda Rosencrance. Published March 7, 2014