Software Upgrades/GP 2015

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One of the main things our clients ask us about is GP version upgrades. When should they upgrade? What will the upgrade buy them? What if they don’t upgrade? How long can they put off upgrading?

Obviously, the answers vary with your business. But there are many things that hold true across various industries, for companies of all sizes.

Sometimes news of a product release produces groans. You may feel a new software release makes yours obsolete. This is not the case unless you have let your upgrades go undone for years on end. The product releases are essential for product improvement and indicate Microsoft’s continued commitment to the product.

In fact, a large benefit to Microsoft’s software licensing model is that you are entitled to the newest software version, as long as you are current on your support plan.

Other clients have worried that there will be a great deal of retraining their staff. In our experience, this is never the case. The software is not dramatically different from release to release in terms of core functionality and design. The basic concepts for how to navigate in GP do not change from release to release. Even when our clients have waited many years to upgrade GP, the users have acclimated to the new software in a week or so.

So why do it? There are often dramatic improvements in the software infrastructure. This means increases in speed and therefore productivity.

One compelling reason to upgrade is to keep GP compatible with your other Windows products and your Windows operating system. Microsoft continues to work towards seamless integration of GP with Windows and all of the Office products, so it is more important than ever to stay current to avoid errors and security flaws.

Also, Microsoft listens to requests from users. The product releases are geared toward adding improvements based on user feedback.

Read on about the newest software release to find out specifics about what an upgrade will buy you.

 

What is the most current version?

The newest version of GP is 2015 and it is on its second release. In general, we advise our clients to wait one release or service pack after the initial software release. The second release allows Microsoft time to receive feedback and correct any major bugs.

One of the ways the software releases have changed over the years is incremental releases of additional functionality after the major release. The primary functionality additions are part of the major version upgrades but features are added with each new incremental release – along with the hot fixes and service patches for any reported bugs and errors.

The schedule for version and product releases is a new version every 2 years and product releases every 6 months. In June 2015, we can expect GP 2015 release 3. This release will include more features, enhanced workflow functionality, and SBA enhancements.

Release 2 included customer requested features, partner tools to simplify provisioning, and a time management application that can be used on tablets and smart phones.

In GP 2015 we are seeing the full roll out of what Microsoft started in GP 2013 – the development of the web client for all modules and functionality.

Following is a list of new functionality by category; please contact us if you’d like to see a software demo of any features or information on terminology:

System

  • Service based architecture – one thing this means is single sign on is now available so that Windows network or Microsoft Office 365 can be used for GP log in and password.

Financial

Initial release:

  • Copy Home page settings between users
  • Enhanced integration with Management Reporter from within GP
  • Intercompany enhancements
  • Additional payment terms functionality
  • Fixed Asset Year End close reports

 

Revision and service pack additions:

  • Display checkbook ID on cash receipts
  • Customer Combiner and Modifier
  • Vendor Combiner and Modifier
  • Payables void enhanced
  • Reconcile checkbook without marking transactions
  • Analytical Accounting finance charge assessment
  • Analytical Accounting sales order deposits
  • Copy and paste to General Ledger
  • Roll down account segment description
  • Reverse fiscal year (undo a close)
  • Reprint Outstanding Transaction report
  • Default sort order for Payables checks
  • Payables Transaction document attach capability
  • Default asset ID from Fixed Asset class
  • Integrate multi-currency revaluation with Analytical Accounting

 

Distribution

Initial Release:

  • Edit email for historical documents in Sales, Purchase Orders, Receivables Management statements, and Payables remittances
  • Warning messages when entering a payables transactions for a vendor with outstanding Purchase Order or and un-invoiced receipt
  • Invoicing module available for the web client

Revision and service pack additions:

  • Suggested item enhancements
  • Assign item to multiple sites
  • Purchase Requisitions and integration with workflow
  • Purchase Order workflow
  • Prepayment additions
  • Encumbrance SSRS reports
  • Project time workflow

 

 

Payroll and Human Resources

Initial release:

  • Project and Employee Expense Report
  • Employee Profile window where employees can edit some of their info such as address, personal information, emergency contacts, dependents and position history
  • Increased Employee Self Service functionality so employees can edit and view their own education, training and certification history as well as their benefits and contributions to 401K plans or other contributions.
  • Employees can reprint their own paystubs
  • Direct Deposit self-service so employees can edit their deposit information, add accounts, change distribution, and the administrator can route deposit information correctly with work flow

Revision and service pack additions:

  • Applicant email address field
  • Payroll inquiry check date sort
  • Employee time management
  • Time on behalf of tracking capability
  • Timecard workflow

 

 

Business Intelligence

Initial release:
  • Refreshable Excel reports
  • Tighter integration with SmartList Designer and Excel
  • Increased metrics and analytical data with Business Analyzer companion application

Revision and service pack additions:

  • SmartList Designer 2.0 and User Interface enhancements
  • Business Analyzer Excel content
  • Print or Email Word forms
  • Dynamics GP workspace
  • Encumbrance Summary SSRS report

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