While the worldwide frenzy over the death of Michael Jackson reaches fever pitch this week, my own personal take on this tragedy reflects on the timelessness of his music. Since age 5 Michael Jackson has been providing a style of music that spans generations. His style has adapted and remained relevant to the trends of the time and throughout his incredible career his string of hits always managed to tap into the current vibe of what his fans wanted to hear. Many artists are lucky to stay in vogue for just 1 year, fewer still manage five years and only a handful can match Michael Jacksons musical longevity.
It used to be that when selecting a business ERP solution, it was rare that any product would remain relevant for too long and it was typically expected that after only five years or so the business would “outgrow” the solution and began searching for a replacement. It was unlikely that a particular business software solution would remain applicable beyond that timeframe.
However, with Dynamics GP (Great Plains) it is very likely that the investment you make today in the software will last far longer than five years. In fact, we have several current clients who purchased the Great Plains solution over fifteen years ago and it still remains an ideal fit for tracking and reporting on their business processes. There are four primary reasons for this durability:
Scalable. From 1 user to 1000, Dynamics GP adapts (scales) easily to however large your business becomes. Based on the Microsoft SQL database, performance degradation is minimal, even as file sizes expand and future users are added. We have many clients who initially purchased just a few users and now have many users, with no noticeable decrease in performance.
Expandable. Business ready licensing for Dynamics GP provides growing functionality. With several dozen applications (including financial, distribution, business intelligence, human resources, project costing) it becomes less likely that your business will outgrow the functionality provided. Many businesses initially implement only a fraction of the modules available and then over time, as the business grows and processes become more sophisticated, they then deploy additional modules already licensed.
Independent. Does it matter what the operating system (if any) of the future will be? Great Plains in its early days ran in both DOS and MAC environments. Then Windows came along and now online versus on premise operating systems are the up and coming trend. But regardless of how users ultimately access and interact with the software, the applicability and functionality of the Dynamics GP software has and will continue to remain relevant.
Evolving. The user experience is key when evaluating and utilizing accounting software. Whether it be by typing, touch or voice, efficiency of data entry and information accessibility are many times the two most important traits when evaluating ERP solutions. Microsoft is the industry leader when it comes to committing research and development funds towards enhancing and improving the “look and feel” experience of the Dynamics GP product. Every eighteen months or so new releases provide better ways for end users to communicate, navigate and extrapolate business intelligence from the accounting applications.
This idea that an ERP solution is at best a five year investment is, in my opinion, nonsense. Dynamics GP has a proven track record of changing with the times, all the while continuing to provide meaningful information and usable functionality to its users. And while its legacy, unlike that of Michael Jackson’s, might not endure forever, you can rest assured that your initial investment will continue to be relevant and valuable for many, many years to come.