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Microsoft Dynamics GP and the Benefits of Intelligent Cloud

Jun 23, 2019
By: Mark Christie

Microsoft launched a major update to Dynamics GP in October 2018. With this update, the company added a new option to deploy an on-premise install of GP 2018 R2 with integration to a cloud-synced instance of Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Essentially, GP is now available in a limited cloud offering. The new cloud integration includes compelling features, machine learning, report libraries and more. 

What You Get on the Cloud

With Intelligent Cloud Insights, you can keep your GP data on-premise while putting some of your data securely on the cloud with Business Central. This allows you to leverage the power of cloud computing. 

What exactly is the power of cloud computing? To put it simply, on-premise GP users who replicate data to the cloud get three significant advantages: remote accessbusiness dashboards and machine learning. Let’s break that down:

Remote Access: This is a big one for a lot of our customers. Now your executives, sales team and any other mobile professionals can have remote access to key business data.

Track key performance indicators (KPIs), look up customer information, drill down into vendors, review your cash position and more. Get the information you need anytime, anywhere, on any device. 

To be clear, this is read-only remote access. And because your data can only be synced once a day (at most), it’s not live, real-time information. Yet for many business leaders and sales teams, this new mobile visibility will be an invaluable benefit. 

As of the April 2019 release, you can replicate the following:

  • GL accounts and current balance
  • Customers and open receivables
  • Vendors and open payables
  • Inventory and quantity on hand
  • Historical data

Machine Learning: Sync your data to the cloud and start exploring the benefits of machine learning. Business Central Intelligent Cloud has the capabilities to spot business trends and suggest actions you can take to grow your business. 

For many organizations, this could be a turnkey introduction to the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI). Start to build a culture of data and get smarter about how you use your information. With AI and machine learning, you get instant intelligence. 

Dashboards: As a GP user, you’ve probably heard about Power BI by now. But what is it exactly? Essentially, Power BI is a suite of data visualization tools. It’s all that good stuff under the hood that helps you create smart, easy-to-read reports and dashboards. 

But currently, there are some limitations to using Power BI in an on-premise application. It’s not able to handle full report and full fidelity models, and certain Power BI reports might not display correctly.

But by replicating data to Business Central, you take better advantage of the data visualization tools available through Power BI. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, Power BI is the tool that unlocks your data and makes it talk!

Get easy access to indicators and controls reporting company information. With Intelligent Cloud Insights, discover new ways to visualize your data with dashboards and performance indicators only available on the cloud. It’s a powerful and dynamic way to review business performance and drill down into your information. 

Better Access, Better Visualization, Better Decisions

Here are a few examples of what you can see with the Intelligent Cloud:

KPIs and Insights: View KPIs such as cash available, sales profitability, net income and inventory value. The Insights section provides useful information about customers who are behind on their payments as well as invoices you are due to pay. 

Choose the Intelligent Cloud Insights tab to get additional sales tracking and performance information. 

Microsoft Dynamics GP and the Benefits of Intelligent Cloud

Microsoft Dynamics GP and the Benefits of Intelligent Cloud

Power BI: The Power BI section provides executive-level dashboard reports with dynamic tables and charts. Reporting options include account analysis, customer sales, mini trial balance and more. Each one includes drill down capabilities for more insight. 

 Microsoft Dynamics GP and the Benefits of Intelligent Cloud

AI: The cash flow forecast uses machine learning to predict your cash position for the upcoming periods.  You can switch the reporting period from months to quarters to years. Similar tools around inventory could be effective at predicting your stock replenishment needs. Power BI coupled with AI could be a really transformative tool for your business. 

Microsoft Dynamics GP and the Benefits of Intelligent Cloud 

Why Connect to Business Central?

When you connect your GP data to Business Central through the Intelligent Cloud, you get mobile, remote accessibility to key business data as well as dashboards and performance indicators only available in the cloud. 

Get started with Power BI and the AI machine learning that helps spot business trends and makes actionable recommendations. Users will also be able to use their replicated data in other Microsoft cloud applications such as Power Apps and Microsoft Flow.

Intelligent Cloud Insights could be a great solution for users who want to explore the capabilities of the cloud but aren’t ready for a full transition to Dynamics Business Central. You can get a taste of what the new platform has to offer and gain familiarity with the tools. 

If you are running Dynamics GP 2018 R2, you can add the Intelligent Cloud features for $20 per named user. Then, extend access to your greater team for only a few dollars for each additional team user. It’s an affordable way to access these advanced cloud capabilities.

Contact us for help getting started. We’ll walk you through setup and demonstrate some specific use cases relevant to your business. If you haven’t updated to GP 2018 R2 yet, work with us to get your systems current and ready for cloud integration. 


Mark Christie
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Microsoft 2019 MSUS Partner Award Winner

Dynamics GP blog
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