Microsoft Great Plains Implementation & Tailoring

By: Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains has been leading ERP solution in the US for over 10 years, starting with Great Plains Dynamics, then Dynamics C/S+, later on moved to Microsoft SQL Server 6.5.  Then at the end of 20th century Great Plains Software was purchased by Microsoft and transformed into Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions.  In this small article we would like to give you your options on supporting Microsoft Great Plains Standard and Microsoft Great Plains version 8.0, 8.5 and earlier.  Especially, we see tough situation for the client who is located outside of large business mega – police and who is on legacy database platform, such as Pervasive SQL or Ctree.

Well, nowadays with remote support technologies and availability of high quality MSCE and IT networking people we see the trend of trading off ERP consultant local presence over ERP consultant experience and discounted hourly rates, which are mutually beneficial – you get experience and rates and consultant works from home or from nice inexpensive country and provides you with instant support – because she/he doesn’t have to drive to you in traffic plus she/he can serve several (five and more) clients per day, enjoying sitting in the office and drinking coffee and coca cola

When we are talking about Microsoft Great Plains – you need to know your upgrade and support options

  • Legacy platforms – Ctree and Pervasive SQL.  Support is terminated in December 2004.  Even if you are on version 7.5.  Microsoft has its own free or cheap SQL solution – MSDE and it doesn’t need to pay for Pervasive licenses.  This was dramatic move for small and mid-size clients.  We described this in series of articles
  • MSDE and Small Business Manager or Great Plains Standard.

     Clients who were frustrated with Microsoft decision to stop Pervasive and Ctree support should not be immediately switching to such products as Peachtree or MYOB.  Microsoft is offering scaled down version of Great Plains – which is Small Business Manager or Small Business Financials.  If you look at Peachtree – it is using proprietary platform and is kind of out of shelf product.  Microsoft Small Business Financials sits in industry-strength database – Microsoft SQL Server/MSDE – which means that you can use all the variety of integration and customization technologies with MSDE
  • Payroll employees issue.  Former Great Plains Dynamics had the option of unlimited employees in US Payroll.  We saw the clients, such as huge regional and nation-wide custom furniture retailers, who were running their W2 and paycheck targeted payroll for k$2 per year.  When Microsoft capped Great Plains Standard with 500 employees – this was the end

Good luck with implementation, customization and integration and if you have issues or concerns – we are here to help!  If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-630-961-5918 or 1-866-528-0577!

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