Upgrading Microsoft Dynamics GP environment? Here are 10 top tricks to make the process a smooth, enjoyable and successful one.
Originally published in H1 2018 GPUG Magazine
So, there is this seven-letter word that comes about in everybody’s Microsoft Dynamics GP system that can be the biggest challenge of the decade.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary, which has been available since 1828, defines UPGRADE as (1) An upward grade or slope, (2) Increase, Rise, (3) Improvement. Another definition is “to raise (something) to a higher standard, in particular improve (equipment or machinery) by adding or replacing components”.
Everyone out there who has experienced this event in their lifetime might have more adjectives to add to the words listed above.
There are many steps to consider when you are planning the logistics of an upgrade to your Microsoft Dynamics GP environment.
One of the best suggestions is to review the webinar recordings on www.gpug.com on the subject of upgrading your current system. So many people struggle with the big decision of whether to perform the upgrade in-house or whether to include their Partner. Since Partners perform this process more often than the User and are therefore more aware of the challenges that might occur along the way, I highly recommend including your Partner.
Here are my top 10 suggestions to make your next upgrade a success:
1. Make sure you have a valid login to CustomerSource so that you can search for your company’s registration keys.
2. Determine if this will be an in-house operation or if outside resources are needed. The idea to have a second set of eyes to monitor the upgrade could be beneficial.
3. Create a test environment that has the complete separate copy of your production Microsoft Dynamics database and also a SQL instance available. Verify that the workspace on the server is sufficient for this important event.
4. Backup, backup, and backup. Remember to make a large note around your work environment to BACKUP your system as you move through this process, not just the one time at the beginning of the process.
5. One of the large areas to include in your planning for the upgrade is to plan for all the third-party products that you have along with your Microsoft Dynamics system. The quantity of third-party products can also determine the length of your upgrade timeline.
6. A highly rated piece of advice is to consider having the GP Power Tools from Mekorma before you upgrade. There are some step-by-step instructions in the manual that will assist you with setting up the SQL Profile Tracing and make it a lot easier for your process.
7. Remember to upgrade any reports that you have on your current system if they are affected by the upgrade. These are also very important to test along the way.
8. Have someone develop a checklist so each department manager verifies that the test environment can perform everything that they currently perform. They can use this same checklist when the upgrade is done on the live environment.
9. Training the financial staff is very important since the upgrade will more than likely include features that they can utilize.
10. Make sure to log all of the successful, and challenging, tasks so that when you get to perform this again, you will have that to reference.
In closing, this could be one of the most enjoyable tasks that you ever get to perform, or it could be the biggest challenge that has ever come across your desk. Do your pre-planning for the upgrade so that this process moves along more smoothly and enjoyably.