By Andrew Karasev
Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains is mid and even corporate market ERP and as being relatively complex and difficult to do self-support in-house, Microsoft Business Solutions requires you first to have so-called VAR of record, or your MBS partner and second – pay annual enhancement program, which is typically 16% of you software price list. Enhancement program allows you to get new version of the product as well as purchase and add new modules you might need. Plus you get discounts on the technical support cases placed to Microsoft Business Solutions technical support directly.
In the recession time of recession 2000-2004 – a lot of clients decided not to pay the enhancement program and save some money, needed for staying in business. Among them were mostly small and mid-size businesses, however we see corporate clients as well with 40 users Great Plains eEnterprise and more. In 2004-2005 the economic situation improved substantially and businesses are back to IT investments. In this small article we’ll show you your options to re-enroll into enhancement program and upgrade your system:
— Re-enrollment fee. If you need to get back to enhancement program, minimal re-enrollment fee is 35% of the software price list. This amount incorporate 16% enhancement program plan. So, the penalty of being out of the program is 19% – if you stayed without support all the recession years – say four – you saved some money and I don’t think you should be unhappy. Go ahead and re-enroll
— VAR of Record. Your company had tough time three years ago, your former Great Plains Partner had the same of even larger problems, trying to stay in business. Maybe it is not around anymore. Then you need to do research – who could be your new MBS reseller. Choose between local and nation-wide MBS partners. If you have a lot of customization and integration – you probably have to sacrifice local presence and seek somebody who has very good customization experience. The switch from your old partner to the new is very straightforward – you need to sign Change VAR form and fax it to MBS or your new MBS partner
— Upgrade. If you on MS SQL Server and do not have customization, only ReportWriter reports: SOP Invoice, POP Purchase Order, etc., then the upgrade should be simple. Great Plains Professional (high end, more than 10 users) and Standard (low end, up to 10 users) are still Great Plains Dexterity based applications and now they are on MS SQL Server only (Pervasive SQL and Ctree support and upgrade is discontinued). Upgrade should be done by outside consultant through Great Plains Utilities. If you have customizations, then your new partner should explore your Great Plains Workstation: DYNAMICS.SET (to identify Dexterity third parties, you use), FORMS.DIC (Modified forms: Modifier/VBA), REPORTS.DIC (Modified reports: Invoice, PO, or the like) plus if you have Integration Manager integrations (IM.MDB) and SQL custom stored procedures – if any. This might be paid assignment to estimate – and you will have the clear picture on what you have, and what you might need for the new version.
— Additional Considerations. Other custom pieces you might have could be: Crystal Reports, web applications, such as eCommerce – this is good candidate to be rewritten in Vb.Net or C#.Net with Great Plains eConnect
Good luck and you can always seek our help in customization, implementation, integration and support. Call us: 1-866-528-0577 or 1-630-961-5918, email@example.com
About the Author: Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies – USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving Chicago, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New York, Australia, UK, Canada, Germany, Continental Europe, Russia and internationally (