It’s GP, Just Better.

Written By: Bob Callanan of Business Ready Solutions

from September 25, 2012

Out with the Old

To understand what this means, first take a look at the two licensing options that are available today. Perpetual licensing is the most typical –purchase a license to use the product and the license allows use of the product for as long as an organization wishes (perpetually). An annual enhancement fee grants access to updates to the program as they are released. Or, a company may license Microsoft Dynamics GP under a subscription license where a monthly fee is paid for the right to use the system. The monthly fee includes updates but once an organization stops paying the license expires and access to the system is lost. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but that is a topic for another day.

The perpetual licensing program has had major changes. Prior to 2007, a license to use Microsoft Dynamics GP was linked to the specific modules that the user wished to license. For example, a company could choose to license only General Ledger and Accounts Payable for five users. The price for that license included a separate charge for General Ledger, Accounts Payable and for the five users. As the number of modules that were available increased, pricing became more and more complicated until in 2007 Microsoft transitioned to its “Business Ready” licensing model that bundled many of the modules together and sold them within a user price. Using the above example, a company would simply purchase five Business Essentials users, which would include five users plus a suite of modules that included General Ledger, Accounts Payable and a number of other modules. The 2007 license change was a significant improvement, but there were still areas of confusion. As the release of Microsoft Dynamics GP2013 approaches, a release that includes a new web client, the decision torevisit licensing was needed.

In with the New

The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 licensing model offers two user license types: Full User and Limited User. The Full User license is similar to the existing concurrent user and provides the user with access to Microsoft Dynamics GP through all the available methods of access. The Limited User license replaces the Light User and the Employee Self Service User and allows read access to Microsoft Dynamics GP through the windows client and the web client as well as write-access via time and expense functionality. In addition, the Limited User is now a concurrent user rather than a named user. 

The majority of the system functionality is now bundled into either the Starter Pack or the Extended Pack. The Starter Packs includes the core financial and distribution modules while the Extender Pack includes Project Accounting, Manufacturing and other advanced features. Certain functionality that was developed by ISVs may reside outside the Starter and Extended Pack and would be available for purchase separate. The Configuration and Development suite is also purchased in this manner.

One final area of the Microsoft Dynamics GP2013 licensing change introduces the term “Multiplexing”. Microsoft  defines Multiplexing as “the use of hardware or software (including manual procedures) to reduce the number of devices or individuals that access or use the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution by pooling connections.” Multiplexing does not reduce the number of user licenses required to access the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution. Any user that accesses the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution—even when accessing indirectly— must be properly licensed. This is a topic that created some confusion with the introduction of the Light User a few years back and we are hoping to see more examples and a clearer definition here soon.

Unlike the 2007 licensing change, the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 license model is required in order to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013. The primary reason is that the security model of Microsoft Dynamics GP2013 was re-designed to manage Full and Limited users. It is expected that there will be no fees charged to existing users for this transition and existing customers will not lose existing functionality and in some cases will gain functionality.

Overall, the new licensing model will make Dynamics GP a more attractive solution for small businesses as the price will be significantly less and probably an even trade for mid-sized companies. During the next 90 days, look for more details from your Microsoft Dynamic Partner on this announcement.