Working remotely with Microsoft Dynamics GP

Microsoft Dynamics GPWith the recent growth in people working remotely, or “distributed working” which seems to be the en vogue expression, I’ve fielded a number of questions from people about how Microsoft Dynamics GP can help facilitate this.

Many clients already have remote access to their systems via a VPN or Citrix connection which allows users to connect to a server running the Microsoft Dynamics GP desktop client, but even these users don’t always have the capacity to put all of their users onto Dynamics GP in this way. However, this isn’t the only type of client available for Microsoft Dynamics GP.

The Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client was introduced in Dynamics GP 2013 R2 allowing users to access most of the functionality via the web browser. In Dynamics GP 2016 it was upgraded to HTML5 which lead to it being faster and more responsive.

In the current web client, all functionality from the desktop is supported including SmartList and Word templates for distribution of invoices, statements, remittances, purchase orders and more. The web client is lighter to operate than the full desktop client allowing more users to be server hosted on one server and can be accessed from the web browser, protected by an SSL certificate, removing the need for a VPN.

I have a book available on Implementing the Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client; this is the Second Edition and has only recently been released (use code WEBCLIENT2ND for 25% off until end 15th May 2020) which will guide you through the process of installing using the web client from logging in to differences with the desktop client.

As well as introducing the web client, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2 saw the introduction of a new Workflow module for approval of documents. Almost every version of Dynamics GP since then has introduced new functionality; sometimes new approval types or integration with other modules such as Document Attachment:

Available workflow approval types

Workflow itself is quite straightforward to setup, with the real complexity coming from the complex approval processes which need to be configured. Fortunately, I have a book which can guide you though configuring the Microsoft Dynamics GP Workfow module from the basics of designing your workflow process, through building it and the ways that users can interact with the workflow for approvals (use coupon WORKFLOW3RD for 10% off until 15th May 2020).

One of the key features of workflow is the ability for approvals done by users outside of the network. This is done using email notifications: whenever a user is assigned an approval, they receive an email with approve/reject buttons so they can approve or reject using any type of device. The approval emails can include any attachments against the record such as a scan of an invoice or quote from a supplier.

Workflow approvals is quite popular and becoming much more so with so many people working in a distributed manner. There is one problem on the horizon and that is the retirement of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 which the Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP rely on.

We are waiting for confirmation as to when a fix for this will be available, but I am expecting the fix to require an upgrade of Microsoft Dynamics GP which isn’t always possible.

Fortunately, the company for which I work, ISC Software, are both a VAR and an ISV with a number of products and services available.

One of those products is PurchaseHQ which provides an Azure hosted web portal through which users can log on to do their approvals. It fully integrates with the Workflow module in Microsoft Dynamics GP (blog and video) for document approvals (blog and video). The portal is quite popular approach for organisations with a lot of approvals which need to be done as approvers have a web page they can logon to to see all of their approvals for all companies in one list, rather than receiving one email per approval.

In addition to the workflow approvals, it also allows users to enter a purchase requisition or purchase order (depending on configuration) as well as receive goods. I have a whole series of blog posts (including video posts) on the features of PurchaseHQ.

ISC also have portal products available for the Sales Series. Firstly, there is CustomerHQ allows customers, or internal salespeople, to view an account summary or to view their transactions and last two years of statements.

Secondly is SalesHQ which has all of the functionality of CustomerHQ, but also allows customer to do item lookups, price lookups and the entry of sales orders (depending on granted permissions). Salespeople get more functionality with the ability to create prospects, create quotes, orders and invoices.

All of the GP Elementz Portals are secure and don’t store any information on Azure; all information is only ever stored on your SQL server with all communication initiated by a connector service running inside your firewall and initiating all communication with the Azure portal.

Even better, all of the portals have a free trial where you can try them against your system, whether that be a test system or your live system, so your key users can determine how you can best use them.

If you’d like to talk to me or someone else at ISC Software about your options for working remotely with Microsoft Dynamics GP, please use the form below to get in touch.

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