What is Microsoft Azure Cloud Services?

Azure Sphere

Microsoft Azure is a cost effective and highly available infrastructure platform to host your Dynamics GP instance. Azure can be quickly provisioned and gives you access to a reliable cloud infrastructure which removes the need for in-house hardware thereby reducing IT overhead costs.

Azure has enterprise grade security and is coupled with disaster recovery features that can accommodate complex environments securely with full redundancy while meeting tenant data compliance requirements.

For companies who would like to upgrade Dynamics GP to the cloud, Rimrock can provide a complete end-to-end business solution. For more information on Azure, or to find out which option is the best fit for your business, contact us today.

Have You Received a Call from Microsoft at 615-283-7450?


We have recently been notified by several clients that they have received a call from Microsoft USA regarding the License Renewal for Dynamics GP (Great Plains). The call is in reference to a campaign from Microsoft with the objective to have customers renew their Software Assurance, Enhancement Plan or License Renewal for Dynamics GP. Please note that this outsourced Microsoft tele-sales team DOES NOT have access to the status of your renewal.

If you are receiving calls from 615-283-7450, advise them that Rimrock, your Microsoft Partner, will be managing your renewals and to remove you from their call list.

If the calls continue or if you feel you are being harassed by these agents, please let us know so that we can escalate this issue with Microsoft.

Employee Spotlight: JP Sebastian

Employee Spotlight: JP Sebastian

The Rimrock Corporation team is made up of many hard working, talented individuals with interesting stories to tell. In our Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do, and how they keep Rimrock exciting and fun.

This month we shine the light on JP Sebastian, our Dynamics GP Account Manager. JP was born in Manila, Philippines, but moved to the GTA when he was 2 years old, and has been living in Toronto since 2010. Prior to working at Rimrock, JP worked as a Finance Manager at ESKA Water.

In his free time, JP enjoys running, golfing, fishing (he can let you in on some of the best fishing spots in the city!), trying new restaurants, and attending as many sporting events as he can.

Read on to learn more about JP.

What do you love most about working at Rimrock & how long have you been here

I’ve been with Rimrock for 3 months.  I think the most enjoyable part of the job is helping identify solutions to make our clients jobs easier.

What is your favorite place that you have visited and where is your next dream vacation spot?

Port Antonio Jamaica. The food, the culture and the vibe of the people is contagious. 

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

Professional Fisherman like Bob Izumi. Being paid to travel to fish is kind of amazing!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?

Tough choice, but it would be Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.  Of course, the resemblance is almost uncanny!

What TV shows/music/apps/Podcasts are you currently obsessed with right now?

I really got into the show “A Million Little Things” this year. I am also a big fan of The Walking Dead.  

If you could have a drink with anyone (fictional, alive, dead, famous, non-famous) who would it be and why?

I would love to have a drink with LeBron James.  He is an athlete who has been in the spotlight since he was 18 years old, and is always being compared to basketball greats, Jordan and Kobe. I would love to hear about how he deals with juggling the demands of being a high-profile athlete, his family, reputation and legacy.  All in his own words- unplugged.

Tell us a “fun fact” about yourself or your “secret talent” that your colleagues might not already know.

A few years ago, when I worked for Toronto FC, I had to stand in for a player who was injured and back home in France for the annual team picture.  One of the other players asked if I was a new player and why the team would sign someone so fat ☹

Any pet peeves?

Slow drivers in the passing lane, people who do not shovel or salt their sidewalks, and people that place large food/drink orders in the drive-through.

Understanding Dynamics GP Licensing

Unless you deal with it every day, deciding which of the various Dynamics GP 2018 licensing options is best for your business can seem confusing. So, for those of you considering Dynamics GP for your business, but aren’t sure what you’re licensing options are, or which one might best fit your needs, you’ve come to the right place.

Step 1: Which modules do you need?

Modules Available in GP 2018
In order to understand Dynamics GP licensing it’s important for new users to understand how Dynamics GP is packaged. The functionality in Dynamics GP is divided into a variety of modules. Microsoft has packaged these modules into four bundles called packs. Each pack offers specific functionality.

  • Starter Pack— The Starter Pack offers everything many businesses need from their ERP system, including financial management, business intelligence and reporting, supply chain management and more. Every Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 user automatically receives access to all of the modules included in the Starter Pack.
  • Extended Pack—The Extended Pack adds to the functionality by offering manufacturing, project management and customer relationship management capabilities, plus advanced business intelligence and supply chain features.
  • Customization Pack—Intended for organizations that want to customize their Dynamics GP enterprise resource planning system or integrate it with other business management systems.
  • Extended Human Resources and Payroll Pack— The Extended Human Resources and Payroll pack delivers everything needed to manage your employees. It handles payroll, benefits and more.

Step 2: What kind of access will your users require?

GP 2018 User Types
Dynamics GP 2018 licensing options include 3 user types, designed to meet the needs of individuals working in a wide variety of roles.

  • Full Users— Full Users receive unrestricted direct or indirect access to all of the functionality in the modules your organization owns. These are for individuals who will depend on Dynamics GP to do key aspects of their jobs ie. members of their accounting/finance staff. Since these licenses are the most robust, they’re also the most expensive.
  • Limited Users– Limited Users can enter a limited set of information such as requisitions, payroll expenses, timesheets, timecards and project expenses. In addition, they can also view inquiries, reports and smart lists. Limited User accounts can be set up for individuals in a variety of roles, including inventory, sales, purchasing, financial and payroll.
  • Put simply, Limited Users can only enter specific types of information and report on the transactions and files they had been given access to. At an 80% reduction in cost compared to Full User licenses, these can be a real budget saver if you have lots of employees who just need to access certain data to report on it.
  • Self Serve Users— Self-Service Users are designed for users that need to only enter their own information, specifically their timesheets, project expenses, timecards and requisitions. Many project centric organizations use Dynamics GP to keep track of their project expenses, including their employees’ time spent working on each project. Self-Service Users are perfect for those employees whose only reason for accessing Dynamics GP is to enter their own time and project related expenses such as mileage, lodging or meals.

Step 3: Dynamics Licensing Models – Perpetual or Subscription
Dynamics GP offers two main licensing models: Perpetual and Subscription.

  • Perpetual Licensing – Licensing Microsoft Dynamics GP on the Perpetual License model means that the customer owns the software perpetually, or into perpetuity. In other words, you license the software with permanent usage rights and can use the software for as long as you choose. You need to maintain your investment with an annual renewal fee.
  • Subscription Licensing – With Subscription Licensing, you never own the software license. You subscribe to it and you attain usage rights for a specific term, with the minimum commitment term being one month. In short, you can use the software only while you maintain your monthly subscription payments.

For those of you who are planning on connecting Dynamics GP 2018 R2 to the Intelligent Cloud through Dynamics 365 Business Central, there is an additional license needed that allows GP data to be viewed in D365 Business Central. We will get into more detail on these licenses in a future post.

Not sure which Dynamics GP 2018 licensing options are right for you? Contact our experienced consultants for more information. We are always available to help!

Dynamics GP: 7 Simple Time Saving Tips

Dynamics GP users are always on the lookout for time saving tips. In fact, Dynamics GP tips are one of the most common things our clients ask for. Even experienced users love to discover features they didn’t realize were available. As an early holiday gift, we’ve put together 7 simple timesaving Dynamics GP tips every user should know.

Tip #1: Quickly Create New Users
Employees are going to come and go, which is the nature of any company. When it comes to setting up a new user, instead of creating a Dynamics GP checklist you can simply copy home page and area page settings from one user to another. Security access can also be copied to the new user, which is very useful when you’re replacing one user with another.

1. Login as sa (only this account can create new users).
2. Use the main menu to navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP > Tools > Set Up > System > User > Copy User Settings.

Tip #2: Logging in Dynamics GP
If you have multiple companies with Dynamics GP, you don’t have to log out every time you want to switch companies.
1. In the bottom left-hand corner of your GP screen, you’ll see your current company name. Click on your company name to open a new window.
2. On it, click the drop-down menu displayed next to “Company.”
3. Select your company.
4. Click OK.

Switching users (ie. if Help Desk needs to log in as an SA user) is also simple to do.
1. Click on your current user in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen, next to the company name.
2. A new window will pop up. This window is the user ID and password screen, which will allow Help Desk to log in without logging you back out.

Tip #3: Keyboard Shortcuts for Copy and Paste
The familiar copy and paste keyboard shortcuts from Microsoft Office are also available in Dynamics GP. Although a simple feature, it is one that can save you a lot of time and help you avoid data entry mistakes.

• Control + C = copy
• Control + V = paste

Tip #4: Allow/Prevent Account Entry
To prevent users from posting journal entries directly to your control account in Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can unmark an option on the Dynamics GP GL account card. This will help with keeping the sub-ledgers and GL in sync and minimize your reconciliation time.
1. Open up the GL account card – Cards | Financial | Account
2. Select one of your control accounts (Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash, etc.)
3. Unmark the Allow Account Entry checkbox

Tip #5: “Find” Function
Many users don’t realize that when you print to screen in Dynamics GP, the “Find” function is available to you, just like in other Microsoft programs. So, if you have printed a long report like a detailed trial balance to screen and are looking for a specific account number or dollar amount, you can easily search with the “Find” function.

1. Print your report to the screen
2. Press “Ctrl + F” on your keyboard or navigate to Find > “Find” or “Find Next” (depending on how you want to search).
3. Type your search term in the box that opens. Note: You must type your search term exactly as it appears in the report. So, capitalization and punctuation are important.
4. Press “Enter.”

Tip #6: Default Printer Location
Another simple yet handy tip. Instead of constantly  having to change the default setting on your printer from printer to screen, go to Home, User Preferences, Default Report Destination and choose screen instead of printer. Hit ok. Now you’re set for screen rather than printer.

Tip #7: Help
Help in GP is so useful. Forget how to use something? Click on the help icon in the top right of your window. Find your problem and the help feature will give you a step-by-step guide on how to do whatever it is you need help with.

Contact our expert consultants with all your questions about Dynamics GP functions and features.

Employee Spotlight: Manoj Kumar

The Rimrock Corporation team is made up of many hard working, talented individuals with interesting stories to tell. In our Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do, and how they keep Rimrock exciting and fun.

This month we shine the light on Manoj Kumar, our new technical consultant. Manoj was born and raised in India. He lived in Montreal for the last six years, and recently made the move to Toronto. Prior to working at Rimrock, Manoj worked as an IT administrator and systems analyst.

In his free time, Manoj enjoys watching the news, comedy shows, and movies. He also likes spending time with friends and exploring new places.

Read on to find out more about Manoj.

What do you love most about working at Rimrock & how long have you been here?

I’ve worked at Rimrock for a month. I like the team collaboration, collaborating with my friendly colleagues, the challenges of the role, acquiring knowledge that adds value, and the work-life balance Rimrock provides.

What is your favorite place and where is your next dream vacation spot?

My favourite place is my hometown in India where I was born and raised. Norway is my dream vacation spot!

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

I would love to be a pilot for a day.

What TV shows/music/apps/Podcasts are you currently obsessed with right now?

I’m enjoying Stranger Things and Game of Thrones.

If you could have a drink with anyone (fictional, alive, dead, famous, non-famous) who would it be and why?

I would have a drink with former Indian cricketer, Sourv Ganguly (Dada). He completely changed the face of Indian cricket by adding new talents to the team.

Tell us a “fun fact” about yourself or your “secret talent” that your colleagues might not already know.

Before becoming a software engineer, I wanted to be a mechanical/electrical engineer.

Any pet peeves?

People who don’t signal before turning.

Intelligent Edge: A Stepping Stone From Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central

Last month, in our article How Does Dynamics GP Differ from Dynamics 365 Business Central?, we revealed a hybrid option of the two, called the Intelligent Edge.

The Intelligent Edge is designed to connect Dynamics GP to the Intelligent Cloud through Dynamics 365 Business Central. It allows companies with on-premise ERP systems to start using cloud technology while maintaining their software on-premise. This means that GP will have access to all the built-in capabilities of Business Central which includes: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based analytical capabilities, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, Power BI visualization and reporting capabilities, and data access and storage through Common Data Services.

Intelligent Edge allows on-premise Dynamics solutions to synchronize and replicate data with the Intelligent Cloud, which is an instance of Dynamics 365 Business Central hosted in Azure. GP customers connect to an instance of Business Central, at which point company data will be replicated in that environment and pushed back into Dynamics GP. Once in the Cloud ecosystem, the application usage is hugely powerful and versatile. Users can access a Dynamics GP dashboard with real-time business insights, reports, and actionable data from the application within the cloud. For example, the Intelligent Cloud Insights dashboard displays KPIs such as cash available, sales profitability, net income and inventory value based on data pulled from GP. GP data pulled into Power BI lets you see information like a chart of accounts analysis, customer sales dashboards, general ledger reports and more.

Additionally, the Intelligent Cloud lets you access that GP data from mobile devices anytime, anywhere, thanks to Dynamics 365 platform’s mobile capabilities. Along with giving users valuable insight into their data, the Intelligent Edge also offers an easier data migration path if they choose to move to Business Central.

Never has on-premise and cloud software combined to provide meaningful business analytics in such a seamless fashion. Users can now get real-time insights and experiences, delivered by highly responsive and contextually aware apps.

This is a perfect solution for those who have spent many years building the perfect solution for their business using GP but are ready to adopt some of the hassle-free infrastructure of the cloud. If you are toing the line between continuing with your GP solution, and switching to Business Central, consider trying the Intelligent Edge.

If you would like more information on the benefits of the Intelligent Edge, please contact us. Our experienced consultants are always available to help you find a suitable solution for your business.


4 Options to Migrating Your Data into Dynamics GP

For companies who have made the choice to switch to Microsoft Dynamics GP, developing a plan to migrate existing data to the new system and developing an ongoing plan to feed data into Dynamics GP is one of the most common problems we solve for our clients.

Here are four common solutions we recommend:

Microsoft Dynamics GP Integration Manager

Dynamics GP Integration Manager is included with GP for 9 months beyond the date of your GP installation. This temporary license is designed to give you enough time to execute an initial data migration to GP, but for ongoing GP integrations you’ll need to purchase a license.

Integration manager was created specifically for Dynamics GP integrations and is simple to install and use.

The tool is import only, not bi-directional and integrations must be run manually or off a fixed schedule as opposed to real time. Although there are some data manipulation features, there are few options to transform data; you can only use the integration points provided. Some users find that the error logs and reports are not clear enough to help them troubleshoot problems. It can also be slow for larger integrations and expensive, at $10K, to use beyond the free license period. Accordingly, most integrations we develop require a more robust and flexible solution.

Microsoft eConnect

Microsoft eConnect is a .NET development toolset that supplements the functionality that Integration Manager lacks. eConnect uses .NET development tools, SQL stored procedures and XML to build integrations to Dynamics GP APIs. Its complete flexibility allows developers to build any type of integration from any source data to any point within Dynamics GP.

The most significant benefit of using eConnect is that it contains the internal business logic and rules required to integrate data into Dynamics GP. Without eConnect, it becomes very difficult and time consuming to build web services compliant with Dynamics GP business logic rules. Even if you are an expert in Dynamics GP table structure, experienced developers will benefit from using eConnect.

eConnect drawbacks are that it is very technical to deploy. Developing custom solutions at this abstracted level requires an array of technical knowledge, including .NET development, Windows network and SQL database skills and expertise. It can also be fairly difficult to run and maintain.  A custom developed eConnect solution does not have a standard user interface; only a programmer will be able to access the application once it is running. Troubleshooting can be difficult; eConnect does not have the prebuilt tools to validate data and resolve errors. Error logs and reporting are not as defined and errors will often not be easy to resolve.

For those with the skills to build their own solutions, eConnect makes Dynamics GP integration development a very feasible option. Even if you have a .NET development team on staff, it can be a significant project.

Fortunately, there are several good third party integration or ‘middleware’ products available that offer strong integration functionality and don’t require coding. In our client base, we have had the greatest success implementing these two options for our Dynamics GP integration clients.

Scribe Insight

For clients who need higher volume integrations that run automatically, Scribe Insight is a great option. Scribe is powerful and flexible enough to build nearly any integration including the very high volume and complex. Scribe uses eConnect to import data into Dynamics GP with the correct business logic, but layers on a lot of functionality and features lacking in a bare eConnect solution, including a user interface, flexibility to manipulate data, integration with a variety of data sources, strong error reporting and resolution tools.

Because Scribe requires some knowledge and expertise to build the initial integration, most customers require a consultant to deploy the software and build the integrations for them. However, customers with strong database skills can usually quickly learn Scribe and map their own integrations.

Once the integrations are built, Scribe requires very little maintenance and runs automatically. Even staff members with minimal technical expertise will be able to manage errors, resolve issues and keep the application running smoothly. Scribe pricing is great value for the strength and flexibility of the solution.


SmartConnect is a one-stop integration toolset that is simple, fast, powerful and affordable. It was developed to make integrating to and from GP easy and intuitive and it provides the control and flexibility to configure integrations without a developer.

With SmartConnect you can connect to any GP data, anywhere with a native GP data made available via eConnect and Service Base architecture – SOP, POP, AA. You can also connect to Dynamics GP configurations created via Extender, Dynamics GP SmartLists created via SmartList Builder, Dynamics GP nodes exposed for integration using Node Builder and third-party applications.


For more information on integrations, or to find out which option is the best fit for your business, contact us today.

How Does Dynamics GP Differ from Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Dynamics 365 Business Central is a new product released by Microsoft in April 2018. Naturally, our clients are wondering if this means they should be planning to switch from Dynamics GP to Business Central. The answer isn’t obvious and will depend on various factors that are specific to the particular circumstances of the organization. Choosing your solution will ultimately depend on which system is the right fit for the business strategy of your company.

What are the key differences between Dynamics GP and Business Central?

It is important to understand that Dynamics 365 Business Central is not a replacement or upgrade for Dynamics GP. They are two separate products each with their own Microsoft product roadmap. Both products are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses and are best suited for managing an organization’s core finances. The key differences that need to be considered by organizations include functionality, customization tools, upgrades, infrastructure requirements, and licensing.

Dynamics GP

The target market for Dynamics GP is what is known as the mid market. These companies are characterized as having 2-100 users and up to 1000 employees. Dynamics GP was released in the mid 1990s and is a very stable solution with a large install base and an extensive service provider channel, making it a safe bet for any business. GP has one of the strongest functionality foundations in the ERP software industry with a library of extensive ISV solutions available to enhance systems. Because Business Central has been recently released, customers who rely heavily on ISV solutions to meet critical needs may not be the best fit for Business Central at this time. This is particularly significant for customers who use Dynamics GP for functions such as specialty distribution and manufacturing, and service management.

With Dynamics GP, there is greater flexibility to choose a solution that will meet your specific needs. Dynamics GP has the benefit of offering licensing options including perpetual licensing (one-time charge plus yearly enhancement fees), and monthly subscription. Deployment options include installing at your premise, deploying in a private data center, subscribing to a Dynamics GP specialty hosting provider, or deploying in the Microsoft Cloud using the Microsoft Azure platform.

Dynamics 365 Business Central

The target market for Dynamics 365 Business Central is also the mid market. With the functionality available today, Dynamics 365 Business Central is a good fit for companies that seek a more strategic alternative to QuickBooks, have up to 250 users and do not require any specialized industry functionality

Dynamics 365 Business Central is correctly being positioned as Microsoft’s new cutting-edge financial management software product. Based on the Dynamics NAV product, the software should be viewed more of a platform than an ERP software product. Microsoft is emphatic that this solution is “the future” for Microsoft, and where they are heavily investing the vast majority of their research and development, as well as marketing efforts. They are also firm in their messaging that this is not replacing Dynamics GP but the product is definitely built for the same target market.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central resides in the Microsoft Azure Cloud, and users pay for monthly subscription licensing. The SaaS model dramatically reduces the need for installation and upgrade consulting as Partners can easily provision an environment and Microsoft will automatically push out enhancements, bug-fixes, and updates. The lack of upfront costs for hardware or servers saves money for companies with few IT resources.


The table below illustrates some comparisons between Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Business Central:

Product/Feature Dynamics GP Dynamics 365 Business Central
Hosting On-premise, Partner Hosted or Microsoft Azure (the latter two being not included with the licensing cost) Cloud Only (included)
Customization Options Extensive Less Extensive
Add-on Options Many Limited
BI Integration Yes, with some effort. Third party add on products are also available Yes, with little effort
Budgeting Embedded setup and import Excel based budgets. Advanced capabilities through numerous ISVs Good functionality to create multiple budgets for financials, revisions, analysis, and dimensional reporting
Canadian or US Payroll Microsoft ISV
Dynamics 365 App Integration Capable Yes – significant effort Yes – less effort
Financial Reporting Advanced Financial Analysis, ISV Products Embedded Account Schedules and Analysis Views, ISV products
GL Account Structure Multiple Segments for Structure and multi-dimensional functionality for additional reporting Multiple Segments as well as Dimensions for a robust reporting Sub-structure


Another alternative, which we will provide further detail on in a subsequent article, is the Intelligent Edge. This technology allows GP customers to connect to an instance of intelligent cloud via Business Central. This will allow users to leverage solutions such as Power BI, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and AI.

If you’re considering a new ERP system, or if you are evaluating the cost benefit of upgrading Dynamics GP, please contact Rimrock. We are happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your options to help optimize your ROI and mitigate risk.


Tips for a Stress-Free Dynamics GP Year-End Close

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story” – Orson Welles

This time every year, Microsoft Dynamics GP customers start getting anxious about the upcoming year-end (YE) close process. Whether it’s your first time, or your twentieth time completing your year-end close in Dynamics GP, questions can arise. Click here to read Rimrock’s tips for a stress-free year-end close.

For More Information or a Demo