Microsoft: New Business Intelligence Features in Dynamics GP 2010 R2

Thursday Nov 18th 2010 by Stuart J. Johnston
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The software giant begins talking up the next version of Microsoft's Dynamics GP product, even though the last update was just seven months ago.

It's only been seven months since Microsoft last upgraded its Dynamics GP enterprise resource planning (ERP) package for mid-sized businesses to Dynamics GP 2010.

Still, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is already talking up the next release, due to be dubbed "Release 2," or R2 for short.

"The upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 will provide mid-size customers with new contextual business intelligence capabilities and additional ease-of-use features that make actionable information more accessible than before to people across an organization," a Microsoft statement said.

Planned for delivery in the first half of 2011, Dynamics GP 2010 R2 will also add personalized dashboards as well as improved approval workflow and electronic signature capabilities designed for compliance management and fraud reduction.

Additionally, GP 2010 R2 will also connect into Microsoft's new Lync Server 2010, the latest version of its unified communications server, which the company launched at a gala Wednesday in New York.

"[R2 will] extend connections through fact boxes and action shortcuts, which are now connected with Microsoft Lync 2010 instant messaging windows, bringing information about the people who are chatting and their companies to the user's fingertips," the statements said.

The company divulged little more than that, however. Microsoft said more information on GP 2010 R2 will come at the product group's upcoming partner conference March 1 through 3 in Fargo, N.D., where the group is headquartered.

The last time Dynamics GP received a significant update was last spring, when Microsoft released Dynamics GP 2010 — the first update of the product in three years.

That update featured business intelligence tools, integrated web services, and interoperability with both Microsoft's Office Communications Server (now being replaced by Lync) as well as with Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management).

In 2005, Microsoft created the Dynamics brand as a focal point for the collection of half a dozen ERP and CRM products that it had acquired over the years.

The company acquired mid-market accounting software firm Great Plains Software in 2001, changing its name to Dynamics GP in 2005 with the switchover to the Dynamics brand.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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