Built alongside the Microsoft technology that powers most businesses today, Microsoft Dynamics GP has evolved over the years to become one of the most widely adopted systems in the world. While it certainly isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago (especially with the advent of cloud computing), one thing has always made Microsoft Dynamics GP stand out: flexibility.
With options for both purchased and subscription licenses, and the ability to deploy both in the cloud or on-premise, the choice of your combined deployment and licensing is entirely up to you and your budget.
In case there’s any confusion, we’re going to break down the options for licensing and deployment, which will result in 3 common Microsoft Dynamics GP deployment models.
Microsoft Dynamics GP offers two license types to fit the budget of various customers: perpetual (purchased upfront), or subscription (rented, not owned).
Perpetual licenses are purchased upfront and owned by the customer, allowing them full access to the solution for as long as they want. These are specifically known as CAL (Client Access License) licenses.
Subscription licenses are paid for on monthly subscription basis, enabling customers to add or subtract users from their system easily to respond to business trends. These result in lower-cost, ongoing payments for the duration of your use of the solution. These are specifically known as SPLA (Subscription Partner Licensing Agreement) licenses.
*Note for a deeper conversation: With either license type, customers can choose between three tiers: Full User, Limited User, and Self Service User.
A hallmark benefit of Microsoft Dynamics GP is that it offers two deployment options: on-premises, or cloud-hosted.
With on-premises deployment, you purchase the software and run the application on your own servers at your location. It requires upfront investment of hardware and infrastructure, as well as relatively skilled IT staff to maintain and support your environment. While this option requires more in your initial investment, it provides the benefit of full control over your data, security, and IT environment.
Considering the “rent vs. own” model, on-premises deployment costs more in the short run, but has the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) in the long run. Of course, this varies depending on your organization’s IT roadmap and strategy.
With cloud-hosting, you save on the infrastructure and maintenance of your solution by outsourcing it to a cloud provider. Rather than investing in servers and support staff, these services are rented from a hosting provider, delivered to your location over the internet, and paid for as a monthly subscription.
This option is relatively more affordable in the short term, faster to deploy, and enables your business to focus on business outcomes rather than technical configuration.
*Note: Within cloud hosting, users have additional options, such as public or private hosting. See this infographic for a simple look at the difference between public and private cloud hosting.
3 Microsoft Dynamics GP Deployment Models
With these various options for licensing and deployment, we can narrow down Microsoft Dynamics GP deployment to 3 basic models.
1. Subscription license / Cloud-hosted
Licenses are subscribed to and deployed in the cloud.
This is the easiest, fastest, and most affordable way to deploy Microsoft Dynamics GP. This model emulates the Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment model, as customers simply pay a monthly subscription for cloud-based access to the application and its servers. Updates and maintenance services are provided by the GP partner as managed services.
2. Perpetual license / Cloud-hosted
Licenses are purchased and deployed in the cloud.
This option gives customers the best of both worlds, enabling them to purchase and own their licenses while deploying GP in the cloud to enable full mobile access and save on hardware costs. It eliminates ongoing license payments while offering customers the option to manage their own upgrades or outsource them to their GP partner as managed services.
This is a commonly seen deployment model, especially for organizations that already own GP licenses and would like to migrate GP to the cloud.
3. Perpetual license / On-premises
Licenses are purchased and deployed on-premises.
This option is best for organizations looking for full control over their data security, IT environment, or who have complicated customizations or integrations not fit for the cloud. Some industries regulate tight compliance and security standards and don’t allow certain data to be transferred over the cloud, in which case on-premise is the only option.
Choosing Your Cloud: Public vs. Private
Storing your data in the public cloud provides the least security control; private provides more security control; and on-premise servers enable complete security control. But each option has its trade-offs in costs.
As previously noted, within cloud-hosting, users have the option between hosting in a public cloud or a private cloud.
Customers access their application and data from servers shared across all users of that public cloud, with their data virtually partitioned for their organization to access. The public cloud is better for businesses favoring rapid scalability, rapid deployment, and with relatively simple financial and compliance issues. Microsoft Azure is an example of a large public cloud.
Customers access their own application and data from cloud servers that are solely dedicated to their organization. Since these servers are not shared with any other company, the private cloud is better for organizations looking for more control over security management, risk and compliance issues, and customization. Turnkey’s datacenter is an example of a private cloud.
For a simple look at cloud deployment models (infographic), Click Here.
Flexibility from the ground up is part of what makes Microsoft Dynamics GP a great fit for most organizations. If you have questions or would like to learn the best way to deploy Microsoft Dynamics GP for your business objectives, please give us a call.