With Microsoft going to a 6 month cycle for its’ releases of service packs and new releases, it is soon time for the ‘mid-2014’ release. It was originally scheduled to be service pack 3, but with the number of enhancements and overall size of the release, it was changed to R2. It is scheduled to be released in May of this year. The release has some ‘Big Rocks’ as Microsoft refers to, which are:
Requisitions - Up to now, requisitions have originated from the Business Portal. Starting with R2, there will be a process where these will originate from within the GP desktop and web client. There will also be a process for users who actually initiate the requisitions.
Workflow – Microsoft is recognizing the need for workflow to business, so they are rolling out a new native workflow engine that does not rely on Sharepoint. This next release will have a new workflow architecture to make it possible to manage workflow from the web client and eventually to be used for social collaboration and notifications.
Identity Management – The goal with identity management is to have the user have a single login for all applications on the desktop. With R2, the process of simplifying the login into multiple sources (SQL, Exchange, GP, etc..) is begun.
Notwithstanding the ‘Big Rocks’, there are also other features which R2 includes. Some of them are:
- Emailing based on document type which allows you to choose who should be emailed which documents.
- Enhancements to the Document Attach feature. Email documents with the transaction and follow transactions from the master record to the transaction.
- Assign items to multiple sites.
- Take the company offline for purposes of running maintenance.
- Reverse the GL year end close. In the past, this required Microsoft services.
- Copy and paste to the general ledger, and doing it with some data being validated.
- Vendor combiner and modifier can now be done without PSTL.
- Ability to set a default sort order for checks for payables check processing.
These are just highlights of some of the features which R2 is releasing. It continues the pace Microsoft set with the GP 2013 release of adding a number of features. In looking forward to the future, GP 2015 is set to release in December of 2014, and Microsoft plans to do releases every 6 months after that to continue to get functionality to the users as quickly as possible.
By Dan Liebl, CMA CPIM - Sr. Consultant at OTT, Inc. www.ott-inc.com