On-Premise, Hosted, or SaaS? Your Options for Dynamics GP Deployment

Posted on: 14 October 2016

For many businesses, a comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution such as Microsoft Dynamics GP offers a broad range of benefits. The only question that remains is how to deploy the solution. There are several ways you can deploy your Dynamics GP solution, with each model offering its own unique set of benefits and caveats.

Staying in Control with On-Premise GP

The traditional on-premises model offers several notable advantages:

  • You're in control of your data at all times. This option can be appealing for businesses with concerns about handling confidential or private data in a discrete and secure fashion.
  • You can leverage your existing hardware and software investments. If you already own the hardware and software needed for a successful deployment, you can use these systems and maximize the return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) on your existing equipment.
  • It offers more predictable performance. Unlike hosted or SaaS deployments, traditional on-premises solutions aren't as affected by availability issues linked to network performance.
  • It's easier to address compliance requirements. Companies with strict compliance guidelines and security policies often prefer and sometimes require on-premises solutions.

Unfortunately, the benefits offered by a traditional on-premises approach can just as easily be its downfall. You'll have absolute control over your IT environment, but you'll also be responsible for just about every time-consuming aspect of your hardware infrastructure, including routine maintenance and data backups. Keeping up with server maintenance, upgrades, and disaster recovery can take valuable time, resources, and focus away from your company's core concerns.

A traditional on-premises deployment also takes a significant amount of investment in hardware and software, especially if server-equipment upgrades are deemed necessary for a successful deployment. It may also take longer for your company to realize an ROI.

Outsourcing with Hosted GP

With the hosted model, you still own the software outright. However, the task of actually running the software falls to a trusted host provider. The host provider deploys the software on its own hardware and handles the maintenance, backup, and disaster recovery issues in exchange for a monthly fee. This model has its share of advantages.

  • You'll enjoy lower costs over the long run. In most cases, the costs of having your host provider deploy Dynamics GP in a cloud environment is usually less than purchasing the server racks and other hardware needed for an on-premises deployment.
  • You can free up resources for non-IT concerns. The funds and resources that go toward maintaining an on-premises solution can instead be used toward core needs.
  • A hosted solution offers simpler access outside of the office. Most hosted GP solutions are specifically set up for easier remote access for employees who are out in the field. It may be more difficult and take longer for an in-house team to offer remote access, if it's ever activated.

The bad part about hosted GP is that it can put you and your company at the mercy of your network connection, as you'll need access to the Internet to access and operate certain apps. You may want to consider the quality of your Internet connection before considering hosted GP and take measures to improve connection quality through auditing and upgrades.

Subscription-Based GP with SaaS

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform deployment for Dynamics GP offers a unique difference when compared to on-premises and hosted options. Instead of owning the software license outright, you'll pay a monthly fee to access the software on an on-demand basis via the cloud. This subscription-based model of Dynamics GP deployment requires the least amount of upfront capital and the least amount of time to accomplish. Outside of software ownership, SaaS GP offers the same benefits as hosted GP.

As with hosted GP, the effectiveness of your SaaS GP solution depends on the quality and performance of your Internet connection. A sudden instance of network downtime could leave your company cut off from its ERP software for an indeterminate period.