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Microsoft Great Plains: Data Conversion & Migration Scenarios ? Overview for Consultant

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains serves multiple industries in the US, plus it has strong presence in Latin America, U.K., Australia, Canada, Middle East, South Africa. Great Plains is natural solution for growing company, when small business accounting application, such as QuickBooks, M.Y.O.B, Peachtree, Quicken or others should be replaced with ERP, better positioned to serve mid-size business. With the switch to Microsoft Great Plains you need to decide on data migration and conversion. Let us give you highlights on your options:

? Beginning Balances approach. This is the simplest way. What you do is ? enter beginning balances in Great Plains General Ledger (GL) and begin using your new system. When you need to enter invoice for existing customer ? you create customer record in Great Plains and go ahead with Invoice in Accounts Receivables or Sales Order Processing (SOP). The same symmetric procedure is for vendor invoices in Purchase Order Processing (POP)

? Master Records migration. If you have large number of customers and vendors, plus multiple addresses for customers, numerous inventory items, sophisticated chart of accounts with several thousand accounts in GL ? you need to migrate these master records from your old accounting to Great Plains. The best way is ? purchase Great Plains Integration manager and do it in-house or with minimal help from external consultant. If Integration Manager license seems to be expensive and you have SQL expertise in your IT group ? you could your programmer populate master tables: GL00100, RM00101, RM00102, PM00200

? Open & Work Data Migration. In Great Plains Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payables invoices have open status if payments are not yet applied to these documents. We recommend you to use integration manager to bring customer and vendor invoices and payments and post them in Great Plains. This way will allow you to save on consulting services and keep good relationship with you Microsoft Business Solutions Partner. We do not recommend using SQL scripts for bringing open data into Great Plains ? you will have posting issues, related to incorrect distributions. In other words do not populate such tables as SOP10100, SOP10200 via direct SQL stored procs.

? Historical Data Migration. We recommend stay away from this migration unless it is absolutely necessary ? you may have order takers needing immediate access to customer historical records to place new order. In this case having two system: legacy accounting for data lookup and Great Plains for new documents ? may not be efficient. Then you do direct historical tables population: SOP30200, SOP30300, etc.

? Data Conversion. Conversion means the process of extracting data from your legacy application and massaging it to be ready to be fed to Great Plains. In case of each specific system you should use specific approach. In case of QuickBooks you simply print reports, save them in text file and massage there ? usually in Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. The specific of small accounting applications is proprietary database platform, which makes traditional tools, such as ODBC connection complicated.

Good luck with conversion and migration and if you have issues or concerns ? we are here to help! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-866-528-0577!

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies ? USA nationwide Microsoft RMS, Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving clients in Chicago, California, Texas, Florida, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Minnesota, UK, Australia and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( ), he is CMA, Great Plains Certified Master, Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer. You can contact Andrew:

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