Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mission Critical

I have been eyeballing a Dynamics GP Community forum post for weeks. This evening I finally broke down and posted a reply to the forum member, who was soliciting advice on running Dynamics GP 2013 on a Windows 2003 Server.   The forum member is well aware this is not a supported configuration.  

This kind of decision is akin to not performing routine maintenance on your vehicle, and wondering why your engine seizes up.  Worse yet, running your engine with oil and gas, which doesn't conform to the manufacturer's specifications.

Most business systems are "Mission Critical."  

These systems support business transactions like, invoicing customers and receiving payments, making bank deposits, reconciling cash accounts, managing inventory, etc., etc. etc.  They are also the source of data and reporting, which empower stakeholders to make informed business decisions.

Why would you let a "Mission Critical" tool lapse into disrepair, worse yet, why would you void your manufacturer's warranty?  When your business system requires support, one of the first things any software publisher is going to establish is are you on a supported version or configuration.  If you are not, the publisher cannot and will not help you.

Here is a link to the original post:

My comments are as follows...

I have passed by this post on a few occasions, and have not commented, despite having a strong opinion based on experience.  Periodically, I receive referrals involving companies who have "painted themselves into a corner."  
The situation is always a variation on the following theme.  They are using an unsupported version of Dynamics GP or SL and something terrible has gone wrong.  They desperately need assistance to get back up and running right NOW!  Microsoft Tech Support cannot and will not help them because they are not on a supported configuration.  
I don't think there is a solid business case for building your business system on a foundation of sand.  Do yourself a favor and upgrade the server to a supported version, or acquire a new server, if you have another system which requires Windows 2003.

My strong advice to companies about their business system software and the hardware it calls home, is to treat it with the same respect you would your pet, automobile or favorite article of clothing.  For much the same reasons.

You wouldn't forego vaccinations for your dog or cat, would you?

You wouldn't be surprised if your car stopped running if you never changed the oil?

I would also highly recommend you not toss your dry-clean only pants in the washing machine. I know how this turns out, and you're not going to like it much. 

If you really don't think your ERP system is not mission critical, unplug it for a day or two.

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