istock nexonia © CurvaBezierWhen you hear “integrated with Dynamics GP”, you expect a smooth and automated experience. But not all integrations are created equally.

There are four main ways to get information into your Dynamics GP: enter it manually, import a flat file, invest in programmers for eConnect/BizTalk, or a truly automated web services integration.

Manual integration speaks for itself. There’s a real person manually keying data into Dynamics GP, with all the potential for human error, endless man-hours and mountains of paperwork that  entails. There was a time when this was the only way for other systems to “communicate” with GP. Fortunately, it was a long time ago!

Flat file integration allows you to upload a specifically-formatted file into Dynamics GP. This means fewer hours spent entering data, less human error and much more accurate information transfer. The majority of Dynamics GP integrated applications use a flat file for data transfer, but it still means manually configuring the source system to send information to GP intelligently (and sometimes not so intelligently as configuration errors can result).

Things are somewhat easier with flat files without all the manual data entry, but the process can be even better. eConnect/BizTalk is often used to integrate internal systems with GP, but there are a lot of IT and programming resources needed to make it happen.

You need a real cloud-based web service integration today!

Here’s how it works. Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP allows cloud-based systems to talk directly to specific areas of Dynamics GP via an open standard and instantly exchange information. It’s two-way, it’s seamless and, if a vendor does it in a great way, it’s error-proof.

Let’s say an employee has left the company. Their record may be marked inactive in Dynamics GP, but if your systems aren’t fully integrated then that employee will still be active in your project management, expense reporting, time tracking and other systems.

Without a web service integration, you would have to enter each system separately and deactivate the terminated employee manually, or even email the systems’ providers and ask them to do it. It takes your valuable time and leaves a lot of room for human error or omission.

A web service integration lets you make a change in one place and trust that your other systems will be automatically updated to reflect it. It means you always have the latest data and can instantly get up-to-date information from those systems in Dynamics GP.

Why is this so important?

Imagine you’ve just subscribed to new cloud-based expense reporting software that will integrate with your Dynamics GP via web services. It’s awesome to use and great at mobile, but what about GP? Well, with a true cloud GP web services integration the setup of all your configuration data (vendors/employees, GL accounts, etc.) will be synced from Dynamics GP automatically, typically in a couple of minutes. Setting up GP web services takes a small amount of time for your IT team, but once it’s done you have a flexible way for truly innovative solutions that use Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP to easily be able to integrate, two-ways, without any manual intervention.

The web service integration will make sure your expense reporting software knows exactly what’s happening in Dynamics GP – new users or GL accounts you’ve added, fields or dimensions you’ve changed – and will synchronize all the changes with a push of a button or on a scheduled basis. It’ll understand the mapping of your GL segments and intuitively “talk” to your native accounts. Approved expenses will just show up in GP after the final approval, complete and ready to be paid, all without anything manually keyed in, all without importing anything.

You’ll always have your out of pocket expenses, credit card transactions and VAT tax amounts right where they’re supposed to be. Hours and hours will be saved, so you can direct your attention to your business and not on data entry.

That’s what truly automated integration with Dynamics GP means. Why settle for anything less?