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mdhowry

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 

In light of the recent notice of the discontinuation of Microsoft Forecaster (https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/northamerica/news-events/news-events/news/ForecasterDiscontinuationNoticeGP), how does that impact current users of Forecaster?

New customers clearly can't buy it any more. But as existing customers, how quickly do we need to move to a new product?

If we install GP 2016, will the Forecaster Data Transfer tool still work so we can use Management Reporter to report on our budgets as prepared in Forecaster?

This caught us off guard, because as recently as March 12, 2015 Microsoft put out a statement saying "Forecaster will continue to be available for the foreseeable future.  There are no plans to discontinue this product."

Thanks.

Matt Howry
The Noble Foundation

Rob.Diaz

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Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Matt,

I hope I can help to explain the situation here. And first and foremost I want to assure you that there is no need to worry or hurry in terms of finding a replacement for Forecaster. Please note that the statement states that as of May 1, 2017 no new licenses will be offered with the Microsoft Dynamics GP price lists. Also, Microsoft will continue to honor its regular support policy which is to support Forecaster through the end of support for the ERP version it came with. Since Forecaster currently ships with GP2015 and GP2016, according to Microsoft’s policies, it should remain supported by Microsoft as long as these products are supported. Current GP customers will continue to be supported. Beyond that, MSX Group has a full support team for Forecaster and we have no intention of discontinuing our support for Forecaster

As you may be aware, MSX Group is staffed entirely of former Microsoft employees who were part of the team who developed, tested, supported and implemented Microsoft Forecaster - including the original architect and lead developer for Forecaster. We are confident that we can provide you with what you need to protect the investment you have already made in Forecaster now and for the foreseeable future. We have tested Forecaster with the latest Windows releases as well as with the latest SQL Server releases - including the soon-to-be-released Microsoft SQL Server 2016 version.

I understand and share the concern that this announcement from Microsoft has raised for you and for the many Forecaster customers we work with every day. Microsoft has made statements along these lines in the past and certainly has the right to make these decisions about its product offerings. But rest assured that MSX Group is here to help you with Forecaster, Management Reporter, FRx and, of course, our own Prospero product, which will have a budgeting capability later this year and will offer an upgrade path from Forecaster as well, when the time does come for you to look for something to replace Forecaster.  Regardless of the notice of discontinuation, Forecaster remains a very powerful, flexible and useful tool and one which should be able to serve your needs for a long time to come.

I hope my note here helps to explain the situation, but of course if you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to help you out.

For those who do not have access to the statement that is linked in the original post, the text of it is here:

Quote:

Effective May 1, 2017, Microsoft Forecaster will no longer be offered on any of the Microsoft Dynamics GP price lists.  The Protected List Price (PLP) for Microsoft Forecaster on Business Ready Licensing (BRL) and Module Based Licensing (MBL) customer accounts will be reduced to zero resulting in lower Enhancement Plan fees going forward. There will be no PLP reduction for Perpetual customers as unlimited Microsoft Forecaster Users were included in the Extended Pack.

Microsoft will continue to support Forecaster, a component of Dynamics GP, through the support end date of the purchased version of the GP product. Forecaster will be supported per the existing system requirements. For more information on the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy, click here.  Online Knowledge Base articles will continue to be available for an extended period of time.

Existing Forecaster customers can continue to use the functionality but should consider replacement solutions from existing Independent Solution Providers (ISV's). Alternatively, customers can work with their partner to determine their options.

This May 1, 2016, announcement provides partners with the 12-months' notice required pursuant to the Solution Provide Agreement (SPA).

If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Operations Center.




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Rob Diaz
MSX Group
http://www.msxgroup.com
jfinnell

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Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #3 
Since we have GP2013 R2, am I understanding correctly that Forecaster would be supported until 2023 as this chart shows from Microsoft?

Thanks!

[image]
Rob.Diaz

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #4 
Well, Microsoft sure does make this information difficult to find and to parse but it is our understanding that they are following the following Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle information:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle#gp/LifeBizSolFAQ

This would imply that since Forecaster 7 SP5 released in 2013, it would be supported through 2018 as mainstream support and 2023 with extended support. It would also imply that since Forecaster shipped with the GP disks, too, it would be covered for the same period as GP is covered, as it was "bundled".  There is no promise of service packs during that time, of course.

In the end, MSX Group will be here to help you with Forecaster Support and Services, even if Microsoft decides to amend it's long-held policies for supporting these products.

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Rob Diaz
MSX Group
http://www.msxgroup.com
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