• Flexible Dynamics ERP Solution Positions Mesa Associates for Long-Term Success

    Flexible Dynamics ERP Solution Positions
    Mesa Associates for Long-Term Success

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  • Upgrading Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (AX7)

    Upgrading Dynamics AX to
    Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (AX7)

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Upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365

Upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365

When you talk about ERP and CRM, it is crucial for you to think about removing risks that are intrinsic with working on outdated versions. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition (Formerly known as AX7) provides progressive updates, therefore, you will be provided with the most up-to date features and functionalities. Upgrade to Dynamics 365 and enjoy the benefits of ERP+CRM at one price and the industry specific solution from SAGlobal.

Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Upgrade

Moving to Microsoft Dynamics 365 can offer significant benefits to you. While it would be difficult to list all of the benefits, some of the more significant benefits can include:

Improved accessibility

Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the cloud offers a much more simplified architecture that provides easier access via a pure browser-based user interface, eliminating the need for Remote Desktop/Citrix and the Enterprise Portal (SharePoint) with previous Microsoft Dynamics AX versions.

Cross-platform UI support

Microsoft Dynamics 365 utilizes a native HTML5 browser based user interface, which can run on any device (PC, tablet, phone), any platform (Windows, Mac, etc.), and any browser (IE, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.). This simplifies access to the application from any type of user device.

Reduced IT maintenance

When deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the cloud, not only do you eliminate on premise servers and systems that require maintenance, but Microsoft takes responsibility for monitoring and updating the underlying platform (Windows, SQL Server) and the application itself (with your assistance). This Microsoft servicing reduces the need for your IT staff to maintain your ERP system.

Easily stay up to date

By moving into the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud paradigm, you gain the choice and ability to easily stay up to date with straightforward, cost effective platform updates (every 3 months) and application updates (every 6 months), eliminating the need for costly, disruptive major version upgrades every few years.

Functional enhancements

Microsoft has been aggressively investing in R&D for Microsoft Dynamics AX over the years, and moving to Microsoft Dynamics 365 will provide additional features and capabilities that your organization can take advantage of.

Real-time Business Intelligence

Microsoft Dynamics 365 now includes a real-time, in-memory BI solution that provides up-to-the-minute information around how your business is performing, with new tools (Power BI) for visualizing this data and creating dashboards.

Platform innovations

By moving to Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can take advantage of many new capabilities in the Microsoft cloud, including a common data model with Dynamics CRM and Office 365, the use of PowerApps for easily creating mobile apps, the use of Flow for easily creating workflows and notifications, and the ability to leverage advanced analytics scenarios via Cortana Intelligence Suite.

Do you have to upgrade
to Dynamics 365 in the cloud?

It is not mandatory for you to upgrade to Dynamics 365 in the cloud. However, Microsoft believes that there are some distinct advantages to migrating to the cloud. Aside from pursuing the benefits, you should consider the support lifecycle for the version of Dynamics AX you are currently on. If you are currently on Dynamics AX 2009, Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2, you will see your Mainstream Support period expire in 2018.

Therefore, you should weigh the consequences of utilizing Dynamics AX outside of the Mainstream Support cycle, and may want to consider planning to upgrade to Dynamics 365 prior to the expiration of this support. More information on the Dynamics AX support lifecycle can be found at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle.

The core
differentiating factor

You can customize the application and interface to 3rd party systems in the cloud. This has always been a core differentiating factor of Dynamics AX, and this ability still exists in the cloud. The means by which you customize the application have changed somewhat (coding is done via extensions now instead of over layering), and the specific tools that are used to integrate with 3rd party systems have changed slightly (OData connections, RESTful web services, JSON, DIXF), in order to preserve the ability to easily take the ongoing updates.

However, the flexibility that clients have always enjoyed to modify the application to meet unique needs and to exchange data with outside systems and data sources is still very much intact. While you interact with your data differently, it's still yours and you still have access to it.

General process of upgrading your system to Dynamics 365

General process of upgrading your system to Dynamics 365

SAGlobal has developed a process for upgrading clients from prior Dynamics AX versions to Dynamics 365. This process has five major phases, which include an Evaluation Phase, an Analysis Phase, a Technical Upgrade Phase, a Readiness Phase, and a Cutover Phase. The major activities that take place within these phases are described further in the diagram below. SAGlobal is happy to have a one-on-one discussion with your organization to further describe the details around how these upgrades are executed.

  • Cost of upgrading to Dynamics 365

    As with the timelines, there Is not a single answer to this question. And the answer could differ significantly depending on whether you are currently using Dynamics AX 2009 or Dynamics AX 2012. Aside from transitioning your Dynamics AX software licenses and beginning to pay your subscription fees for Dynamics 365, your organization will require both functional consulting and technical consulting services from SAGlobal to execute this upgrade. The first major step in the upgrade is for SAGlobal to perform a detailed Upgrade Analysis, where we analyze your code, your data, your interfaces, your reporting/BI content, and your business processes in order to provide a detailed Statement of Work and strategy for your organization’s upgrade.

    Microsoft Appsource

  • Time taken for a typical upgrade to Dynamics 365

    Time taken will depend on the nature of your organization’s upgrade – there isn’t a single answer that applies to all customers. For example, is your organization simply looking for a technical uplift of your Dynamics AX system to Dynamics 365, with limited business process optimization as part of the process? Or is your organization looking at this upgrade as an opportunity to make significant improvements in your current business processes?

    There are many technical implications to these timelines as well. For example, do you use Dynamics AX today mostly out of the box? Or have you made significant investments to develop custom modifications, interfaces, and reports/analytics that will need to be re-factored during the upgrade?

    For organizations that use Dynamics AX mostly out of the box and are looking to make minimal changes to their business processes, an upgrade could take as little as 2 to 3 months. However, for larger organizations that have a lot of customizations and that want to use the upgrade as an opportunity to re-engineer their core business processes, the upgrade process could take as long as 6 to 9 months when including the time and effort to redesign business processes, retrain employees, etc. As an average, SAGlobal is estimating somewhere between 3 and 6 months from start to finish for most organizations.

    Please note that once you have re-platformed to Dynamics 365 in the cloud, the timelines for planning, testing, and executing these ongoing updates and upgrades will be measured in days or weeks, and not in months as your first upgrade to Dynamics 365 will require.

    For more context around estimated timelines for your organization to upgrade to Dynamics 365, please reach out to SAGlobal for details.

Ensure to get your employees onto Dynamics 365

Ensure to get your employees onto Dynamics 365

Ensuring that your user population is prepared to use Dynamics 365 is an important element of any upgrade project. SAGlobal can assist with various levels of training, ranging from a train-the-trainer model that begins very early in the upgrade process, all the way to more hands-on end user training during the Readiness phase prior to go-live. An important tool that Microsoft provides for training users on Dynamics 365 is an updated version of the Task Recorder tool. The Task Recorder can still be used to record processes and generate Word documents with training instructions, however the new generation of Task Recorder provides much better usability (ability to edit recordings) and a great new feature for producing “task guides” that live within the Dynamics 365 user interface and provide step by-step instructions for completing your business processes. This is a great new tool for training your users how to work within Dynamics 365.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Upgrading Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (AX7)

Upgrading Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (AX7)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This document was developed to answer frequently asked questions related to upgrading from Dynamics AX 2009 and Dynamics AX 2012 to the new Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (formerly AX7).

Please click on Download Resource to read the full document.

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