Interview with Frederik Op de Beeck, a managing partner at A Collective and a Dynamics 365 specialist. We are discussing Microsoft AX's ERP system's upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Find out many advantages of such an upgrade and learn how we handle upgrades and within what timeframe.
Why Upgrade from Microsoft AX to
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations?
What are the benefits of an upgrade to
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O is a cloud-based platform that you can access through your web browser. First of all, You don’t need a VPN or Citrix. Through a web browser, you can access the cloud and connect to Dynamics 365 for Finance and operations. It works on any device: tablet, PC or mobile. Second of all, you can also open it on any browser: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome. It works on operating systems OS, Windows and Linux.
Lower IT maintenance cost
Once you are in the cloud, Microsoft will take care of your upgrades. You approve the latest version, and Microsoft will upgrade Dynamics 365 platform for you.
Working in the cloud means that you don’t need any servers anymore at your location. You don’t need an on-premise server, so you have a lower IT maintenance cost.
- Power BI, where you can configure your reports.
- Power Automate, where you can automate your notifications and processes of your organization.
- Power Virtual Agent, where you can configure a chatbot for your communications with the customer.
- Power Apps, where you can make your Apps.
Does Microsoft also have an on-premise version of Microsoft Dynamics for Finance & Operations?
Yes, there is an on-premise version you can install on your local closed network.
What happens to my existing Microsoft Dynamics AX licenses when I upgrade to D365?
Microsoft has foreseen an upgrade transition track to upgrade your AX 2009, AX 2012 to the latest Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Microsoft will offer you a discount on that. They have included a new license model, you will pay per user, per month, and you will only pay for what you need. So, for example, you only need supply chain management or Finance or Human Resources. You will only pay for the aspect that you need from the Dynamics 365 platform.
What happens with the customization I have done in Dynamics AX when I upgrade?
The customizations in the current code of your AX version will not get lost. What Microsoft has foreseen is an upgrade tool. The upgrade tool is available through the lifecycle services tool from Microsoft. This tool will tailor your release management and watch on what version you are. When you run the upgrade tool, you have to upload your old code model, your old customization. It will convert to the latest Dynamics 365 for finance and Operations code and show you the compounders. Before you start working with your Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations version, the compounders need to be resolved. The upgrade is a one-time cost. You only convert all your code. When ready, you can work with your Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations system.
Do we need to upgrade from Microsoft AX to D365 F&O?
There is no obligation to upgrade from an older Microsoft AX version to the latest Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Just keep in mind that currently, you have your lifecycle support. Microsoft calls it your mainstream support. The mainstream support of the latest version of Microsoft AX 2012 R3 will end in October 2021. You have to decide whether you take the risk of continuing without that support or not.
How long does a typical upgrade take to the latest version of D365 F&O take and what is the cost?
The upgrade timeline-track and budget depends on a lot of factors. Factors like:
The number of customizations.
The number of interfaces.
The number of users using the system.
The number of users we need to train.
The more insights we get, the better we can estimate the time and budget for this implementation. An upgrade project’s average time from Microsoft AX to Dynamics 365 F&O is around 6 to 9 months.
How do we approach an upgrade project to D365?
Phase 1: Evaluation
In the evaluation phase, we will look at your current code. We will gather info about the interfaces, add-ons and reports your company is using. That information is crucial to estimate how long we need the implementation and the upgrade cost. Other factors we need to take into consideration: how many (key)users we need to train. When we have an overview of all these factors, we can estimate the timeline track and budget.
Phase 2: Analyse
At the analysis phase, we will show you the new features of D365 F&O. We will discuss which elements you would like to use. We will look into moving to these new features and what we want to change. Customizations could be moved to more out-of-the-box features.
Phase 3: Implementation
We will start with the implementation, which is your technical upgrade. And the technical upgrade is an automated process from Microsoft, where we run your code models through the upgrade tool. That will convert the code from your older Microsoft AX version to D365 for Finance and Operations. In this phase, will we focus on resolving all the conflicts. When finished, your D365 environment will be ready. We will add some extra configuration. We will train your key users and set up the new functionalities we might want to use.
Phase 4: UAT / training
Phase 5: Cut-over