Making changes to your company’s internal system, even if it’s just an update to a new version, becomes a challenge for any organization. For this reason, today we are talking about how to carry out the migration and update of your ERP, from the Microsoft Dynamics AX environment , to Dynamics 365 finance and operations , Finance and Supply Chain Management .
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the new generation of intelligent business applications in the cloud that unifies all your data on the same platform. Your business management processes will be fully integrated and much more agile. It will allow you to unify your organization from the management of data, people and processes with modern and flexible business applications that adapt to the evolution of your business.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 incorporates business intelligence into business management solutions
1. Cloud environment
The advantages offered by the Microsoft cloud are numerous. It is a fully mature platform that has data as a fundamental pillar at the center of its digital transformation strategy. When understanding the transition from an on-premise environment to a cloud environment, we highlight the following advantages:
- Maintenance : in on-premise environments, the IT teams of each organization are responsible for carrying out maintenance work, while the cloud minimizes these tasks as Microsoft maintains the entire environment, greatly simplifying management.
- Risk reduction and security : Microsoft invests in ensuring the maintenance of applications and security, so risks are significantly reduced in cloud environments.
- Update : AX version has an annual cost with a reduced return. In cloud environments, there is only one version of Dynamics 365 that is continuously maintained and updated twice a year, so you will always have the latest system update.
- Flexibility : registering or deregistering users in cloud environments is done immediately and the clients themselves can manage it completely autonomously and independently.
- Accessibility : through our username and password we can access our ERP from anywhere and from any device whenever we need it.
- Integrity : Microsoft is responsible for ensuring the integrity and integration of all its solutions, thus reducing the gaps of incompatibility between operating systems.
- Cost reduction : the subscription is much more complete than in on-premise environments and it has been proven that, in the medium and long term, the cloud environment is substantially cheaper.
2. New capabilities
- Functional : warehouse and transportation management, help desk, technical and maintenance (SAM), Cost Accounting, Intercompany (MRP, Projects, customization), specific application for e-commerce, Mobile Workspaces, Power BI integration, Dual-Write (automates the data passing between CRM and Dynamics 365), continuous small update improvements to be incorporated in all areas.
- Techniques : maintenance, integration, LifeCycle Services (communication portal between users and Microsoft), DevOps (application to manage the development area), RSAT (application to automate the testing process), performance, Dynamics 365.
3. Migrate or relocate?
It is important to keep in mind that when we talk about migration we are not referring to migrating all the data, but to carry out the migration of the application. There are three blocks of fundamental modifications to take into account:
- Areas that have changed little, both functionally and technically: purchases, sales, projects, inventory, production, etc. If there are modifications in these areas, it is completely feasible to propose a technical migration to bring these modules to Dynamics 365.
- Areas with important functional change: warehouses and SAM transportation. It would be necessary to redesign them under the new foundation of Dynamics 365.
- Areas with significant technical change: finance. There is a notable change in the structure, so the migration process would not be possible and it would be necessary to analyze whether the modifications are already covered by the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 or to redesign them.
Our recommendation is to bet on a hybrid project in which we carry out a reimplantation and maintain via migration the areas in which we are really satisfied, as long as we cover the essential needs and modifications.
4. Current customizations
It must be assessed if the new version covers the same functionality and, therefore, we would not need the new customization. Customizations can be kept in the new version as long as the same functionality does not exist in the new Dynamics. If we need new customizations, we can install them in a new version via the migration process. In either case, we will have the customizations fully available on the new platform.
5. Extensions vs. ‘overlaying’
The new way of programming in Dynamics 365 is based on the concept of extensions versus the concept of overwriting or ‘overlaying’, a common process for programming in the previous version of AX that required manual adjustments and modifications, so this method began to be inappropriate as updates involved more risk and time.
In Dynamics 365 this changes radically, the new concept of extensions makes copies of the object to be modified so that the original remains unchanged, so all modifications are made on copies that are extensions of these objects. This process facilitates all types of updates since it is compatible from the first moment, improves the life cycle of changes from the design, reduces update times and costs.
6. Reports and current BI
In this case, the technology has changed significantly so it is necessary to redo the reports and adjust the formats and documents. Aggregated measures allow users to operate on operational data without having to understand complex data schemas. With the general availability of schemas in the entity store in the Azure Data Lake, customers can directly access non-normalized data and analytics.
7. License cost
Currently, Microsoft offers the Dynamics 365 Cloud Migration promotion that provides excellent conditions to migrate to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations Cloud. If your company has Microsoft Dynamics AX with active BREP, Microsoft offers a 40% discount on the standard price of Dynamics 365 F&O Cloud, with an initial 1-year contract and two optional 1-year renewals. That is, 3 years of guaranteed price.
8. Migration procedure
Dynamics Square offers customers several options to evaluate the change from any previous version to Dynamics 365. The most complete upgrade procedure would be composed of four main elements: start of the evaluation, where a kick-off would take place and a review of the focus; technical evaluation with the analysis of all changes, review of customizations, interfaces, data, reports, license migration evaluation; functional evaluation of recommendations to present the functional improvements of the application and review the main processes and modules of the business, evaluation of the new capabilities and improvements against the implemented features along with its report.
9. Migration time
Projects in Dynamics 365 are faster since the new tools provided by Microsoft are very powerful, more dynamic and agile. In the case of carrying out a reimplantation with standard functionality, one could speak of a period of less than six months for the migration process. If the redeployment is carried out only with migrated customizations, without the need for redesign, the process would take between six and twelve months and, in the case of more complex deployments, with many modules and modifications with migrated customizations, the migration time would exceed anus.
10. Risks of not updating
The reality is that all versions prior to 2009 no longer have any type of manufacturer support. Only Dynamics AX 2012 R3 has an extended support service that will be limited to some generic improvements, security fixes, as well as regulatory updates, until January 10, 2023.
The ecosystem of consultants/developers are fully involved in Dynamics 365 in the cloud, so support will be reduced in this area as well. The cloud is a path of constant innovation that offers the possibility of always being 100% up-to-date, thus making it possible to have the latest technological developments in the organization and incorporate the improvements that the entire Microsoft stack provides. Therefore, not migrating is not an option.
Need help migrating from Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365?
At Dynamics Square we are at your disposal to discover all the possibilities of the Dynamics 365 ecosystem and accompany you in your digital transformation projects. Access our ebook where you will find the keys you need to carry out a successful migration process and you will be able to develop a strategy aligned to the evolution of your business with an adaptable and intuitive management solution in the cloud.