Microsoft Dynamics vendors provide comparisons and opinions to professionals in the ERP/Accounting software selection process


Data Masons Software

Six Tips for Smarter Selections: Unlocking the Power of Microsoft Dynamics AX with the Right ISV Solutions

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If you attended Convergence this year then you heard the message loud and clear – Microsoft is committed to growing Dynamics.  Steve Ballmer and Kiril Tatarinov not only demonstrated this by detailing Microsoft’s own growth, but balanced the discussion by presenting several customer success stories.  While these successes  tell the story of a powerful Dynamics AX ERP system, what you didn’t hear is that they also reveal the key role ISV solutions play in unlocking the opportunities presented by Dynamics AX.  

Following the announcement of AX 2012 at Convergence, there’s a great deal of buzz in the community around the latest technology and how it’s going to affect current AX-based organizations. To insure that this release is stronger and better than the previous version,  Microsoft’s AX team selected a limited number of participants, such as Hydra-Power Systems,  to join the Technology Adoption Program (TAP) along with their associated partners and relevant ISVs.

For Hydra-Power, participating in the TAP program  exposed them to  AX2012 early and gave them the opportunity to transition the ISV solutions they used with their previous AX version.  However, not every organization can just as easily bring along their ISVs to the next version. Hydra-Power is a good example of how by knowing what to look for in a true Microsoft Dynamics ISV partner, not only can you meet your immediate business needs, but you can also set the foundation for future growth, which in this case, is upgrading to AX 2012.

Looking specifically at EDI for Microsoft Dynamics AX, Hydra Power chose an ISV solution that could work with both current and future versions of AX out of the box, without requiring any AX customizations.  Hydra-Power’s EDI solution choice not only allowed them to meet their immediate EDI requirements, but in the long term, it set them up for an easier upgrade experience with regard to EDI. Without the hassle of additional AX customizations to accommodate EDI, Hydra-Power avoided EDI roadblocks that could have delayed the project.

In addition to engaging a solution that is flexible enough to grow with you and your AX environment, when it comes to choosing a Dynamics EDI solution provider, also consider the following in your evaluation:

  • Strong Dynamics AX Version Support
    A solution with EDI functionality, mapping and translation external to the AX platform can adapt to new EDI initiatives, as well as new AX versions and releases.
  • Breadth of Document Integration
    Extensive integrated document support for Dynamics AX and a vast library of both maps and trading partners will allow you to get up and running quickly.
  • Industry Expertise
    Look for proven expertise within your industry so that you’re relying on a well-rounded partner with EDI, Dynamics and industry knowledge.  
  • Flexible Business Model
    As a client you should have options, such as whether or not you want a fully-managed compliance service or prefer to take full ownership of managing your own mapping. 
  • Flexible Technology
    Does the solution offer the flexibility to support a hosted or on premise environment and can it support any format EDI, XML or ASCII file format both inbound and outbound of Dynamics AX? If so, the solution should be able to address every possible EDI scenario.
  • Flexible Pricing
    You may be looking for SaaS solution pricing, traditional on-premise solution costs or an example of both – so just ask the provider if they can accommodate it.

ISV solutions play a big role in unlocking all of the power that Dynamics harnesses.  When analyzing your Dynamics ERP investment, it’s imperative that you also analyze your ISVs so that you can make the best decision for your business, both in the short and long-term. While all six tips will lead you toward success within the growing landscape of ISVs, looking for an ISV solution that meets your today’s business needs and that will support the business, and Dynamics AX, as they both evolve will be critical to maximizing your Dynamics AX experience.

by Data Masons Software, Microsoft Dynamics ISV Partner

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