Upgrading Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365: What You Need to Know

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Currently, Microsoft supports a direct upgrade from Dynamics AX 2012 to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations.  But for older versions of Dynamics AX such as AX 4.0 or AX 2009, a simple upgrade path is not available.  If you are using Dynamics AX 2012 or later and you have the latest cumulative update for your version, the upgrade will be simple. But if you have an older version that is no longer being supported, you'll have to consider a new implementation. Either way, we're sure you have questions, and we at KORCOMPTENZ would like to help.

FAQ about upgrading

We've listened to our clients, and here are some of their frequently asked questions:
  1. Should I move my ERP operations to the Cloud or upgrade to an on-premises version of Dynamics 365?
Most customers who have been using Dynamics AX 2009 or AX 2012 will find that their infrastructure is not equipped with the technology necessary for on-premises Dynamics 365. Moving up to the Cloud deployment of Dynamics 365 is a better choice. In addition to eliminating the need for investment in new hardware, the Cloud provides added benefits like a new cross-platform UI when using any device, including mobile and any browser. With Dynamics 365 Cloud ERP, you'll have real-time BI, easy access, low or no IT maintenance costs, and automatic upgrades.
  1. We use some highly specialized software apps that interface with our current version of AX. Will they still work with the cloud version of Dynamics 365?
Yes, Dynamics 365 interfaces well with external applications using common authorization mechanisms such as OAuth2 and data formats such as JSON, XML, etc.
  1. We mostly use the financial modules on our current version of Dynamics AX. We manage our other operations with various specialized software. Will we have to pay more for lots of added features in Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 has focused sets of functionalities such as Finance, Supply chain, Sales, and Marketing. You can choose to subscribe to only the functionality you'll use.
  1. Can we create individualized BI and visualizations with Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 has a user-friendly data structure called Data Entities. That structure makes it easy to build reports and customize visualizations with Power BI.
  1. If we choose to upgrade to Dynamics 365, what will become of the many customizations and integrations we did in AX 2009 or 2012?
Depending on the complexity of your customizations and integrations and their impact on your core processes, it may be possible to reuse some of the existing functions, reports, and integration components. However, there are numerous functionalities and enhancements included in Dynamics 365 based on various industry demands. So, it may not be necessary to bring forward all of your customization from your previous version. If there are specific developments you would like to have in Dynamics 365, they can be developed. At any rate, most of the integrations would have to be reworked as Dynamics 365 uses OData connections, RESTful web services, JSON, DIXF. There are many ISV solutions that could be considered to address your integration or customization needs.
  1. What are some more benefits of moving to Dynamics 365
There are many functional enhancements and increased capabilities in various processes thanks to Microsoft's ongoing research and design. Dynamics 365 boasts Real-time BI (Business Intelligence), an in-memory BI solution providing an up-to-the-minute picture of your business performance. New Power BI and customized dashboards for various functions keep your entire team up to date. Dynamics 365 also introduces many of Microsoft's platform innovations, enabling you to benefit from the Microsoft Cloud's many advantages. Some of those advantages include a standard data model between Dynamics 365 and Office 365, PowerApps for easily creating mobile apps, and Microsoft Flow for simplifying workflows and notifications.
  1. Because of our particular compliance and statutory requirements, we prefer an on-premise system. Can we still use Dynamics 365?
There is an on-premise version of Dynamics 365. With the on-premise deployment, you can take advantage of your existing data center investment while meeting regulatory and compliance obligations and complying with data sovereignty rules. However, some connectivity is required for system management, and updates will be enabled through Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS), a cloud-based application lifecycle management service. If you opt for on-premises deployment, you will have to configure your disaster recovery program, create stand-up sandbox environments, and manage your infrastructure, including scheduling operating system updates. The additional costs to deploy and manage these capabilities might lead to higher infrastructure costs resulting in a higher Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Tools for deploying Dynamics 365 and updates will be available to partners and customers via Lifecycle Services. However, Advanced Analytics and Azure Machine Learning capabilities are not included in the on-premises deployment option as they are with the Cloud.
  1. What will it cost to upgrade to Dynamics 365, and how long will it take?
The cost and timeline depend on your current AX system customizations as well as any 3rd party integrations and integrated modules, etc. Before making your upgrade decision, it is best to perform a detailed analysis, including a thorough study of your current processes, reporting requirements, and integrations with other applications. We can help you with that too. At KORCOMPTENZ,  our Microsoft-certified experts have extensive experience improving business outcomes for our clients. We offer end-to-end solutions involving ERP, Azure Cloud, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT. We specialize in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 range of products. Contact us to request a consultation. By KORCOMPTENZ, www.korcomptenz.com      

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