5 Easy ways to transition from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 | OnActuate
 In Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Upgrades

Upgrading from an existing Dynamics AX system to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (D365FO) is straightforward when you know what you’re doing. With the right partner to guide you through the process and a dedicated team to help you through the complexities, you can be up and running within weeks.

As a global solution integrator driven by efficiency, we know Microsoft Dynamics inside and out. We started writing this Dynamics 365 series with the sole purpose of educating our customers and prospects, so they could make the best decision for their business and bottom line. Is Dynamics 365 the most logical move to make? If your current ERP solution is running smooth without any issues, then it might not be the optimal time to make a huge change in technology and processes. But, if you are experiencing problems and think Dynamics 365 will help make those improvements, then we have some great advice for you to follow on your journey to the Azure cloud.

READ: The Who, What and Why of Microsoft Dynamics 365

Why Make the Move to Dynamics 365?  

For many companies running their business on an on-premise ERP solution, moving to a more flexible cloud application has enormous advantages from a cost and efficiency perspective. That’s why we have seen this shift in existing Dynamics AX customers upgrading their business system to the cloud. In one of our latest blog posts on the pros and cons of moving to Dynamics 365, we shared 5 reasons why transitioning to the cloud is a lucrative option for current Dynamics AX users. Those reasons included:  

  • Reduced total cost of ownership  
  • Automatic upgrades to stay up-to-date on the latest features  
  • Quick and easy add-on customizations 
  • Safety and security of the Azure cloud  
  • Infrastructure scalability when you need it  

The truth is, there is a lot more to the picture than that. Making the move to Dynamics 365 has provided every business we have transitioned with a set of advantages to help them grow and make huge operational gains. From a productivity perspective, seamless integration across multiple Microsoft solutions (i.e. Office 365) and access from any device with internet connection has led to more well-equipped, highly efficient workforces. Another example is profitability through deeper insights. Dynamics 365 has given these businesses access to powerful business analytics in real-time, so they are able to make intelligent decisions that drive improvements, growth, and opportunity. Remember how these benefits will help you, your employees, and your customers in the long-term when the time comes to start planning your migration.  

Besides the cloud platform and integration benefits that Dynamics 365 offers, there is another reason why a customer decide that they need an upgrade: mainstream support. Microsoft is ending mainstream support for older versions of Dynamics AX. For companies still running Dynamics AX 2009, mainstream support has already expired – and an upgrade is critical. For those of you running AX 2012 RTM, R2 and R3, you’ve got until 2021 or later before expiration, so the need to upgrade is not as urgent.

How to Migrate from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations 

The actual migration process to D365FO is highly structured and requires necessary chronological steps for a smooth transition. While the upgrade path is generally the same for everyone, there are a few considerations we suggest you take before jumping in that will help you better prepare.  

Here are 5 areas in the upgrade path that we have identified as critical components of success:    

  • Get a Complete View of Your Current System 
    Before you transition to a new system, you need to know what current business processes are being run through Dynamics AX. We recommend completing a Business Process Analysis, as well as a Code Review. This is an opportunity to identify processes for improvement or gaps in your system that Dynamics 365 can fill. At the same time, doing a review of your code will give you a clear picture of what customizations exist in your system and what it will take to upgrade those custom objects.
     
  • Reduce the Upgrade Processing Time
    Huge volumes of data can impact the processing time to get your upgrade completed. That’s why the best way to optimize your Dynamics 365 upgrade is by cleaning up your Dynamics AX data and code before migration. Microsoft has a tool in Lifecycle Services (LCS) that recommends areas for database reduction, code cleanup, and SQL configuration that will help reduce your upgrade processing times.
     
  • Prepare Your Team for New Technology 
    Dynamics 365 is a built on a different architecture from Dynamics AX that everyone needs to learn. This will not only have implications for your development and technical teams, but it also impacts business admins and project managers. Make sure to factor in training time for LCS, new technology like Visual Studio Team Services and Azure, and to get familiar with UI navigation and new processes.
     
  • Evaluate New Features in Free Trial 
    While some companies might decide to wait until they are in the upgrade process to take a look at process redesigns and new features – we recommend you do it in advance. You can sign up for a free Dynamics 365 trial and take the time to evaluate the system and your need.  

At OnActuate, we’ve been through this upgrade process with many other businesses, just like yours. We know the shortcuts you can take – and the ones you shouldn’t. With our team of qualified technical experts by your side, you can rest assured that your Dynamics AX system is in good hands.  

NEXT STEPS: Detailed Quote and Timeline 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – Dynamics 365 is designed for digital business transformation. That’s why we highly recommend D365FO to any growing company currently running on Dynamics AX 2012 or higher. By taking the right precautions with your data and code, along with preparing your people and your environment in advance of the upgrade, we can help you get up and running quickly and start seeing value immediately.

With a quick assessment, we can give you a detailed quote and timeframe of what to expect during your transition to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations.

Get a Quote

pros and cons of microsoft dynamics 365