Blog: ERP

Answering Your Top 10 Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Questions

September 22, 2020 - by Synoptek

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In a constantly evolving business environment, staying relevant is extremely important to keep pace with changing market and customer dynamics. Although organizations have long been reaping the rewards of an all-encompassing ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics AX, the time to move to a modern, feature-rich ERP like Dynamics 365 has come. Dynamics 365, through a combination of cutting-edge capabilities, can help overcome the challenges finance and operations organizations face today. By bringing data together from across the organization, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations can help your organization adapt to changing market conditions and drive value with increased agility and resilience. Keep reading to learn the answers to your top questions for upgrading to Dynamics 365.

Not sure if you are ready to take the next steps towards Microsoft Dynamics 365? Here are 5 reasons that you should consider before moving forward.

Top 10 FAQs When Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Upgrading from Dynamics AX (2009 or 2012) to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations opens the doors to significant new features and capabilities. However, when it comes to actually moving Dynamics 365, organizations have several doubts and apprehensions. Here are answers to the top 10 FAQs while upgrading from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365:

1. Why should I upgrade to Dynamics 365 if my business is already running comfortably?

Organizations who have invested in on-prem enterprise solutions often find it difficult to cater to the growing demands of the modern customer. Moving to Dynamics 365 can empower them with the tools and capabilities needed to drive accelerated value: from real-time Business Intelligence to predictive insights, and data unification to better communication and collaboration. With Dynamics 365, you can leverage modern capabilities, reduce the need for customization, and mobilize your business to adapt to change faster.

2. Is cloud the only option while migrating to Dynamics 365?

Although upgrading to Dynamics 365 cloud offers some distinct advantages, Microsoft offers several deployment options to suit the distinct needs of businesses. Depending on what is right for your organization, you can choose from on-premise, online, hybrid, or partner-hosted deployment. The choice of the ideal deployment will depend on how quickly you want to move, the degree of customization, what features you want to leverage, what business or industry requirements you need to meet, and the bandwidth you have to maintain the underlying infrastructure.

3. What is the Dynamics 365 upgrade process?

An upgrade to Dynamics 365 is ideally done in three phases: analysis, execution, and validation. The analysis phase helps in estimating the effort that is required for the upgrade, and to prepare a project plan, select the upgrade methodology, and deploy a demo environment. In the execution phase, organizations need to prepare their environment, perform code upgrade, develop new code if necessary, and upgrade their data. In the validation phase, testing needs to be performed to ensure the upgraded environment works as desired followed by a go-live.

4. What happens to my Microsoft Dynamics AX licenses?

Organizations who currently run Microsoft Dynamics AX can make the most of Microsoft’s upgrade path to move their data and code to Dynamics 365. Since Dynamics 365 is licensed on a monthly subscription on a per-user or per-device basis, organizations moving from Dynamics AX can either drop existing maintenance payments at renewal, or continue paying for Dynamics AX maintenance and add the Dynamics 365 SKUs on top of it at any time.

5. Can I customize and interface my Dynamics environment to 3rd party systems?

Yes! Dynamics 365 offers several customization options, allowing you to use online tools to modify and create fields, entities and businesses processes, and tweak the system as per your business needs. 

6. What happens to my existing customization and integration?

As a rule, a highly customized Dynamics AX environment will need to be redeveloped in order to ensure seamless upgrading. However, several customizations that were common in Dynamics AX are now covered under standard functionality. Therefore, as a best practice, make sure to list out all customizations, determine their necessity, and move only those customizations that really make sense. Also, keep in mind that although over-layering is no longer an option, you can leverage code upgrade tools and choose from several extensions and add-ons to simplify the migration of custom code.

7. How do I move my reports and BI content?

For moving reports and BI content to Dynamics 365, you can recreate reports using tools and procedures offered by Microsoft. Report upgrade follows the same three-stage approach as code upgrade: analyze, execute, and validate.

8. How much will the Dynamics 365 upgrade cost?

Organizations who use Dynamics AX and are enrolled in a Software Assurance or Enhancement Plan may be eligible for a discount on Dynamics 365 license prices when they make the switch. However, the actual cost of upgrade will be a culmination of the Dynamics 365 module(s) you select and associated license costs along with the cost of customization, training, and partner.

9. How long will the upgrade take?

The time taken to upgrade from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 depends on several factors including the number and complexity of customizations, the level of data cleansing needed, as well as the Dynamics 365 modules and capabilities you wish to implement. Most AX environments with standard functionality take about 2 to 3 months; customizations that need re-development take about 3-6 months, while those that require significant re-engineering take about 6 months to a year.

10. Can I upgrade on my own, or do I need to engage a qualified partner?

Although you can move your Dynamics AX environment to Dynamics 365 using your in-house IT resources, engaging a qualified partner to do the job can greatly help in identifying gaps and capitalizing on opportunities for your specific business needs. Having a partner on board with key operational and domain knowledge can ensure you select and implement modules that work best for your business and ensure they stand the test of time.

Moving Forward with Your Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Upgrade

The evolution of Dynamics AX has truly been remarkable. Moving from Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 can empower organizations with the modern tools and capabilities needed to drive efficiency and competitiveness. Microsoft offers a range of tools that help in bringing forward existing custom application code from AX as well as a data upgrade process to bring your database forward.

Synoptek plays a major role with industry leaders when it comes to Microsoft Dynamics implementation or Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 upgrades. Why not get in touch with us to explore or choose a deployment option that best suits your business needs and engage a qualified partner to get maximum returns from the upgrade process? Contact us today for more information!

White paper: Upgrade to Dynamics 365 - Top 3 Cost Optimization Strategies to Consider

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