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Nancy Phillippi By Nancy Phillippi • May 29, 2019

What is Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services and what does it offer?

Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS)

Lifecycle Services (LCS) for Microsoft Dynamics is a cloud-based collaboration portal that customers and their partners use to manage and assist with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations projects.  From implementation to ongoing support and operations, LCS provides tools and resources that can help guide the Dynamics 365 project to success.  LCS is also the portal that is used to open support tickets and communicate with the Microsoft Cloud Team.  LCS and the Clients First portal allows ERP Project Managers, IT Staff, and even the Project Team access to the project with any Internet device.  The tools listed below as part of LCS solution.  The Clients First customer portal includes the project plan, budgets, hours used, open tasks and tickets and invoices.  In addition, your team can open support tickets through automated email or within our portal. 

Ask us about our Welcome Kit that outlines our portal, how to setup LCS, and includes the consulting teams email addresses and cell phone numbers.

LCS implementation tools provided:

  • Projects – Projects are the key organizer in LCS. Projects let you invite partners to collaborate with you and they also let you track progress.
    • When a project is created, it is based on an implementation methodology. You must follow the methodology in your implementation project.  The methodology framework is designed to guide you through the implementation. As you perform actions in LCS, you can begin to mark the phases and tasks as completed. Locked methodology tasks can be marked as completed after you complete the prerequisite. You can click the lock icon to learn what you must complete before you can mark a task as completed. As you work through the phases and tasks in the methodology, environments become available for you to configure.
  • Methodologies – Methodologies allow for tracking, communication and reporting on progress during an implementation project. Microsoft provides a base methodology, Sure Step Agile, which provides the following phases, includes the associated tasks and can be modified as needed or you can create your own.
    •  Analysis
    • Design and Develop
    • Test
    • Deploy
    • Operate
  • Business Process Modeler - Business process modeler lets you create, view, and modify standard process flows. By using Business process modeler, you can achieve the following goals: standardize process flows; align your business processes with industry-standard processes, as described by the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC); identify fit and gaps between user requirements and the default functionality that Microsoft Dynamics products provides.
    • You can use Business process modeler artifacts with the following applications:
      • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) – You can generate a consolidated list of gaps and import them manually into TFS as work items that include a reference to the process flow.
      • Microsoft Word – You can generate documentation for business processes.
      • Microsoft Visio – You can export business process maps to Visio files.
      • Task recordings - After you have created a BPM library, you'll need to use Task recorder to record your processes and then upload them to the BPM library. 
      • Task recordings can be used for user training and control.
              • Task recordings can also be used as test cases in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) projects. This can serve as the basis for automated testing during development.
              • Create user acceptance test libraries by using task recordings and BPM. The user acceptance test libraries will allow you to create targeted test plans, manage the execution of tests and investigate results.
              • Task recordings can also be utilized to identify the security needs of users.
    • Cloud-hosted environments - Cloud-hosted environments is a tool that you can use to deploy Microsoft Dynamics environments on Microsoft Azure. When you use Cloud-hosted environments, you must select the type of environment to deploy, such as a demo, developer/test, or production environment. Based on your selection, the Cloud-hosted environments tool provisions the appropriate number of virtual machines (VMs) in Azure. These VMs have Microsoft Dynamics components (and all their prerequisites) already installed on them.
    • Cloud-powered support - Cloud-powered support helps you manage support incidents. It lets you create a VM in Azure that has the same hotfixes installed as your local environment. You can reproduce and record an incident on the VM, and then submit the incident to our support team. Support follows up by investigating and, if possible, testing a fix on the VM, and then sends the fix back to you for verification.
    • Configuration and data manager (preview) - Configuration and data manager (preview) lets you copy a configuration from one instance to another. You can copy from and to environments that meet the following criteria: they are managed as part of an LCS project; they run the Data Import/Export Framework.
    • Customization analysis - Customization analysis validates model files against best practices and provides a report of potential areas for improvement.
    • Issue search - Issue search helps you find existing solutions and workarounds for known issues in Microsoft Dynamics products. You can see which issues have been fixed, which issues remain open, and which issues have been resolved as “won’t fix.”
    • License sizing estimator - License sizing estimator helps you estimate the number of licenses that are required. It provides a shared workspace that lets you model default and customized roles, and then automatically calculate the required client access licenses (CALs).
    • System Diagnostics – System diagnostics helps administrators monitor Microsoft Dynamics environments.
    • Updates – The Updates page hosts the details about updates that are available for an environment.
    • Upgrade Analysis - Upgrade analysis helps you plan your upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations by analyzing code artifacts from Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0, Dynamics AX 2009, or Dynamics AX 2012.
    • Usage Profiler - Usage profiler is a data-gathering tool that helps you describe your projected or current usage to be used for various purposes, such as hardware sizing and support.
    • Downloadable tools – The Downloadable tools page offers technical tools for data management, security and development.
    • Globalization portal – The globalization workspace provides localization services and information in a single location. You can use search to access specific regulatory content and review recently submitted alert information.

    The arsenal of implementation tools provided by Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Lifecycle Services provide a solid foundation to ensure the smoothest, safest and most efficient transition.  That paired with the Clients First portal and functional and technical expertise give us an advantage over other Dynamics Partners.   Clients First in Minnesota and Texas serve the Dynamics AX and 365 for Finance and Operations customers as a Gold ERP and CSP Microsoft Partner.  You can reach us at 800.331.8382 or email info@cfbs-us.com 

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