Now that Microsoft has ended support for their on-premises Dynamics AX software, many companies are left without ongoing releases and patches to keep it up to date. If you’re ready to consider migrating to the cloud but are concerned about what a Dynamics AX migration to Dynamics 365 entails, this article outlines what challenges to expect.
Challenge #1 - A New Software Infrastructure
Without getting too technical, both AX and Dynamics will help your company manage finances and automate processes and reporting. However, Dynamics 365 represents a huge leap forward in the underlying technology on which the software is built.
All of this means that the migration from AX to Dynamics isn’t as simple as upgrading from one version to the other or importing existing configurations. The good news is that you have a lot to look forward to with Dynamics 365, including automated calculations, artificial intelligence, and seamless integrations with other solutions you use.
Challenge #2 - Legacy Integrations and Customizations
Many companies over the years bolt-on several (sometimes dozens) of one-off integrations and customizations. Some are built specifically for the unique needs of the business, which makes them even more tricky to port to your new software.
Be sure to stop and ask the question of whether or not all those integrations and customizations still support the needs of your business. Are they working optimally? In some cases, you may not need customization to achieve the same outcome because Dynamics 365 offers full-fledged integration capabilities on board.
Challenge #3 - Older Versions of Dynamics AX
Microsoft has a clear path for migration from AX 2012 R2 and R3. However, if your business is running on AX 2009, for example, you will likely have some additional steps added to your migration plan. Your options may include extracting your data from AX 2009, upgrading to AX 2012 then 365, or a fresh implementation of 365.
Challenge #4 - Porting Over Existing Reports
Unfortunately, not all your reports built-in AX will be compatible with Dynamics 365, especially some of your custom reports. Here again, you’ll want to assess each report and the data it provides and ask yourself if it still serves your needs.
Many clients opt to build all their reports anew in Dynamics 365. It offers advanced reporting options utilizing onboard intelligence and automated calculations. This type of visibility and visual reporting can empower your organization to become data-driven in its decision-making.
Rely on an Experienced Microsoft Partner
The easiest way to face any challenges related to your migration from Dynamics AX is to rely on an experienced partner that has walked this road and knows what to anticipate. At Clients First, we conduct assessment workshops with our clients to help them plan the optimal migration path. We’ll help you define:
- Clear business goals
- Scenario and stakeholder alignment
- Organizational readiness
- Comprehensive project scope