Making the transition to Dynamics 365

Microsoft Gold Partner Decision Inc. discusses the benefits of upgrading from a Microsoft AX 2012 implementation to the more agile Dynamics 365 platform. Fundamentally, this presents more than just a new version of the software but a quantum leap into a different environment.

“In 2003, Microsoft began seriously targeting the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space after being traditionally positioned as a Tier 2 provider. In recent years, it has embraced a more progressive strategy around business platform development using the likes of Azure, PowerApps, and the Dynamics family of products that include Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations and Dynamics 365 Business Central geared towards smaller businesses,” says Desmond Struwig, Managing Executive: Intelligent Operations at Decision Inc.

He believes that following significant investment by organisations globally in implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, decision-makers need to understand the value of embracing this new platform. Dynamics 365 entails more than just a ‘maintenance shift’ and instead embraces technologies such as cloud computing in more innovative ways than previously thought possible when it comes to ERP.

“The biggest argument for the move is to put an organisation in a space where it has access to a business integration hub. It is all about becoming an intelligent enterprise for the digital world by unlocking true mobility in order to run Dynamics 365 from any mobile device. Its content-rich screens are Web-based, and the accessibility and user experience represent a giant leap forward from where it was.”

Of course, the migration must be made as painless as possible. Companies need to move beyond considering it a grudge purchase and realise the value-add in making the transition. This entails helping the client protect the investment made in the previous solution so as not to start from scratch with the new one.

“The underlying principle behind this is the realisation that Dynamics 365 supports the business of the future and can more easily evolve as the strategic requirements of the organisation change. Additionally, the standard features of the product set are extensive so customisation can be kept to a minimum to provide for smoother user experience.

Naturally, older solutions such as AX 2009 and AX 2012 have their mainstream support expiration dates arriving imminently. This means upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 enables the company to continue to benefit from Microsoft security upgrades, resources, updates, and more as innovative technology and features become available.

Because Microsoft Dynamics 365 is born in the cloud, it provides decision-makers with a more cost-effective subscription model. This means they only pay for what is used rather than bigger ongoing costs of an ‘off-the-shelf’ product. And even if the company wants to remain on-premise, Microsoft launched such a version in early 2019 to still offer that flexibility of choice.

“When a business upgrades to Microsoft Dynamics 365, it has access to sophisticated technologies that included embedded business intelligence and artificial intelligence. This ensures that the value of the most important business asset, its data, can be unlocked more effectively.”

It also means the organisation can leverage Microsoft PowerApps and Flow capabilities that were not possible in AX. The improved user experience will result in productivity gains and it can easily integrate with other Microsoft solutions such as Office 365 and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

“Finally, the enhanced security features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 offer the stability and security of the Azure platform, including access controls and disaster recovery. This makes it not only more secure, but future-proofs the solution as it will continually receive updates given its cloud-based nature,” Struwig concludes.