Dynamics AX to D365 Upgrades

Why Upgrade to D365FO?

Upgrading from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is like no other upgrade process. It can be especially daunting for organizations with fewer than 150 users who don’t qualify for a Life Cycle Services dedicated specialist from Microsoft.

While upgrading can be an intimidating process, it will be well worth it to access the newest features and functionality, the updated user experience, integrated business operations, and enhanced business intelligence.

The upgrade process for Microsoft Dynamics AX customers is unique in that it encompasses critical decisions in terms of platform, cost, technology, and functionality.

Why Partner with TurnOnDynamics?

We don’t focus our top talent on sales and use a team of junior professionals on your project. We have more than 50 years’ experience in the industry and use our expertise to see your project from quote to completion.

Our upgrade services are unique in three critical areas:

  1. Dedicated and Highly Experienced Upgrade Teams and Resources
  2. Software and ERP process subject matter expert intellectual property to accurately quote and develop projects
  3. Unique upgrade project risk mitigation strategies.

What Is the Upgrade Process?

Analysis → Proposal → Completion → Service

The most accurate methodology for preparing an upgrade proposal is to start with a detailed technical analysis of the AX objects that must be upgraded. Objects come in different categories and not all objects are created equally. These differences apply within and across object categories.

This requires one to have the ability to not only count the number of objects that must be upgraded but also the relative work effort required for each object under consideration. With hundreds of objects to consider on a typical upgrade project we have developed software IP to speed up this process. This provides a more timely and accurate estimates with lower risk.

What’s the Next Step?

Can you answer “Yes” to any of the following:

  • Are you analyzing upgrade options?
  • Do you need a second opinion on an upgrade quote?
  • Is your current upgrade project experiencing challenges?
  • Do you need client-side advisory services or project management?
  • Do you need an upgrade quote and project plan?

If you answered “YES!” to even one of these, please reach out to our team. We’ll schedule a conversation to assess your AX to D365 for Finance and Operations project needs.

Why Upgrade AX TO D365 – FAQS

Which deployment model is best: on-premise or in the cloud?

The simple answer is that anyone with a regulatory requirement to keep data on their own private system should go “on-premise or private cloud.”

The expense and reduced functionality for the on-premise solution as detailed by Microsoft often makes this a straightforward decision for companies without compliance issues.

Read more here.

What is the hybrid solution?

Companies with data collection requirements such as point of sale (POS) or bar coding on the shop floor or in the warehouse, a cloud solution will most likely not work because of the data transmission lag.

This lag would be addressed with a hybrid solution that uses a combination of cloud and on-premise technology requiring hardware and software.

What are the differences between on-premise and cloud?

The differences are surprisingly significant as detailed by Microsoft here.

Of course, there is an incredible amount of detail behind these differences that vary in impact, based on your requirements.

What version of AX do you have to be in to upgrade?

The ideal scenario would be a “vanilla” implementation of AX 2012 R3, with no modifications, ISV’s or data integrations. However, in the real world, two surprising questions that need to be answered first are:
1) Should I upgrade to D365 or stabilize on AX R3?
2) Should I upgrade or do a re-implementation?

Simple charts that show the “available” upgrade paths based on AX version completely miss the complex questions that must be answered on a company-by-company basis.

What are the top issues confronting AX to D365 upgrade projects?

Based on our own experience and verified by Microsoft upgrade support engineers, the top issues are:
1) Level of customization
2) ISV products required
3) Data integrations

What’s the minimum D365 user count?

Microsoft Dynamics D365 F and O requires a minimum purchase of a 20-user license.

However, the real “magic” number of users is 150.

The reasoning behind this magic number involves a long and detailed discussion that can have a dramatic impact on your upgrade project. If you have fewer than 150 users, we invite you to contact us for a more detailed answer to this question.

What is the typical cost for an upgrade project?

Much higher than you would expect based on any type of previous experience with ERP software upgrade projects. Dramatically higher in fact!

We’ve discussed the factors that go into that high cost in great detail, in our blog (here and here), webinar recording or podcast on the subject.

How do I get an accurate quote?

There are many factors involved in accurately quoting an AX to D365 upgrade project. The most critical is an analysis of your AX “objects.”

Objects are units of software code that fall into different categories such a custom reports or business logic customizations. It is critical to understand the number of objects and their individual complexity to get a true quote.

Our custom software tool and extensive experience allows us to arrive at a high level of quote accuracy and deliver these projects on time and on budget.

What is the typical timeframe for an upgrade project?

For a sophisticated mid-market client, we are seeing quotes ranging from six months to one year.

Our biggest caution on developing implementation plans that are go-live date sensitive is that there are multiple project steps that are not controlled by the partner and customer.

Relying on published estimates for time it takes to complete these tasks may result in significant project slippage.

Does Microsoft offer any credit for my existing AX licenses?

Prices and pricing programs change regularly so make sure to check with a certified Microsoft partner for up-to-date pricing, but AX users that are current on their licensing receive a 40% discount on their first year of D365 licenses. This applies to the number of licensed AX users only.

Does Microsoft offer any assistance with upgrade projects?

If your project is for an implementation of more than 150 users, Microsoft provides a dedicated upgrade engineer to your project.

With fewer than 150 users you have access to the library of reference documents and resources available in lice cycle services (LCS).

A la carte support contracts are also available but expensive.

Navigating an upgrade project without an upgrade engineer or highly qualified partner can prove both problematic and expensive.

Are there upgrade tools to assist with the upgrade process?

There are tools developed by various partners and individuals that help with specific tasks in the upgrade projects.

There are no tools to automate the entire upgrade process. Any claims to that effect should be investigated thoroughly.

The AX to D365 upgrade projects could viably be considered R and D experiments and in their infancy.

What’s the first step to a D365 upgrade?

TurnOnDynamics offers expertise to guide you through every step of the process.

The first step is contacting us to schedule a review of your needs. From there, we’ll answer the detailed questions you may have and gather enough information to help you from quote to completion. Complete the contact form below or send an email to get started.

Contact us today to get a fresh perspective on your project!

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