What a Microsoft Dynamics AX ETL Tool Can Do for Your Implementation

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As your business grows and you find yourself in need of a more robust ERP system, you will also find many options for transitioning your data.  I recently co-authored a white paper with my colleague, Ren Bellu, titled, Transitioning to Microsoft Dynamics AX: Evaluating data migration solutions.  In this white paper, we define some of the common data transition solutions on the market.

After exploring all options for data migration, we would recommend and have developed a Microsoft Dynamics AX Transition tool which is essentially a tool to convert data from the Microsoft Dynamics GP system to Microsoft Dynamics AX system.  In this case, we developed the Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) tool to convert core static and transactional data tables.  The tool was designed to handle a high volume (~90%) of your needs yet be flexible enough to add programs for other data transitioning needs.

If you are considering an ETL tool for your implementation, here are some things to consider:

  1. Volume of data shouldn’t be an issue – An ETL tool should have the capacity to support large amounts of data and ensure accuracy for all historical data.
  2. Ready to implement – An ETL tool is doing its job and your resources focus less on data and more on value added tasks.
  3. Repeatable – You should have the ability to repeat the transitioning process for training, pilot test, and re-configures if needed.

Anyone who has ever written a custom data conversion tool for an implementation of any size understands that the most complicated part of the migration is identifying the correct starting and landing points, while including the correct data translation and validation in between.  While the benefit to Microsoft Dynamics is that it is completely flexible and as such, configuration changes from business to business, the rules for the most important static data tables generally remain the same.  Where they do differ, the tool can be updated to account for the differences (i.e. field length, requirements, dependencies).  By taking this initial preparation work and all the headaches associated with arriving at an acceptable solution out of this process, we are able to streamline the data migration process and improve accuracy.  Data migration should never be the bottleneck on an ERP implementation.

Personally, I have performed over 200 ERP implementations with Dynamics AX and in my experience, the projects that have gone the smoothest are not those that were the smallest or had the least complicated business models.  The projects that go the best are those that are so well tested through the conference room pilot (CRP) and user acceptance tests (UAT) that the go-live process became just a formality as all the guess work had been taken out.  If you have a data migration tool that allows you to repeat a test conversion over and over from your legacy system to the new ERP, you can essentially create a company, test, make changes, and recreate the company as often as desired, with minimal manual input, until the desired result (error free testing) is achieved.

If you are looking for a partner experienced in Microsoft Dynamics GP to Microsoft Dynamics AX conversion, RSM can help.  We offer a full team of resources for both products and can support your implementation from start to finish.  Please contact me for more information on our tool or email our professionals at erp@rsmus.com.

By: John Hannan - Microsoft Dynamics AX Specialist

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