Migrating from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Online: Best Practices and Considerations

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Updating from traditional solutions to next-gen, advanced ones is vital to get a competitive edge and meet the ever-evolving business needs. Take an example of mobile apps. When we receive an update notification, we update the app to receive a better UI, superior features & functionalities, and advanced security. Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 migration is like updating the mobile app. Businesses have nothing to lose, only to gain from this transformation.

Dynamics 365, a suite of ERP and CRM solutions, helps you streamline processes, automate tasks, make data-driven decisions, and enjoy seamless collaboration among teams.

By 2033, the total valuation of the global Microsoft Dynamics will increase from $ 10,891.6 million in 2023 to $34,215.8 million.

As Microsoft has stopped mainstream support and regular updates for Dynamics AX, using this traditional ERP system does not make sense. Your business needs a next-gen ERP solution that is secure, versatile, customizable, and highly flexible. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based, intelligent solution that has the potential to skyrocket your business's growth and revenues.

Let's check out some differences between Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 to understand why migrating from AX to Dynamics 365 is crucial.

Particulars   Dynamics AX  Dynamics 365 
Platform  On-Premises Based Model  Cloud-based Model 
UI (User Interface)  Traditional UI   User-friendly and intuitive UI with high responsiveness 
Microsoft Support  Microsoft Mainstream support for AX ended in 2012  Ongoing Support  
Regular Updates  Manual Updates (no system updates)  Two automated system updates in a year.  
Accessibility  Limited to specific devices   Accessible from any devices, desktop, mobile, etc.  
Integration  Custom solutions required for third-party integrations  Supports third-party integrations 
Business Intelligence  Limited analytics   AI-Based advanced analytics  
Customization  Limited customization with complexities   Endless customization possibilities  
Security  Basic, traditional security features  Enhanced security features, powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. 
Scalability  Limited scalability  Highly scalable solution to meet your future goals.  
Data Migration  Manual data migration process  Automated migration tools available for a smooth process 
Training  Limited training options  Varied programs and resources available for training 
Mobile App  Not accessible   Accessible  
Cost  Upfront cost  Subscription-based costs 

What Are the Benefits of Migrating from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365? 

ERP & CRM Capabilities

Dynamics 365 offers integrated CRM and ERP capabilities to businesses to reap a wide array of benefits. They can have highly advanced data insights, improved team collaboration, and increased productivity and efficiency. It further allows maximum resource utilization and bridged data silos by bringing various departments to one single platform.

Businesses can reduce overhead costs and have high information visibility with Dynamics 365. This is one of the primary reasons to upgrade AX to Dynamics 365 for seamless processes and operations.

Streamlined Data Management

With Dynamics 365, managing a vast pool of data is like smooth sailing. It simplifies data management by allowing businesses to use data from various sources together through a common data model.

Businesses can also analyze this massive amount of data with the unified CRM-ERP data flow to make data-driven decisions. In short, Dynamics 365 helps businesses gather, process, and analyze data flawlessly and meaningfully.

Regular System Updates

Microsoft has already stopped updating Dynamics AX, and this is a huge issue. If you want to scale your business, the traditional model offers nothing new. On the other hand, Dynamics 365 receives two major updates annually, with regular micro-updates.

Also, being a cloud-based solution, these updates are made automatically. It means working with the latest software version with next-gen features and functionalities.

Improved Security

Microsoft uses the Microsoft Azure platform, a cloud-based solution, to save your critical data. Azure has highly secure, state-of-the-art data centers to keep your sensitive data secure.

On the other hand, Dynamics AX is an on-premises solution that might cause security vulnerabilities.

Endless Customization Possibilities

Regarding ERP and CRM solutions, the one-size-fits-all concept does not work. Every business has its requirements, objectives, and audiences. You need a solution that can be customized flawlessly to cater to your specific needs.

That's where Dynamics 365 conquers!

It brings a significant level of customization possibilities to the table to streamline operations and offer you unparalleled user experience. This is one of the best benefits of upgrading AX to Dynamics 365.

AI-Based, Advanced Analytics

Dynamics 365 has AI-powered advanced analytics with Power BI and Cortana Intelligence Suite, enabling businesses to receive valuable insights for informed, data-driven decision-making.

Enhanced User Experience

Dynamics 365 offers a seamless and satisfying user experience with a stunning, user-friendly UI. The cherry on the cake is that you can customize the solution to perfectly meet your business expectations and scalability goals. Employees and other stakeholders can seamlessly work with Dynamics 365 to enhance productivity and efficiency with proper training.

Flawless Integrations with Third-Party Systems

Integrating Dynamics 365 with your legacy system or other third-party apps is relatively simple and quick. Such integrations help make your solution more lucid and capable of handling various tasks and processes.

Dynamics 365 also allows you to integrate multiple Microsoft products, like Power BI, to leverage its advanced data analytics and reporting capabilities.

Dynamics AX To Dynamics 365: Migration Tips and Considerations

Businesses will require a comprehensive migration plan that covers almost all aspects. It is a complicated process, and having an expert on your side would make a significant difference. You can hire Dynamics 365 partners to assist you throughout the process. We will cover some tips and considerations to give you a better understanding of the Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 migration process.

Pre-Migration Phase

What are your business goals and requirements? How can Microsoft Dynamics 365 help you achieve them? You and your team members can conduct a readiness assessment to make sure that your organization is ready for migration and identify and address any hurdles or issues that might prevent a smooth transition.

Determine Your Business Needs and Objectives: What pain points do you want to address with Dynamics 365? Are there any particular roadblocks you experience with Dynamics AX? What are the defined goals you want to achieve?

Readiness Assessment: Is your business ready for the migration process? You can know it by evaluating your infrastructure, resources, methods, and availability of experts who can contribute when something goes haywire. Through this assessment, you can identify potential issues and take proactive steps.

Determine Data for Migration: Which data do you want to move to Dynamics 365? Take a close look at the data and determine which data you want to migrate to the new system. Organizations usually migrate customer records, financial details, product-related documents, and other data first. Prioritize your data migration process to ensure a smooth data transition.

The Selection of the Migration Method: You have two options here: manual or Automated migration. To choose the proper migration method, consider factors such as data volume, timeframe, data sensitivity, complexity, etc. The manual method enables businesses to import and export data from Dynamics AX into Dynamics 365. On the other hand, the automated method allows firms to use specific migration tools for the data migration process.

Migration Phase

During the migration process, you must work on the timeline and sequencing to avoid any efficiency and productivity issues in your daily operations. Use the latest data migration tools for a quick and error-free migration process. Hiring professional Microsoft Dynamics 365 partners can be a wise move to prevent errors and data losses.

Keep vigilance throughout the process and check the accuracy of data migrated from Dynamics AX. Use troubleshooting methods to address any issues during the process. During the process, keep a close eye on data accuracy, security, user acceptance, performance, and functionality.

Post-Migration Phase

The journey continues even after the migration process is over. Now is the time to unleash this powerful solution's unparalleled potential.

User Acceptance Testing & Training: Perform thorough user acceptance testing with your end-users and address usability issues based on their feedback. Training your staff is of utmost importance to leverage this powerful system's potential and reap all its benefits.

Customization: This is the most crucial part of the process. Implement Dynamics 365 integrations to start. They will enhance your business's overall productivity and efficiency. Then, use Dynamics 365's extensibility to create and configure workflows, forms, and other business processes. For cross-functional collaboration, integrate other existing CRM or ERP systems with Dynamics 365. Such customization will empower you to leverage all the system's possible advantages.

Performance Monitoring: Once the system is ready to function, schedule regular monitoring to ensure its readiness and functionality.

Detect issues or bottlenecks and address them promptly to ensure smooth and stable operations.

Seek support from Microsoft Dynamics 365 partners if you need help solving performance or technical hurdles.

Wrapping Up

The process of Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 migration has its challenges. An end-to-end plan and professional expertise can ensure a smooth and error-free migration without data losses. Data integrity, system compatibility, user adoption, performance issues, and business process alignment are some challenges you face.

Keeping a sharp eye on detail and following the best practices can mitigate these challenges and facilitate you with a future-ready business management solution that skyrockets your business growth while simplifying processes and automating operations.

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