Microsoft Dynamics AX support is coming to end (or may have already ended, depending on your version). Are you prepared for what’s next?
It’s time to make some important business decisions that will have a long-term effect on your processes, people, and other software integrations. Whether you decide to stay with Dynamics AX past the support end-date or move to a new platform, we have your guide on how to facilitate a smooth transition and mitigate any adverse impacts.
When is Dynamics AX support coming to an end?
The end dates for mainstream Microsoft support for Dynamics AX vary by version:
Dynamics AX 2012: Mainstream support ended on October 9, 2018
Dynamics AX 2012 R2: Mainstream support ended on October 9, 2018
Dynamics AX 2012 R3: Mainstream support is ending on October 12, 2021
What does the Dynamics AX support end-date mean for users?
When AX mainstream support ends, it means that Microsoft will not provide any hotfixes or patches to address bugs or legislative changes (for example, taxation). If you continue to use Dynamics AX unsupported, you could be facing software challenges, as well as potential legal and compliance issues, that will affect your processes and frustrate your people.
If you do choose to continue using Dynamics AX past the support end-date, we recommend partnering with a Microsoft reseller, such as SHEA Global, that will continue to provide limited support even after Microsoft discontinues it.
However, that said, there is a comparable software solution that current AX users should consider transitioning to: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
Why Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations?
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations has a modern interface with efficient, best practice processes within the software.
The solution is user-friendly, easy to deploy using the new Microsoft suite of tools, and contains several enhancements that extend the reach of the supply chain — for example, the vendor collaboration portal. Although browser based, the core business and system processes remain very similar between AX and Dynamics 365.
Transitioning from Dynamics AX to 365 for Finance and Operations
If you are considering transitioning from AX to Dynamics 365 (D365), there are steps your organization should take sooner rather than later.
Businesses using AX should:
- Evaluate whether any customisations in their existing AX system are needed or can be satisfied with standard functionality in D365.
- Revisit their business processes to see whether anything has changed in their business or market to see whether D365 can better help them succeed.
- Start the transition conversation early! While 2021 may seem a long way off, starting discussions now about moving to Microsoft Cloud means you will have time to refine your deployment.
While moving from AX to D365, it is also important to note that the transition isn’t a straightforward technical upgrade, like other versions have been. It resembles a re-implementation, taking static data across and opening transactions/balances. This provides a great opportunity to review processes and adapt to new technologies.
We do not recommend taking all of your legacy data when you transition.
Moving from On-Premise to the Cloud
While Dynamics AX is hosted on-premise, D365 is more often hosted on the Microsoft Cloud, providing users with significant advantages.
- A simplified deployment model
- No need for powerful on-premise servers to run the application
- Browser based, intuitive, and user-friendly
- It’s scalable – as business needs dictate, you can flex your license up and down with the Microsoft D365 subscription
- Microsoft tunes your environment to ensure optimum performance
- Failover – Microsoft handle backups and disaster recovery automatically for you
- Easier collaboration with customers, vendors, and employees
- Access to the latest technology through software upgrades
- Integrates well with Office 365
If data security in the cloud is a concern for transitioning, have no fear — Microsoft has the infrastructure, skills, and capacity to monitor your network for cyber threats.
Regular software updates also ensure you are current with the latest cybersecurity protection, and D365 makes this easy to accomplish by notifying users of upgrades and scheduling them for a convenient time.
Making Your Transition Seamless
The most effective approach is to begin with a business review, culminating in a solution blueprint to determine the areas of functionality to be used, the core business processes, and a fixed price approach to moving from AX to D365 to prevent any unplanned costs. Since there is likely to be a significant demand for migration projects, we recommend starting your discussions with your partner now.
At SHEA Global, we partner with our customers to realize their business goals by achieving operational excellence. Whether our customers are transitioning from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations or require support past the AX end date, if that is their preference, we are invested in their success.
Contact us today to create your plan for the future and ensure support long-term.