Government Success: A Growing US County Modernizes with a Seamless Transition from Microsoft Dynamics AX to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance with HSO

How Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and HSO are helping the county support its growth and changing needs

Mountainous landscapes, modern solutions

Surrounded by scenic mountain ranges and with a population pushing 100,000, this county’s government had moved from a decades-old legacy system to Microsoft Dynamics AX (AX). But after successfully using AX for several years, they were faced with changing their ERP again because Microsoft had announced they were discontinuing the product.

The county government began putting together a plan to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance (D365) because it had what attracted them to AX originally—the functionality they needed and the familiar look and feel employees were comfortable with.

"Microsoft was planning to sunset AX 2012, and we were interested in all the new features and functionality offered in D365. So, we decided we needed to move in that direction as well," said the Finance Manager for the county. "And D365 is about the most user-friendly that I've seen."

Following all state and county formal solicitation processes, the county government evaluated other options and proposals but decided to move forward with HSO because of their familiarity with the County’s business processes.

"HSO already knew so much about what we do that trying to bring in somebody new and having to teach them our processes was not practical," the Finance Manager said. "HSO had knowledgeable resources that we trust and enjoy working with. It's always a lot more seamless to use somebody familiar with your operations and your industry."

Managing the migration

Once the RFP process was completed and the contract was awarded, HSO and the county’s team worked together to develop a high-level project plan with time frames and budget with milestones for completing unit and integration testing.

The county has a 10-year capital plan, so they needed to have an idea of what they were facing—the timeline, costs, issues to address like functionality and architecture changes—to help with the budgeting process.

"We did an excellent job at the beginning of outlining what this project needed to look like and then actually sticking to the plan," the Finance Manager continued. "And HSO did an outstanding job staying on top of all the different tasks that were assigned to individuals and making sure they were getting them completed in a timely manner."

"A seamless transition"

Once the project was completed, it was time to go live.

"So, really the biggest benefit to us was that it was almost just a seamless transition. It was almost a non-event," the Finance Manager said. "Which in the software world is really a good thing! We did it over the weekend: On Friday, our users left. On Monday, they came in and just used a URL to get to their work."
Moving to a modern solution was very smooth, and despite representing a significant transformation, was not disruptive to users.

"Although there were slight differences in the displays, they were consistent with what they were used to seeing," continued the Finance Manager. "What we stressed when we did the training for our end users was this is really the same screen, and all the data and the data elements are almost in the same spots."

By moving to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance in the cloud, the county has also lightened the burden on the IT department.

“HSO had knowledgeable resources that we trust and enjoy working with. It's always a lot more seamless to use somebody familiar with your operations and your industry."

Looking ahead

By moving to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, the county is taking advantage of the increased efficiency provided by D365 to manage the many departments and services for which they're responsible. With a scalable, flexible, cloud-based platform, they are better equipped to continue supporting growth and the changing needs and demands of their citizens.

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