A failed implementation or migration ends up costing more than successfully getting a system up and running the first time. If you’re thinking about moving from Microsoft Dynamics AX to upgrade to Dynamics 365, keep in mind that preparation is one of the keys to a smooth transition. Not to mention preparation saves you money in the long run.

This blog walks you through some steps to take to prepare for a migration into your new Microsoft Dynamic 365 system.

One of the first preparatory steps to take is to catalogue details of your business processes and the corresponding functions needed to execute and optimise those processes. This may seem like an unnecessarily time-consuming step, but in the end, you’ll save time and money by using the functions you need. If you decide to scale up and include additional functions at a later time, that is completely possible. In the meantime, you can start with the functions that you need now.

When documenting your business processes, be sure to include requirements and tasks you need to accomplish to stay in compliance to regulations that are pertinent specifically to your industry. Bringing awareness to what information is needed in reporting will clarify what data needs to be captured. This will help you better visualise workflows you need supported in your system.

When you have an idea of what you want your Dynamics 365 system to do, the next step is to choose a Microsoft partner to help as your consultant. You’ll need a great partner to help you determine what your business needs are, the corresponding customisations in D365, what data you’ll need to migrate to the new system and how to migrate said data.

There are two major paths to start using Dynamics 365: re-implementation or upgrade.

Re-implementation— works if you’re currently running a version of AX that is older than AX 2012 R3.  Re-implementation is advantageous if you have outgrown many of your AX customisations and it’s time to adjust your system to your new business processes. With re-implementation, you keep your master data, but the system itself is new to you, and new customisations are built within D365.

Upgrade—this option works best when your company is running the latest version of AX and you want to preserve all of your customisations. Upgrades work well when the number of external integrations are low and you’re definitive in not wanting or needing any additional customisations or features.

In the end, think of re-implementation as an opportunity to re-imagine what your system can do to help optimise your operations. On the other hand, upgrades can be a streamlined process to take advantage of cutting edge technology for your current customisations and processes. Ultimately, a trusted partner with your needs in mind will help you navigate the nuances between matching your business goals and the features and benefits of your new Dynamics 365 system.

The path to migration to Dynamics 365 is not the same for every business, neither are the steps for preparing for a migration from Dynamics AX to 365—hence the need for Microsoft partner to serve as your company’s consultant. A great Microsoft partner can guide you step by step through the entire process, from the preparation, upgrade/re-implementation and support of your deployed system. Choosing HSO as your partner to work with you in the move to Dynamics 365 means you’ll have an experienced team who will listen to your business needs and give you the attention that your business deserves.