When should you upgrade from Dynamics AX to Microsoft Dynamics 365?
While not as involved as implementing a brand new ERP system, upgrading software can be a significant technological investment. Nonetheless, depending for your readiness for improvement, an upgrade from Dynamics AX to 365 benefits your operations with better integration, machine learning for platforms on Azure, greater functionality and more.
The degree of effort in upgrading hinges on how much data and business processes will follow you into the next level of Dynamics. Time, in-house manpower and whether you need to partner with a Microsoft expert, are factors in deciding how to upgrade from Dynamics AX.
But you need to decide if you’re going to upgrade from AX at all. You may decide to squeeze out as much usage out of your current AX system or only upgrade from AX 2009 to AX 2012. But if you’re exploring the idea of upgrading directly to the most state of the art Microsoft ERP system, here are three things to consider before you move to Microsoft Dynamics 365.
1. Are you anticipating growth?
Do you anticipate ramping up hiring to beef up your workforce? Are you in the process of acquiring a business unit or integrating disparate teams? Regardless of the nature of growth, your technology needs to grow with you. Your ERP needs to improve as your business initiatives evolve. This means that your ERP needs to be as agile as your team. At the end of the day, you need an ERP system that is robust enough to keep up with your company’s growth trajectory.
2. Do you need additional licences?
A larger work force means more end users, which means an increased number of licenses. When you’re in the situation of needing dozens of additional licenses, it might be cheaper to upgrade to Dynamics 365.
Dynamics AX requires that you pay an annual support maintenance renewal on your licenses, on top of the licenses themselves.
On the flip side, Microsoft has extended discounts for customers with active AX systems who upgrade to 365. This means a lower cost for licenses until the end of 2019 and the opportunity to lock in more attractive pricing.
If your company upgrades to Dynamics 365 right now, you can save hundreds of thousands to millions of pounds in the next two and a half years.
3. Are you adding more business processes?
Growth within a company often results in adding or adjusting processes. This means your ERP’s features need to facilitate those new and changed processes. And they need to be incredibly intuitive. New features such as Workspaces (replacing Role Centers in Dynamics AX), simplify the user experience for new hires, allowing them to filter data sets without having to know how to program code.
Integrations and embedded functions are more readily available in Dynamics 365. For example, reports are easier to pull with Power BI embedded in 365, reducing the need to export and handle data in Excel. Run reports on the spot for improved visibility into your operations more effectively. Plus, projects are easier to manage within Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations by integrating Project Service Automation app.
Take your customisations from Dynamics AX to 365. Additionally, you can digitalise more business processes that were previously analogue.
Your company may be better poised for an improvement in your ERP system than you think. Upgrading now can save you money in the longer term, not only in licensing costs, but in staff productivity and facilitating your revenue generating efforts through change and innovation. Put your strategy first. What technology truly supports your business objectives?