Microsoft Dynamics AX is a unique, niche-leading ERP system designed to help manage and account for organization resources. The software has proven to be ideal for both medium and large businesses, as it helps to conveniently interconnect different departments, such as production and distribution, supply chain management, finance and business analytics, as well as customer service and staff management departments.
Throughout its life-cycle, Microsoft released several incarnations of Dynamics AX – it constantly underwent processes of perfection and updating. Recently, however, the corporation announced the end of support for Dynamics AX. Many of our clients started questioning whether they needed to upgrade, and how the end of mainstream support may affect their operation. With this article, we aim to answer the most popular questions people have and help you in making the right decision.
Dynamics AX End of Life
Despite the system’s popularity, Microsoft has identified a number of shortcomings that are worth fixing and new features worth adding. So as Dynamics AX expires, it gives way to a newer version – Microsoft Dynamics for Finance and Operation (now MS Dynamics 365 Finance and MS Dynamics 365 SCM).
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3’s end of life will be preceded by a period of mainstream support, which is to continue until October 12, 2021. Microsoft will continue to release new security component patches and various regulatory updates throughout this period. Accordingly, the source code for non-binary corrections, updates of regulatory files and other things will be provided as per usual.
Under Mainstream Support, Dynamics AX 2012 R3 users get:
- The ability to get a paid support agreement;
- Help with updating security components;
- Access to security fixes;
- Free troubleshooting;
- Warranty compliance;
- An opportunity to submit design & functionality customization requests.
What will happen when Mainstream Support ends?
There is an air of finality about this: Microsoft will end the life of Dynamics AX 2012 R3 and with it, all security updates and company patches will cease. All warranty claims will become void as well.
What is Extended Support?
During the Extended Support period, users get the opportunity to receive product support, with pricing ranging from $100,000 to $150,000 per year. However, support will be strictly limited to self-service and a number of paid features. Extended support will provide:
- Regular security system updates;
- Certain updates for other system aspects;
- Open self-service capacities.
Do You Have to Upgrade?
It is almost a certainty that many companies, which have successfully implemented Dynamics AX, will want to continue working with this versatile software. It does an excellent job of handling set tasks. What should these companies do next?
There are two options: continue to work with Dynamics AX at a new price point and with limited functionality, or switch to a new, better product from Microsoft – Dynamics 365. It’s okay if you choose to stick to what you already know, however.
In fact, after the support end date, you can utilize the services of a dedicated consulting company to ensure further exclusive support for the security of your data and also system functionality performance. It will still be possible to get a decent range of servicesthat will continue to provide operational support for your system.
Although, if you strive for constant growth and progress, then why not go for a new ERP system? Dynamics 365 is a global system; a multifunctional business cloud that can analyze your business flow in detail and help you strategically plan to best achieve your goals.
This software is designed for in-depth business reach and efficient digital transformation. The software also allows for integration with other applications through the Microsoft Power Platform settings. Your company will be provided with detailed analytical reports, meaning that making optimal decisions and carrying out any financial transformation will become much easier and more efficient.
Read further: Benefits of Upgrading to MS Dynamics Finance
How to Most Properly Implement a New ERP System?
Modern ERP systems are more than administrative software. A truly high-quality solution can transform your business completely and increase productivity.
The introduction of a new ERP system can be stressful for any organization. Many users took the news about the end of life for 2012 R2/R3 badly. After all, if you have been using an earlier version for several years, new aspects of the system may confuse your employees, even if just for a short while. That’s why it may be worth thoroughly assessing the situation and going with the help of the experts.
Experienced companies with good in-house specialists can help you properly upgradeto Dynamics 365 and both effectively and efficiently implement it into your ongoing workflow, saving you time and resources.
Microsoft Dynamics 365: Is It Worth Upgrading?
Take a look at the benefits of MS Dynamics 365 to see if the current version’s end of life can be for the better.
Major Capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365
You are provided with a number of analytic measures to assess client interactions, both individually and within a demographic. This offers a range of new possibilities for the evaluation and forecasting of sales, and demand for a particular product or service.
Staff efficiency boost
You can accelerate your average rates of regularly completing tasks. Special online instructions can improve staff motivation, as well as allow for faster “maneuvering” between tasks.
Employ some of the best business process management practices. Dedicated software tools assist in analyzing all underlying specifics to calculate the most optimal decision-making options.
Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365
Make everything you need easily accessible in one place – new modules, features, and business assets. Use only the particular services necessary for your specific organizational workflow.
Online analysis of business processes
The system employs such tools as Power BI, Cortana Intelligence Suite, as well as Big Data capabilities and advanced analytics. Therefore the software is able to do a great job evaluating business processes and providing you with important operational data.
Workflow scenarios are a fundamental element for optimizing total company performance. You can monitor the dynamics of sales and transactions in real time. The system fully adapts to your operating mode.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Module for Finance & Operation
This part of the ERP system deserves special attention. Using Dynamics 365 for Finance, a company gets strict management over all in-house cash flow. Thus, managers get to make important business decisions faster. Convenient automation of primary financial tasks ensures the transparency of business processes, as well as compliance with accepted legal standards.
How we can help
i-Neti is a qualified team that provides support for companies of various scales and niches. We help businesses keep their Microsoft ERPefficient and up-to-date with a range of services, including:
Analysis & consulting
- analysis of existing system performance;
- consultation on the best updating strategies;
- calculation of the required expenses.
Updating process planning
- composition of an efficient update plan;
- preparation of the system for smooth modernization.
- employment of efficient modern tools for seamless transition to a new system;
- updating of all necessary compatible ISV apps & other integrations.
- educational courses on the proper adaptation of the business workflow to a new system.
If your company is not ready for changes or you are not sure about the effectiveness of such innovations, you can continue using an older system. Support can be provided by a consulting company that has the relevant experience and methodology.
But still, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012’s end of support has made many think about the natural progression of their business. Timely transition to new software isn’t an issue anymore. If businesses intend to strive for the fastest, most efficient and advanced way of handling tasks, then they must stay up-to-date.
Microsoft has developed a number of unique products that can greatly simplify administrative work. Keeping records of finances, managing cash flow, evaluating client experiences, generating reports are just but a few tasks that Dynamics ERP systems successfully manage.
Software offers the ultimate way to enhance your business’s success without going too far. However, along with the benefits of centralized management software, comes the burden of management responsibility. You always need to keep updated and have someone to help out when the time for another upgrade comes.
It doesn’t matter which route you choose – whether you switch to a new system supplemented by the latest IT innovations or stay with the previously available functionality. It is important not to forget that any kind of software requires proper technical support in order to perform correctly and to benefit the business.
Got any questions left? Not sure whether you/your business should upgrade or stay put? Contact our experts, they’ll be happy to help you take your next best step.