Upgrading from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 FinOps has been imminent for all businesses running on AX, with mainstream support for AX (2012 R3) ending in 2021. And with everything going digital and cloud-first, it makes sense to upgrade from the on-premise business solution to the cloud. Upgrading a complex ERP system looks very difficult but if the right processes are followed, it is not as difficult as it sounds. The upgrade is also an excellent time to clean obsolete/irrelevant data, add/update business processes, and optimize existing processes by integrating new tools.

1 – Analyze & Scope – For this, you need to have a clear vision of business & features that required in the future. It is essential to assess the features now needed and the features that may be necessary for the long term. It’s judicious to think strategically and find the solution that will support the business as it grows. With all the additions that Microsoft Dynamics 365 has in feature set and functionality, it is essential to look at any business processes not currently utilizing Dynamics. Bringing them into the Dynamics umbrella will be a reasonable proposition. This step is crucial as it aligns both partner and customer.

 The next significant portion of the analysis and scoping face is a code review. Analyze the current system and generate a list of changes, models, layers, and ISV’s. LCS upgrade analysis does most of the job but still need some manual review of Ax 2012 code set. Once the list is ready, assess if those customizations are still needed and alternative options to replace customizations. 

 2 – Cleanup – Microsoft has a tool in Lifecycle Services that will recommend data cleanup, including database size reduction. If you already have previously signed up for an LCS project. In that case, you’ll need to add a project for this upgrade and set the project methodology to Upgrade Dynamics AX 2012 to Dynamics 365. Finally, if you have some redundant data, purging and archiving should be done now.

 3 – Code and Data Upgrade – Upgrade analyzer tool against your Dynamics AX 2012 environment to identify the tasks required to prepare the Dynamics AX 2012 environment – 

Data cleanup identifies the data which can be removed without causing any loss of functionality which reduces the time required for the upgrade go-live process as data size reduces.

SQL optimization recommendations. Data cleanup is very important activity as otherwise additional data will increase your license cost.

 Note: There is no automatic code upgrade available from Microsoft AX 2009. The best strategy to upgrade code from AX 2009 to FinOps is to upgrade to AX 2012 R3 CU13 and then to FinOps.

 Step 4: Process Design and Testing – This is the final step where 

  • After data upgrade, the functional consultant will help document and quantify various configuration tasks in the Dynamics 365 environment, assigning the right security roles to the right users.
  • End to end testing along with users is conducted concerning available use cases (hence the creation of test scripts and use cases is recommended)
  • Process user training is done.

At this stage, you might identify a few gaps or CRs which should be taken care of as part of the defined change management process. As a recommendation, all such gaps should be only developed after go-live.

 After thoroughly testing the system, you’re ready to deploy and go live.

 Contact us for more information or queries on these four steps to upgrade from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 FinOps.