Charting Microsoft Dynamics AX Upgrade Options
4 key factors for evaluating your optimum upgrade path
While enterprise software is critical to supporting your evolving business needs, is it always in your best interest to immediately upgrade to the newest release? Not necessarily. Your ideal Dynamics AX upgrade options depend on how your current software version meets your current needs. Evaluate these four major considerations:
- Microsoft support for your existing version.
- Application functionality for your business.
- Support for evolving needs – via mobility, IoT, AI, or other emerging technologies.
- Current infrastructure setup.
Whichever direction your initial assessment leads, consider speaking with a knowledgeable Microsoft Dynamics partner who can help you rank key metrics for a more accurate financial and functional comparison.
Ensure ongoing support
Regardless of which software version you use, keep in mind Microsoft's Lifecycle Support schedule and the time required to migrate – up to two years, depending on organization size or complexity. The following expiration dates for mainstream or extended support of your existing system might impact your Dynamics AX upgrade decision.
Dynamics AX 2009. Mainstream support ends April 2018, with extended support ending in April 2021.
Dynamics AX 2012. Mainstream support through version R2 ends October 2018, with extended support ending in October 2021. If you have Version R3, mainstream support reaches October 2021, with extended support to January 2023.
Dynamics 365 (online). With this cloud-based option, maintenance is included as part of the pay-as-you-go total solution for the life of the service.
Keep pace with enhanced core functionality
Core functionality is a primary driver behind any Dynamics AX upgrade choice. The newest Microsoft Dynamics 365 option offers both CRM and ERP capabilities as a comprehensive online solution. It enables you to integrate a variety of financial, operational, marketing, customer service, sales, purchasing, human resource, and other data – seamlessly – through a Common Data Model. The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites For Enterprise Organizations (Q4 2016) report ranked Microsoft in the Leaders category of CRM Suites for Enterprise Operations, citing its "very strong reporting and analytics with many prescriptive advice scenarios to optimize sales processes."
Capitalize on advanced technologies
If your evolving business needs meet any of the following thresholds, be sure to weigh the financial impact of lost opportunities vs. the value of upgrading to leverage enhanced and emerging technologies.
Mobile Technology. Are instantaneous mobile applications crucial in your competitive environment? If so, explore the value Dynamics 365 mobility adds to your upgrade equation.
IoT Networks. Harness the power of new data available through expanding IoT networks.
Improved decision-making. Let Dynamics 365 Power BI (Business Intelligence) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities help you create valuable insights from rated ERP/CRM data.
.NET Framework. If you intend to exploit the versatility and forward compatibility of the .NET software framework, consider a Dynamics AX upgrade to Dynamics 365, or AX 2012 R3 at a minimum.
Extended CRM support. Even if your current CRM tool (e.g. Salesforce) meets existing needs, a Korcomptenz Microsoft Dynamics specialist can show how to derive greater value by incorporating its valuable customer data into Microsoft Dynamics 365 modules.
Assess your current infrastructure
There is a big difference between surviving with older patchwork infrastructure vs. thriving with upgraded capabilities that can transform your business in the face of rapid change, so consider:
In-house infrastructure. Your best Dynamics AX upgrade decision depends on the age of your current infrastructure. With sound infrastructure and mainstream product support provided through 2021, Dynamics AX 2012 R3 makes it practical to reap the ROI from your current investment for a longer time.
Software as a Service (SaaS). If your current infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful lifecycle, consider the value of a Dynamics AX upgrade to the cloud-based Dynamics 365 service. You'll gain the ability to share financial, operational, and marketing data within a single-system solution. You'll also benefit from pay-as-you-go service that can scale up and down quickly for long-term growth or temporary seasonal spikes.
Migration costs. Depending on your current solution (e.g. Dynamics AX 2009 vs. Dynamics AX 2112, R3) the cost of migrating to an upgraded version can vary. A thorough infrastructure analysis can tell you whether to upgrade or stand pat for now.
Get assistance for your evaluation
Benefit from inside experience for any Microsoft Dynamics AX upgrade decision – now or in the future – with the help of an experienced Microsoft Dynamics specialist from Korcomptenz. Our FREE, no-obligation metrics analysis will help you compare costs and benefits among your top options.