Dynamics AX 2012 support ends: Exploring the next steps

August 1, 2023

In an era of rapid technological evolution, businesses dependent on legacy enterprise solutions stand at a significant juncture. Among the stalwarts of enterprise resource planning (ERP), Microsoft’s Dynamics AX 2012 has empowered countless organizations, helping them streamline their processes and optimize resource management. Nevertheless, with the imminent end of support for Dynamics AX 2012, businesses are confronted with a choice that demands their strategic attention.  

This article delves into the conclusion of Dynamics AX 2012 support lifecycle, its implications on organizations still using AX 2012, exploring the challenges posed by the end of support, and the potential pathways for charting a successful ERP future.   

Dynamics AX support lifestyle conclusion: Implications and insights

Understanding the Microsoft Dynamics AX product support lifecycle is important for any organization relying on Microsoft Dynamics AX versions. This lifecycle consists of various phases, including mainstream support and extended support. Mainstream support provides businesses access to new features, bug fixes, and security updates to protect against emerging threats. Extended support continues to offer security updates but lacks new features and non-security bug fixes. 

Mainstream and extended support for Dynamics AX 2009, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics AX 2012 R2, and Dynamics AX 2012 R3 have ended. All the versions of Dynamics AX and their respective end dates for mainstream as well as extended support by Microsoft are:  

Dynamics AX applicationsMainstream support end dateExtended support end date
Dynamics AX 4.0October 11, 2011October 11, 2016
Dynamics AX 2009October 9, 2018April 12, 2022
Dynamics AX 2012October 9, 2018April 12, 2022
Dynamics AX 2012 R2October 9, 2018April 12, 2022
Dynamics AX 2012 R3October 12, 2021January 10, 2023

It’s clear that the end of mainstream support means that organizations using Dynamics AX 2012 will no longer receive new features, updates, or non-security bug fixes from Microsoft.  Now, AX users have two options: either opt for performance tuning services if they wish to stay with Dynamics AX or migrate to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations.  

What are the next steps? 

Running your business operations on an unsupported system can lead to costly consequences. Therefore, it is important to consider planning an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365, as any reputable Dynamics AX partner would recommend. However, migration is not a straightforward process and requires careful planning. As you weigh your options, here are some essential considerations to guide your decision: 

Option 1: Stay on Microsoft Dynamics AX 

Regardless of why you are not ready to migrate, staying with your current Dynamics AX environment is possible. However, it’s important to get support to ensure the seamless functioning of your business users and processes. There are two ways about it: 

Rely on your internal IT team

You can employ your internal IT team to manage and maintain the AX system. This approach can work well if the IT personnel in your organization have in-depth knowledge and expertise in Dynamics AX. They will be responsible for handling any technical issues, system updates and ensuring the smooth operation of your ERP processes.  

While relying on internal IT can be cost-effective, it’s recommended to evaluate whether your team has the necessary skills and bandwidth to manage the system. 

Seek support from a trusted Dynamics AX partner 

Alternatively, partnering with a reliable Dynamics AX expert can provide your organization with the necessary support to optimize your current Dynamics AX setup. A seasoned Dynamics partner can offer specialized insights, best practices, and customized solutions to enhance the system’s efficiency, security, and stability. Service providers specializing in Dynamics AX support services also offer performance tuning services that can address potential performance bottlenecks, ensuring your Dynamics AX environment operates at its best. With the right Dynamics partner, you can gain peace of mind, knowing that your ERP system is in capable hands.   

Option 2: Upgrade to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations 

Upgrading to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, the successor to Dynamics AX 2012, presents a compelling choice for businesses looking to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving technology landscape. This modern ERP solution offers several advantages that make it a viable and future-proof option for companies after the end of Dynamics AX support. This migration presents a host of advantages, such as: 

  • Access to new features: Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations comes with a range of new features and capabilities including enhanced UI and end-user experience, mobile-ready and cross-platform access, and a built-in disaster recovery mechanism. All these and other advanced features can greatly enhance efficiency and productivity. 
  • Continuous support: Microsoft offers ongoing mainstream support for Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, ensuring access to the latest updates and security patches. 
  • Seamless integrations: Being a part of the Microsoft ecosystem, Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft products and third-party applications, allowing for a unified and connected environment. 
  • Future-proofing: An upgrade to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations aligns businesses with Microsoft’s long-term roadmap and digital transformation initiatives. 

Is staying on Dynamics AX 2012 the right choice? 

The decision to stay on Dynamics AX 2012 or migrate to a newer ERP solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 depends on several factors, including your organization’s unique needs, business goals, budget, and risk tolerance. Many organizations are still using Dynamics AX to this date. Some common situations where delaying the upgrade seems the right choice include: 

  • The current Dynamics AX satisfies your business’s requirements, and you have internal support available.  
  • Your business has just deployed AX, and you are not yet financially or logistically prepared for another upgrade. 

Keep in mind that continuing to use Dynamics AX without mainstream support can expose your business to potential security vulnerabilities, functional limitations, and compatibility issues with modern applications. Moreover, Dynamics AX performance issues may impede business operations and affect overall productivity.   

Steps to migrate from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365

Migrating from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 involves a series of well-planned steps to ensure a smooth transition. Here’s a general outline of the process:

Step 1: Assessment and planning

The first step involves evaluating your current Dynamics AX implementation, including customizations, integrations, and data. Here, you also define your goals and objectives, and determine the scope of the migration, including which modules and data will be transferred.

Step 2: Data preparation

To smoothly migrate AX 2012 to Dynamics 365, preparing the data in your Dynamics AX system for migration is important. This involves cleansing and validating your data to ensure accuracy and completeness. Mapping data fields between Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 to ensure a seamless transition and archiving or purging outdated or unnecessary data.

Step 3: Customization review

Next up is assessing your existing customizations and extensions in Dynamics AX and determining which customizations can be migrated or need to be redeveloped for Dynamics 365.

Step 4: Integration planning

It’s imperative to Identify third-party integrations and interfaces connected to Dynamics AX and plan how these integrations will be reconfigured or rebuilt for Dynamics 365.

Step 5: Migration execution

Now begins the process of migrating your data from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 using data migration tools and methodologies and verifying data accuracy and integrity after migration.

Step 6: User training

Once the migration is executed successfully, the next task at hand is to provide training to users on the new features, workflows, and processes in Dynamics 365. This is to ensure that the users become familiar with the new user interface and functionalities.

Step 7: Testing and quality assurance

Testing and QA involves conducting thorough testing of the migrated solution, customizations, and integrations and addressing any issues, bugs, or discrepancies that arise during testing.

Step 8: Go-live and transition

Plan and execute the final cutover from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365. Monitor the system closely after go-live to address any post-migration issues.

How can Confiz help on your AX upgrade journey? 

Migrating from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 is a complex undertaking that demands meticulous financial and technical planning. Whether you are considering continuing with Dynamics AX and seeking a reliable support partner or embarking on the initial stages of planning an upgrade with a migration assessment, Confiz is here to assist you every step of the way. 

Our team comprises certified Dynamics consultants with extensive expertise in Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations. They can thoroughly evaluate your existing ERP system and understand your unique business requirements. With this comprehensive understanding, they can guide you through the entire migration process. Contact us today at marketing@confiz.com and let our team of consultants guide you through this digital transformation journey.