Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 migration: 5 steps for a successful upgrade

November 1, 2022

As technology evolves, so do the tools businesses need to operate. One such example is Microsoft Dynamics AX. Since mainstream support for AX ended in October 2021 and the extended support is ending soon; Microsoft will no longer provide updates or technical assistance for this software. As a result, businesses must start planning and preparing for a migration to Dynamics 365, the company’s newer and more advanced ERP software.  

Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 migration brings speed and agility to business processes. Furthermore, it allows organizations to streamline their operations as they take advantage of the latest technology available.

Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 migration: Why upgrade?

Moving to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations can greatly improve business performance and profitability through enhanced productivity and improved capabilities. Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers improved user experience, built-in BI tools, better security protocols, and high flexibility. Additionally, by migrating from AX to D365, businesses can reduce their hardware upgrade and IT maintenance costs as the system resides in the cloud.

5 Steps to Migrate from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365

Are you ready to adapt to market demands, drive business growth, and transform digitally? If yes, then it’s time to upgrade! Explore the next steps for upgrading from AX to Dynamics 365, which we have curated for you.  

Step 1: Outline the scope 

The first step for a successful upgrade is to outline the project’s scope. It is easy to embrace all the amazing features Dynamics 365 offers, but following a rational approach toward the whole migration process is the key to success. So, as you define the goals and vision of the migration, asking these questions will help:  

  • What problems are you facing in your existing system? 
  • What features would you like to implement from the new solution? 
  • How much data are you planning to migrate? 
  • How would you plan to move your current modules into the cloud? 
  • How will you ensure the continuity of operations while migrating? 

The answer to these questions will prepare your team for the next implementation steps. You can book a free assessment from a trusted partner to decide between an upgrade or re-implementation. An assessment can help you evaluate your existing business structure, identify loopholes, create a roadmap, and offer insights into the licensing incentives provided by Microsoft.  

Step 2: Choose your technology partner 

Irrespective of the organization’s size, Dynamics AX upgrade requires you to consider many factors, such as organizational structure, legacy equipment, business model, and level of customization. To mitigate the chances of failure and ensure seamless data migration from AX 2012 to Dynamics 365. It is always wise to engage a certified Microsoft partner from day one. 

A qualified partner can bring in the necessary experience and expertise needed to achieve success with the upgrade. Technology partners like Confiz will help assess your current Dynamics AX environment and create a detailed migration plan. This plan will include feasibility, roadmap, timelines, resources, and the budget required for the migration.  

Step 3: Build a high-performing team 

Migrating from a legacy ERP to an advanced one requires a complete understanding of all aspects of the upgrade, and one person or a single entity cannot do it. 

The migration requires effective cooperation between your organization and technology partner. Identify core members from within your organization to cooperate with your technology partner to identify the process gaps and mitigate quality control issues. Make sure your partner develops a good understanding of your industry, business model, and goals. Furthermore, the partner must bring in the right expertise and use a proven approach for low-risk, problem-free deployment.  

Step 4: Prepare the data 

To smoothly migrate, preparing the data in your Dynamics AX system for migration is important. Enterprises that have been in operation for a long time have likely accumulated millions of terabytes of data, much of which may be outdated, unnecessary, or redundant. This may include duplicate customer information, incorrect pricing, blank forms, obsolete product documentation, etc. 

It is not practical to migrate all transaction history to the new system. Why? 

  • The process of replicating each transaction in the right sequence and balancing out each transaction is complex 
  • The number of years of data history increases the complexity of the migration 

To ensure that the data used for business decision-making is relevant, it is important to cleanse it before upgrading. You can use the Upgrade Analyzer tool in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle services to scan your AX 2012 environment and ID the tasks required to ensure a successful upgrade. This tool will help you flag redundant data that is safe to remove and explain the impact of the cleanup. Of course, it is completely up to you whether or not to follow these recommendations. However, remember that a smaller database is faster to upgrade.  Preparing the data in your Dynamics AX system for migration is important to smoothly migrate

Step 5: Perform a functional test 

Conduct comprehensive functional testing of all financial and operational business processes, including previous processes from AX 2012 and recently implemented new features. 

The test pass should cover all aspects of the business processes, including input validation, data processing, and output generation. It is important to ensure that all processes function correctly and without errors or bugs. The test pass should also include a review of the user interface to ensure it is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Any issues or bugs identified during the test pass should be documented and reported to the appropriate team for further investigation and resolution. 

How can migration benefit your business?

The economic impact of Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 migration primarily reflects in the following three areas:

  • Total cost of ownership

When moving to the cloud, it’s important to factor in the initial costs of the new solution and the ongoing expenses. For example, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is a subscription-based service, resulting in predictable and manageable monthly costs. In contrast, on-premise deployments necessitate a significant upfront investment in hardware and software licenses and ongoing maintenance and support contracts.

  • Improved business performance

Many companies experience a notable boost in business performance after migrating to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. This is due to the cloud’s many advantages over traditional ERP deployments, such as accelerated time-to-value, scalability, and lower total cost of ownership.

  • Faster time-to-value

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations can be up and running within months, as opposed to years, for on-premise deployment. This allows for faster implementation and a quicker return on investment.

Migrate to Dynamics 356 With Confiz  

In summary, D365 F&O comes with an expanded ERP functionality. As a result, it can easily integrate with other Dynamics 365 and third-party applications to smoothen operations across all business workflows.

Ready to embark on the journey of digital transformation? Not sure if migrating to Dynamics 365 is right for you? Get answers to these and other questions about the upgrade with our FREE one-week migration assessment!  

Skilled D365 consultants at Confiz will evaluate your business needs, develop a roadmap for implementation, and generate functional and technical reports to optimize your migration process. We also offer support for licensing and have expertise in implementation, migration, support, and consultancy.  

For more questions, reach out to us at marketing@confiz.com.