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Dynamics AX is Aging Fast. What’s the Best Way to Keep the Business Moving Forward?

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If you’re running your business on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 or 2012, you are no doubt aware that both software products are approaching the end of their life-cycles. Microsoft is ending Mainstream Support for Dynamics AX 2009, AX 2012, and AX 2012 R2 this year and for AX 2012 R3 in 2021. That means no more security updates, hotfixes, warranty claims, design changes, features requests, and self-service support. You can purchase extended support. But be aware that extended support for AX 2009, AX 2012, and AX 2012 R2 ends in 2021. For AX 2012 R3, it will be available until 2023.

Adopt the cloud, get extended support, or do nothing?

You could sign a custom support contract to extend the life of your ERP system beyond those dates. During the Extended Support period you could evaluate purchasing an additional support package, which could mean significant expense. Generally, those support options could cost you between $50,000 and $150,000 per year. Is it really worth committing that kind of budget?

What are the other options? If Dynamics AX 2009 or 2012 is working well for you and provides all the functionality you need, at a performance standard you like, taking no action is one route you could choose. If you are not expecting dramatic growth or major changes in the way the company operates, it’s worth a thought—especially if you have a good relationship with a Dynamics partner who can help you resolve any issues or make tweaks to the system.

Don’t forget what you might be missing if you extend your current ERP system’s lifespan as much as possible, either by not doing anything or with the aid of extended support. That makes the third option, upgrading to Dynamics 365 on the Azure cloud, definitely worth considering.

Smart companies build a business case for the cloud.

Sikich ERP experts are assisting quite a few AX 2009 and 2012 user organizations in making their decisions and taking the next steps. For many clients, the basic advantages of moving to the cloud are already compelling. Certainly, the lives of your IT professionals can become easier, and they might have time to make a more valuable contribution. Once you’re in the cloud, you get periodic, largely automatic upgrades that require minimal IT involvement. Data protection and disaster recovery measures on Azure are state-of-the-art.

Remember the economics and flexibility of the cloud, too. You pay subscription fees instead of making a big investment in software and a laborious deployment. Storage and computing resources are practically limitless, and available at a moment’s notice—you don’t have to purchase and install them in your data center.

We can help you make a smooth transition to cloud ERP. But, before you make any decision and pursue its realization, you should have a solid business case. An ERP upgrade is a major project and resource commitment even if it’s managed elegantly and efficiently. It’s worth it to be thorough in comparing the current and long-term benefits and costs of extending the life of your current AX solution, on the present or a modernized hardware and network infrastructure, or transitioning to Dynamics 365.

Understand the benefits spectrum of cloud ERP.

We also help you identify possible cloud ERP benefits that might not have been top-of-mind but are nonetheless highly advantageous. Not everybody knows, for instance, to what degree collaborations and communications with trading partners and customers can become more productive and faster in a cloud environment. Sometimes it takes a pilot project to generate the evidence for cloud ERP. You can rely on Sikich ERP experts to help structure, run, and evaluate your pilot so the outcomes are meaningful and can be trusted.

Some software functionality in Dynamics 365 offers improvements over AX 2009 and 2012, and Sikich can help you envision what those might mean practically. You might even be able to replace some current customizations with standard capabilities. If you want to gain better business insight or need to accommodate larger masses of data, the analytics and information management tools on Azure are powerful and can easily integrate with Dynamics 365. And, if you want to give users mobile access to ERP capabilities, you can accomplish that more easily with Dynamics 365, and the exact details would depend on your requirements.

We provide industry-savvy, technical and project management expertise.

When it’s time to anticipate and prepare for the practicalities of your Dynamics 365 upgrade, we will work through them with you. We help you make sense of the licensing and figure out the most advantageous schedule. We team up with you to assess the effectiveness of your current processes, model possible improvements following the Dynamics 365 deployment, and prioritize the best sequence for bringing them into reality.

Sikich technologists are intimately familiar with the code in Dynamics 365. They can make sure that any data migrations and integrations with other software, either in the cloud or your data center, align with what business users need and take place flawlessly. We use a templated, best practice-based process to accomplish this. And, you can rely on an experienced project manager who is with you every step of the way.

If you want to discuss how to evolve your Dynamics AX 2009 or 2012 environment, please get in touch. Contact us at any time!

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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