Making the migration move from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management is a big decision with long-term implications for your business. We answered some of the most common questions we get about making the move from Dynamics AX to the cloud-based Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (D365 FSCM).
If your question isn’t here, let’s chat.
Is Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management an upgraded version of Dynamics AX?
Not really. Dynamics 365 FSCM (the name that Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is now licensed under) meets the same ERP needs, but it is native to the Azure Cloud platform and enables greater scalability.
Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management is part of a larger family of applications and add-ons to support business needs, including accounting, data analytics, supply chain management, and more. Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management is best suited for larger or diversified companies, while Dynamics 365 Business Central is better suited for small and mid-sized businesses.
Most companies on AX are encouraged to consider and upgrade to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management.
Is Dynamics AX still being supported by Microsoft?
Microsoft has ended support for all remaining Dynamics AX versions. Dynamics AX 2012 R3 hit end of life on January 10, 2023, which means no new security updates, non-security updates, free or paid support, or online technical content updates. Learn more about Microsoft’s end of support here.
Can we keep using Dynamics AX? What are our options?
Yes, you can keep using Dynamics AX, and Sikich can support you if that’s the right decision for your business. But now is a great time to work with Sikich to map a migration plan to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management. Not to mention, Microsoft is offering this major licensing discount through June.
Can Dynamics AX be hosted in the cloud?
Yes. Dynamics AX can be deployed and managed on the cloud. But while you may get some of the benefits of the cloud, AX was designed to be an on-premise solution. It is not a “true cloud” ERP like Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management. A true cloud is not limited by the number of users or storage, is hosted in a shared environment and managed by a cloud service partner.
How are updates made in Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management?
Software updates are evergreen for Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, which means that they are regularly pushed to the cloud ERP. They are also free. The two types of updates include:
- Minor updates: Critical updates that include bug fixes or tax updates.
- Major updates: Two major releases a year that feature not only any required fixes, but updated features and functionality.
You are allowed to schedule major updates for your organization. Minor updates happen within an Update Window; because of their importance, you cannot stop them.
We advise that you work with an expert partner like Sikich to ensure that any major updates are compatible with third-party software solutions you’re using or customizations you may have made. Sikich can also support testing before any updates are pushed live.
Is Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management secure?
Yes. Very. When you upgrade to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, you benefit from the same security, privacy, and compliance protections used by 95% of the Fortune 500 companies. In most cases, companies are more secure with Microsoft in the cloud than they are able to maintain on their own on-premise. In addition, organizations benefit from Microsoft’s team of more than 3,500 global cybersecurity experts safeguarding business assets and data in the cloud.
What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s suite of business applications covering every aspect of your organization, including customer data, supply chain management, finance and accounting, sales, customer service, field service, human resources, marketing, project management, and more.
In short, Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps you run your entire business.
Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management the same as Finance and Operations?
Microsoft rebranded and restructured its Dynamics 365 product suite in 2019. Finance and Supply Chain Management are two modules in Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 product suite. Microsoft recommends Finance and Supply Chain Management to support functionality previously supported in Finance and Operations.
What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management was, until recently, known as Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (FO).
Finance maximizes your financial visibility and profitability, and help you manage functions such as:
- Financial management
- Accounts payable and receivable
- Credit management
- Tax and regulatory compliance
- Cash flow projection
- Customer payment management
- Business performance analytics
Supply Chain Management helps you build a resilient supply chain and manages business functions such as:
- Inventory management
- Master planning
- Procurement and sourcing
- Product information management
- Production control
- Service management
- Transportation management
- Warehouse management
Why would I upgrade from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management?
In a Forrester Consulting study on migrating on-premise deployments of Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management in the cloud, companies saw a 3.4% reduction in total costs of ownership. Those savings were seen through IT system administrator savings, employee productivity improvements, profit from scaling to meet ecommerce demand, operational efficiency gains, consolidated license and support fees, and no on-premises infrastructure costs.
Companies upgrade from Dynamics AX to:
- Gain flexibility: Scale quickly with a monthly subscription model, which lets you buy what you need and gives you the ability to grow your IT infrastructure.
- Reduce onsite IT maintenance: Stop buying and maintaining servers on-premise. This also allows you to reduce IT staff ERP support and redeploy that talent to other, more strategic purposes.
- Stay up to date: Say goodbye to arduous updates, and hello to seamless updates with Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management to improve performance and user experience.
- Gain greater visibility: Get real-time insights with built-in predictive analytics powered by Microsoft Power BI.
- Improve security: Leverage Microsoft’s billion-dollar investment in data center security.
Read more from Microsoft about the differences in features and functionality: Dynamics AX to Finance and Operations apps feature comparison
How does Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management pricing work?
Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management is based on a subscription model, where you pay a monthly license fee for each user. Pricing varies based on the access levels you provide to your team members, from view-only access to essential business data to full access to financial management, sales, and customer service functions, to extended functionality such as supply chain management.
Licensing is done through Dynamics 365 partners like Sikich, which has expertise not only in Dynamics 365 but across several verticals. We have built industry-specific solutions on Finance and Supply Chain Management to support needs in wholesale distribution, equipment manufacturing, and other industries.
How difficult is the migration from AX to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management for distributors?
Migrating to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management from Dynamics AX doesn’t have to be difficult or disruptive when you work with a partner like Sikich that understands your industry and your on-premise environment.
To streamline Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management deployments, Sikich has developed the HEADSTART approach. Our HEADSTART methodology has proven practices for distributors, already preconfigured right out of the box.
When you choose the HEADSTART approach, you benefit from years of successful solution implementations and deep industry expertise so you can achieve a successful project outcome, with a clearly defined scope, that generates the most value in the shortest time possible.
Are you ready to learn more?
Our team would be happy to walk you through the benefits of migrating to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, as well as answer any other questions you have about the differences between it and Dynamics AX. Reach out today.