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Getting the most from Microsoft Dynamics AX upgrades

by Kevin Lutz
VP Dynamics Delivery, CGS

Microsoft Dynamics AX is a widely adopted ERP system - in fact, more than 20,000 businesses currently use Dynamics AX. But just as with any software, in order to get the most out of Dynamics AX, businesses need to upgrade as new capabilities and features are released.

Every version of Dynamics AX has a sunset date, at which point Microsoft's support of that version will end. Support for AX 2009 ends in 2018 and support for AX 2012 ends in 2023, meaning companies need to start planning now, especially those running AX 2009. Businesses do have the option to purchase an enhanced support plan to continue receiving support past the sunset date, but it can be expensive. Oftentimes, this expanded support costs companies much more than what they would pay for traditional support of current product versions.

Five best practices for a smooth upgrade.

Once a company decides to upgrade its Dynamics AX solution, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.

1. Utilize a partner. Upgrading Dynamics AX can be challenging, especially if an organization has customizations. Companies should seek to employ partners that have performed Dynamics AX upgrades within their industry. The partner can offer proper guidance and ensure a seamless upgrade.

One such example of how complex upgrades can be is a large electrical contractor that was upgrading from Dynamics AX 2009 to 2012. The company had customized AX payroll and they required data conversion to a new payroll ISV. The company also had nearly seven years of payroll data that needed to be upgraded, creating an added challenge. Rather than attempting the upgrade on its own, the company sought out a partner to offer guidance and assistance moving the necessary data and related code. Having a partner to ...

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About Kevin Lutz

Kevin Lutz is responsible for the Microsoft Dynamics AX delivery team for CGS, and has over 25 years of IT, ERP implementation and software development experience. He has deep experience in IT infrastructure, systems implementation and full lifecycle software development. His experiences uniquely qualify him to both see the long-term project vision and work with the day-to-day technical details to solve road blocks between functionality and development. Kevin has managed teams of IT professionals, application consultants and software engineers and currently manages the US Technical services team and software development teams in Romania and India. He has worked with Microsoft executives and project teams in delivering PSA for Dynamics AX 2009 and Project Time Entry for Dynamics AX. He oversaw the Microsoft Industry Builder program for CGS and has worked with Microsoft to develop features for AX 2012. Kevin is also a seasoned engagement manager managing ERP implementations of all scales, and Microsoft Program Manager and Liaison for our development team, as well as a solution advisor for large ERP implementations.

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