MSDW Podcast: Lessons from an energy firm's Dynamics AX 2009 to Dynamics 365 journey

November 19 2020

Pattern Energy, a company that develops and operates wind and solar energy generation projects around the world, had many years invested into a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 ERP solution that was on-premises and highly customized. But by 2018 they knew that their aging system needed to be replaced.

On this episode, Nick Tavenier, the ERP systems analyst at Pattern Energy, discusses the company's experiences in moving away from AX 2009, evaluating their options, and eventually selecting a new Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management solution on Azure. He discusses his team's experiences planning and executing their migration project, work with third party solution vendors in areas like security, governance, and financial management, and how they have maintained an engaged core ERP team even after their go-live.

Show notes:

  • 1:30 - Some history on Pattern Energy's operations and use of Dynamics AX 2009
  • 3:00 - Comparing D365 with Tier 1 & 2 ERP options, as well as looking at AX 2012 as a full or temporary potion
  • 5:00 - Planning to migrate from AX 2009 - Custom and ISV solution needs
  • 7:00 - How Pattern envisioned processes with stock D365FO features and standard use patterns
  • 9:00 - areas of D365FO that Pattern will use based on the complexities of their organization - multi-entity, multi-company, financial consolidation, etc. and new features Microsoft is adding or acquiring
  • 12:30 - Making the decision of cloud vs on-prem D365 and how mindsets had to be changed
  • 13:30 - Connecting with other AX to D365FO customers about the complications around implementation projects in areas like entity hierarchy, data management, and customization
  • 16:30 - Training developers and IT experts on security management, customization techniques
  • 18:45 - Adopting the "One Version" model from Microsoft, and where they have found challenges, including governance and regulatory compliance
  • 22:30 - The importance of voicing concerns and starting a dialog with Microsoft, and why there seems to be a clean slate with the introduction of ERP in the cloud
  • 25:00 - How Pattern uses an internal product manager and others to champion the solution
  • 28:30 - Navigating the internal ownership and duties between the IT and the business
  • 31:00 - How D365FO fits in alongside the organization's other Microsoft investments like Azure, Power BI, and more
  • 33:30 - Why record sharing between entities within D365FO has become a challenging matter from a technical and functional perspective

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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