When looking at an investment, like the one you took when you chose to go with Microsoft Dynamics AX as your ERP / SCM platform. You want to see ways to increase the ROI that you have placed into this technology.

As a company you have spent dollars, man hours, time training, maybe changing your culture even to adapt to new ways of doing business. So to say the least, you have a lot into this thing. With the investment that has been made, it is then a top priority for you and your company to get the most out of it!

When you target things, there is always short term as well as long term goals. Being that the majority of ERP choices last a company on average Ten years, it would make sense that long term returns on the cost would be targeted. Sometimes however, as part of this long term focus, to many times I see companies not actively targeting upgrades as part of that return.

A lot of times, it's seen as a static hit, vs something that is actually very dynamic. And in staying up on the correct upgrade cycle, well help your company take full advantage of what all comes as part of the choice of hainvg Dynamics AX.

As we approach the new year with AX 6 on the horizon, and looking at two years being out of RTM for AX 2009, it's time to look at this long term on-going return for your companies choice in Dynamics AX. In looking at upgrades, you get a lot from staying on a good cycle. Take a look at the following list.:

  • Latest Bug Fixes
  • Performance Improvements
  • Functionality / Enablement

These are the three real buckets I classify upgrade ROI in. I put functionality and enablement together in the same bucket on purposes. Reason being, you take AX 2009 with SP1, RU5, and KB article 2278963. Mouth full I know, but with this, AX 2009 is then certified to work with MOSS 2010. This is an enablement, that offers new funtionality through enabling technology to be used with AX 2009.

You can read more details about the benefits of MOSS 2010 and AX 2009, by going here.: MSDW: Dynamics AX Team Announces Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Compatibiltiy with AX 2009 SP1

Speaking of Functionality adds, these could be things from localizations, to specific functions within a give module inside Dynamics AX. Though typically maJor adds of functionality sit at the major release cycles, some do take place during service packs and release candidates.

So what is a good upgrade cycle?

  • Every other Major Release
  • Latest Service Pack
  • Latest RU, when issues are being faced

Simple right? You would think so, but to often companies don't have this as part of their monthly and qaurterly updates. If these were part of those updates, then proper planning of resources, and budget could be done that would help pull the most return out of a given Dynamics AX install base for a company. The whole idea of ROI on this front is getting the most, out of the lifespan of your Dynamics AX instance. This includes many, many factors that help update the core of AX, and also help enable and extend AX through the rest of your Enterprise.

In the end, if looked at correctly, a greater ROI can be had from staying current and keeping up to date. The cost to continue to be dynamic as a company is reduced drastically, and your ability to be dynamic is ever increased when doing so. I will add one last thing, in that there might be a solid reason for a company that is on the latest major to upgrade to the next released major version of AX. There should be however calculated return for doing so. There should be known returns, that will help the company increase in performance, scale, ability or function.

Make sure to keep an eye out for more details starting next year about Microsoft Dynamics AX '6'. A lot of great information will be coming out of the Dynamics AX Technical Conference 2011!