23 Feb 2011 11:44 AM I hope that I have set the mood correctly for this month’s article, in that the focus will be upgrading. And not from the technical aspects of upgrading, what it takes to perform an upgrade. No this is more on the focus of upgrading for Microsoft Dynamics AX, and what path should be taken in regard to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 vs. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. When we think of upgrading, a lot of time we can easily get lost in the technical aspects of what all specific planning, and new technologies that come along with an upgrade choice. This is looking at AX as if it were any other piece of technology or software. However, we can not look at ERP / SCM / CRM software through technology colored eyes. We never upgrade for technologies sake, unless that technology enables the addressing of a business process, or business domain issue for a company. See that is the real upgrade driver is business domain issues for a given client. To this end, we must then look at the two options that exists for current customers of Microsoft Dynamics AX. With all technical pre-requisites aside, let us look at what each version solves from a functional and therefore business domain level. This is how you must decide on if upgrading now to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 is the right choice, or waiting until Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is released close to the latter part of this year. Looking at this, each company would have a different correct and right answer in question of upgrading. For a company that needs AX for Retail now, would like to have their Dynamics CRM Online investment integrated with AX, and also the functional gaps that exist today are mostly addressed with AX 2009 stable offering, then what’s the right answer? Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. However, if a client is in, say the public sector and in their current investment of AX there is a lot of custom code, that could be replaced with out-of-the-box functionality from what we have been publicly told will exist in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, then what’s the right answer? Investigate further Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, and then most likely that is your correct answer. To sum this point up, there is no cookie cutter, fits all, if a then AX 2009 else if b then AX 2012. That’s not the nature of Microsoft Dynamics AX anyway. No, the correct answer, for you and your company can only been seen when looking at the business domain issues that exists for you, and how those fit with what can currently be done with the stable version of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, or what is currently known to exists in the to be released Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Being a technologist, it’s sometimes easy to get carried away with all the cool and neat things that come with the latest and greatest. However, being a ERP / SCM / CRM / PLM focused Architect, I must keep in front of me the real reason we are deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX for any customer. That reason is, to drive value through improved management of data and processes. So what’s the right answer for you? Need help deciding? Get involved with looking at this now, talk with your Partner. Have them help you with looking and this, and leading to the right choice so that you can maximize your Microsoft Dynamics AX investment. That’s all for now, till next time!