Is your business running on several years old ERP version? Is your ERP version more than 2 versions old than current?

If yes then you must have already started planning for upgrade as time is ticking and it’s not comforting to be in a version which hardly anyone is using.

So if you are on AX 2009 or AX 2012 any version the mainstream support expired on Oct 2018 while extended support (which comes with a price tag) is 2021 and 2023 as shown in visual.

*Refer Microsoft support to more details.

Consider number of versions and number of years behind on ERP with current version

Recognizing the solution landscape may have several customizations, a number of ISV’s and tight integrations with legacy applications, the risk is phenomenal as no one would like to run a business on a no supported critical tool.

If you are an existing Dynamics AX customer than you might already have aspiration to be on latest Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations D365FO version (10.0 as of April 2019) and one good thing to note is NO expiry of support as it would be supported with continuous updates.

Now that you are already thinking of an upgrade, let us explore some implementation approaches.

You would comes across a decision point on which implementation approach to choose when upgrading.

As usual, no one size fits all so a careful study needs to be done on company culture, technology adoption appetite and typical project management constraints of scope, budget and timeline.

One can choose to go only with one approach either of Waterfall, Agile, CRP) or use a combination to achieve your upgrade goal.

One of the approach is using a hybrid approach wherein the long pole in the tent (code upgrade) is done in an agile way and conducting it feature by feature.

Since so many moving parts may have change, it would be better to conduct several smoke test to unearth issues and fitment with business needs. Hence a combined agile + waterfall approach could be utilized during testing/stabilization which bring in adequate agility to fine tune your modern ERP.

Last when everything is tested, code, integrations, reports, etc. it is time to execute Go Live procedures which is best suited under CRP (Conference room pilot) approach.

Thus an exhaustive upgrade could leverage a hybrid approach.

Now let us review some of top highlights in hybrid approach.

CODE

•Code upgrade to extensions which could be broken down into
•Convert over-layering to extension
•Build new extensions based on redesign
•Review upgraded extensions

ISV

•Adapt to latest ISV features
•Reduce and consolidate ISV dependencies

INTEGRATION

•Adapting to new integration tools and redesigning old integrations

DATA

•Data migration for master and opening balances
•Keep old Dynamics AX transactional data as it is to reduce complexity in upgrade

ANALYTICS

•Review new reporting and analytic options leveraging data warehouse and PowerBI
**Upgrade is not too complex when done systematically, manageable and with right team of experts.