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Microsoft proclaimed at Future Decoded that the pace of change has never been faster and they’ve adopted the tagline “change is the only constant”. This is particularly true in Microsoft Dynamics – the AX and CRM systems we know and love are becoming Dynamics 365, with customers able to pick and choose the elements that best suit them. Housed in Azure, Dynamics 365 will comprise 6 modules (sales, marketing, operations, customer service, field service, project service), tailored to all of Microsoft’s key sectors.
Dynamics 365 promises to reduce the usual pains of ERP implementation including the cost – businesses only pay for what they use, and can receive large discounts if they purchase the whole solution, not to mention savings on infrastructure and office space as more of the team can access the system from the field. Time is also reduced; it can be implemented in a matter of weeks instead of the usual months. Microsoft Dynamics 365 should take the market share of the ERP space from SAP, Oracle and Salesforce as well as smaller software providers, meaning more job opportunities within the Microsoft Dynamics channel.
Eventually, consultants will no longer be known as ‘AX specialists’ and ‘CRM specialists’ and instead will become ‘365 specialists’. Although you may bring particular expertise on one of the platforms, one important change is that you’ll need to be more aware of the Microsoft stack as a whole. We believe that consultants will become vertical specialists, for example in Retail, instead of focusing on Dynamics AX or Dynamics CRM. Anything you can do now to begin specialising in a sector – even if it’s contracting within different sectors to see what you enjoy the most – can only help you in future.
The need for Business Change specialists will increase as more companies migrate to the cloud. The requirement for Architects and Analysts will also remain strong because of how the solution functions and is configured. Over the next 2 years, the demand for Developers and Infrastructure professionals will be reduced as most of this work will be done by Microsoft within the product so if you are in one of these roles, you should think of how to stay ahead of the curve and maximise your market value.
AX7 will become part of Dynamics 365 and the later versions of AX2012 will have an upgrade path shortly. However, support on the earlier versions of AX2012 won’t be available after 4-5 years and AX2009 won’t be supported in the next 12 months. As a candidate we’d recommend getting experience of latest versions in the cloud as soon as you can to ensure that you remain employable as the changes happen. From a business perspective, be prepared for the future and research your options if you want to stay on AX.
If you would like tailored career or staffing advice on the evolution to Dynamics 365, please get in touch:
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Cognitive Group are specialists in Microsoft Dynamics recruitment with a focus on Microsoft Dynamics AX jobs, Microsoft Dynamics CRM jobs and (soon) Microsoft Dynamics 365 jobs
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