Microsoft recently announced the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2016 release on Azure.  Formerly code-named AX7 and now simply known as Microsoft Dynamics AX, the powerful ERP system is now under continuous maintenance in the cloud. 

ax7 cost per user image dyanmics ax 2016Unlock AX on Azure Prices:

“…The most exciting release that I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve been in the AX business for fifteen years,” Peter Snaeland, To-Increase, a Dynamics Partner.

AX7 Licensing and Pricing

You can unhide cost per user pricing information for each user type by filling out the short form. While the rest of this post focuses on features and updates, you can learn more about AX7 pricing and licenses in this article on Microsoft Dynamics AX Azure Pricing and Licensing.

AX7 on Azure was originally set with a user-minimum of 50 enterprise users, though at a later event MS reps casually said this would change to a 20 user-minimum in short time.  Other user license types include Task User and Self-Service User.  Functional Users are no longer available.

Watch this video to see an animated demo of how AX7 works as an omni-channel retail solution:

Dynamics AX7 for Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s new business application platform designed for deploying a suite of cloud apps from CRM functionality to PowerBI, or even ISV applications. Microsoft is hoping to position Dynamics 365 as a single solution to business IT requirements, and will eventually include a version of AX7 to be known as Dynamics 365 for Operations Management.  You can learn more about Dynamics 365 for Financials, aka “Project Madeira” in this Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Project Madeira article.

Dynamics AX7 2016 Image for AX7 postNew user experience & accelerated decision-making

The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2016 version offers a redesigned, touch-enabled user experience that looks and works like Microsoft Office, delivering deep integration that seamlessly shares information between Dynamics AX, Dynamics CRM and Office 365. Real-time analytics powered by Azure Machine Learning Services offer the ability to visualize Power BI data directly from AX. Based on extensive usability analysis, the redesigned Dynamics AX is highly visual and more in line with what users expect from consumer applications.

Quicker implementation and easier management
ERP systems have traditionally been known for their rigidity, complexity, and slow deployments and implementations, but the days of big budget high stress implementations are over, even for massive enterprise products like Microsoft Dynamics AX.  The new release introduces enhancements to Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services, an Azure-based service that enables turnkey implementation.

Because of the improved portability of the system and improved cloud functionality and architecture, Dynamics AX7, or Microsoft Dynamics AX no version, is designed for a simple upgrade process that runs as seamlessly as possible. If you are interested in the cloud for Microsoft Dynamics AX but you’re not ready for an AX upgrade, you can move your current Dynamics AX  system to the cloud with your existing perpetual licenses.  Check out the Microsoft SPLA licensing page to learn more about subscription-based hosting for AX 2012.

More Intelligence
Microsoft is making Dynamics AX more intelligent with intuitive workspaces that allow never before seen visibility across an organization while performing tasks such as billing or AP processing.  Other metrics are readily available in a sidebar for quick reference while performing critical tasks. Check out Jason Gumpert’s post to learn more about AX7 workspaces and how they improve Power BI.

In addition to better integration with Power BI, the new AX Dynamics release seamlessly integrates with CRM 2016 and O365.  It also draws insights from social and other data sources using the power of Azure Machine Learning services and Cortana.  Cortana integration helps users gain quick access to actionable human insights from big data generated by Microsoft Dynamics AX and other LOB apps.

Anytime Anywhere Enterprise
The new HTML5-based browser interface is so flexible you are able to access AX from virtually any device, including an Xbox if you wanted to.

“The browser based user-interface… being able to use that on any device, you’re not limited to a Windows PC sitting in your office,” Kevin Casselman, Software development manager with SK Global Software, said before the recent name change.  “You can be at home and get data out when you need it.  AX7 in one word is empowering.”

dynamics ax on azure pricing and licensing guide 2016 dynamics ax7 licensingGet AX 2016 Licensing Guide

Other architectural enhancements that began in AX 2012 R3 will continue after the new Dynamics AX7 release date to help developers, VARs and ISVs customize AX7 or extend its industry functionality in the cloud.

While Dynamics AX is flexible to meet the needs of most industries, the new Microsoft AX Dynamics release is designed with five core industries in mind:

  1. Retail
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Distribution
  4. Professional Services
  5. Public Sector

The name change from AX7 to just AX is significant because this release has been architected specifically for the cloud, marking the end of Microsoft Dynamics’ year/version branding schema.  More importantly it marks a huge step in the trend toward an all-cloud Microsoft that we’ve been witnessing in recent years.

“Our ambition to build the intelligent cloud comes to life with apps optimized for modern business, like Dynamics AX,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise. “When you combine the hyperscale, enterprise-grade and hybrid-cloud capabilities of Microsoft Azure with the real-time insights and intuitive user experience of Dynamics AX, organizations and individuals are empowered to transform their business operations.”

The Microsoft Dynamics AX new release is initially only available in the cloud on Azure with on-premise versions to come later.  As Dynamics AX customers upgrade to the cloud, they will need to consider their compliance requirements before moving mission critical data to Azure cloud.

The AX7 Buzz

Dynamics AX is the most robust enterprise resource planning solution Microsoft offers and the new release has gone by many names including: Dynamics AX7, Rainier, AX 2015, Dynamics AX7 and now just “Microsoft Dynamics AX” as Microsoft refers to it.  Whatever you want to call it, this release has already created a lot of buzz among AX users and consultants.

While the name was changed only recently, a few Dynamics pros were able to get a sneak peek at the new version months ago when it was still called the Dynamics AX7 release.

“I think AX7 is the most exciting release that I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve been in the AX business for fifteen years,” said Peter Snaeland, a software architect with To-Increase, a Dynamics Partner.  “The new user experience in AX7 is awesome.  Simple as that.”

A few months ago Microsoft allowed a lucky few to get a Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 preview.  Here is what they had to say:

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