4 Overlooked Areas When Planning an Upgrade from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Finance

By Ron Rud | January 7, 2021

An upgrade from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain involves more than data, code analysis, and business process evaluation. In this blog, we’ll discuss the four overlooked areas that can significantly impact your ERP implementation project and how you should approach each area in order to be successful.  

1. Project Team 

Gaining buy-in, generating excitement, and gathering input is all dependent on how you choose for your project team. This is a key area that should be evaluated at the beginning of any ERP upgrade or implementation project to ensure that the processes you build into the ERP system match your business needs and structure. Additionally, this is imperative to ensuring a positive employee experience during the implementation and beyond.  

Key Project Team Strategies: 

  • Your core team should consist of functional area experts willing to accept change 
  • Incorporate experienced project managers 
  • Recognize that ERP transformations re-design jobs. Makes sure to provide opportunities for users to provide input on the project 
    • Identify end-users by the functional area that are heavy users of the ERP solution and organize them into collaborative teams with which core project team members can engage to gain input and feedback on decisions and processes. 

Read more about ensuring a positive employee experience in this blog series.  

 

2. Workflows 

With the addition of the Power Platform, you have a variety of new options for integrated and automated workflows that weren’t possible in other systems. Ensure that during the business process evaluation stage of your project, you think outside of the box related to current functionality and imagine other areas where improvement could be possible with the right technology. By taking the time to consider improvements outside of the core areas, you’ll be more equipped to budget and plan for your project.  

Key Workflow Strategies: 

  • Talk to your team and put together a list of all processes that are currently completely manually 
  • Work with your partner to discuss areas workflows could streamline processes 

 

3. Security 

Dynamics 365 gives system admins the ability to set up security parameters for users, controlling what data and areas they’re able to view or edit. Security levels are your safeguard to ensure that users are not able to manipulate information or make changes that could impact the system or data integrity.  

Key Security Strategies: 

  • Identify the most sensitive areas of the system that require additional levels of security including GL, payment processing, credit card information, and social security numbers.  
  • Develop a security structure based on roles in the system 

 

4. Partner 

As you begin your upgrade or implementation project, you should first interview your software partner to ensure they have the experience, skills, and knowledge to make your move to Dynamics 365 a success. At Stoneridge, we frequently are contacted by companies that are mid-way through an ERP project that has stalled or gone off the tracks completely due to missteps by their current partner. Set yourself up for success by working with your partner to develop a project plan, ensuring your partner understands your business needs and goals, and that you’re on the same page. Being in sync from day one is key to project success.  

Key Partner Strategies:  

Interview your potential partner and ask: 

    • How many Dynamics 365 implementations have you successfully completed? 
    • Do you have experience with Dynamics 365 and companies in my industry? 
    • What training and support do you offer? 
    • How many people are on your team? 
    • What is your training strategy for your consultants?
    • Can you provide references? 

 

Consideration of these points before you start, and a strong relationship with your partner, will ensure success – even when small surprises arise throughout the project. If you and your partner share the same vision, there is almost always room to shift things around slightly and stay on-time and on-budget. 

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