After successfully implementing Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management for many clients, we’ve identified some common questions that come up for many companies during the evaluation process.
What Does it Mean That my Application is ‘in the Cloud’?
Traditionally, business systems were installed on servers that were owned by and located at a company’s office. Some companies may have hired a hosting company to provide them servers or lease space for their servers with business software installed on it. Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain is a SaaS application therefore, all the components are installed on servers in Microsoft Azure data centers. You then get access to the application from a web browser or other tools. This Microsoft website has more information about SaaS.
What is the Downtime I can Expect With my Cloud Solution?
Microsoft has a guaranteed uptime for Finance and Supply Chain Management of 99.9%. There are planned downtimes once a month that last no longer than 8 hours. Microsoft communicates these downtimes via email including the day/time and expected outage.
Does Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Offer High Availability?
The Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management application provides high availability by using Azure high availability features. Specifically, Azure availability sets are used to prevent single-point-of-failure events that could occur on a single node in a datacenter. For more information about Azure availability, sets check out this website: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/manage-availability#use-availability-zones-to-protect-from-datacenter-level-failures
High availability for the Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management database is supported through Azure SQL.2 For more information on high availability through Azure SQL check out this website: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-sql/database/business-continuity-high-availability-disaster-recover-hadr-overview
Does Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management Offer Disaster Recovery?
Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management has disaster recovery by utilizing the following features in Azure:
- Azure SQL active-geo replication. For more information check out https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-sql/database/business-continuity-high-availability-disaster-recover-hadr-overview#compare-geo-replication-with-failover-groups
- Geo-redundant copies of Azure blob storage in other Azure regions. For more information check out https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-redundancy
- The secondary region for Azure SQL and Azure blob storage replication are the same
What Can I Expect Around Upgrades/Updates?
Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management is part of the Microsoft Modern Lifecycle which means it is serviced continuously. In other words, you no longer have large expensive upgrades, but rather small frequent updates to your system. Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management calls these updates ‘One Version’. There are two major updates a year and 6 smaller updates throughout the year. You are required to implement an update at least once every 6 months. For more information about One Version check out this site https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/fin-ops-core/fin-ops/get-started/one-version?toc=/dynamics365/commerce/toc.json or watch this On-Demand recording.
What Environments Should I Plan on for my Implementation?
During your implementation of Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain, there are multiple environments you will hear about that are used to help support the implementation process. Below is a list of environments that are used:
- Production – This will be your production environment at go-live that end users will utilize to run your business. This environment is provided with your Microsoft Dynamics subscription.
- Test – This is the environment that will be used to test business processes, customizations that were developed for your business, and data that is part of your data migration.
- Development – These environments are what the developers will use to create customizations for your business.
- Data Migration – As part of your implementation, you will most likely be bringing in data from different systems. This environment is used to plan, execute, and test your data migration.
- Configuration/Master – During your implementation, you will be making choices about how you want your application to be setup. For example, you will setup your chart of accounts, select posting options, create customer and/or vendor groups, etc. Once you have made these selections and tested them it is helpful to enter them in a configuration/master environment. This environment is then used as the starting point when performing data migrations.
Some other optional environments you may hear about based on the needs of your implementation include:
Additional test environments – Some clients prefer to have multiple test environments to support their testing methodology. Some clients want a separate test environment for QA testing before customizations go on to end-user testing.
Integration– We know how important integrations can be for your business. An integration environment is dedicated to the development and/or testing of the integrations your business requires.
Performance – This is an environment available for you to perform a performance test shortly before go-live. It is a temporary environment so you can go in and test before officially going live.
Training – This environment is specifically dedicated to training you and your team. This is not the same as a test environment. This gives you a chance to help everyone get up to speed on the new system, ask questions and get everyone excited for the solution to go live.
Is Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management Secure?
Per Microsoft Documentation 3 Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain is PA-DSS 3.1 certified. Therefore, all communications between the Dynamics 365 components are secured out of the box. Also, any front-end virtual machines are configured to only accept TLS 1.2.
If you have additional questions about Dynamics 365, reach out to the experts at Stoneridge Software. We’re happy to help you select and support the solutions to help your business win.