While Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based, modern version of the ERP software, it shares many similarities with the more conventional Dynamics AX. However, the question remains – are they truly identical?
Many businesses that use Dynamics AX are contemplating a move to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and questioning whether it is worthwhile. It is understandable since modifying your business software can be daunting, even if it’s just an upgrade to a newer version.
In this article, we will examine how Microsoft Dynamics 365 compares to its predecessor, Dynamics AX, so you can determine if a Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation is the right choice for your company.
Understanding the Differences between Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365
Microsoft introduced the ERP solution Dynamics AX in 2002, designed mainly for medium and large-scale companies. The software allowed the management of many corporate functions, including finance, production, distribution, and human resources. It also featured multi-functional resource planning.
In 2016, Microsoft launched the latest version of Dynamics AX, initially known as Dynamics AX7 pre-release. The software was later renamed Dynamics 365 for Operations and became the primary ERP component of the all-new Dynamics 365 suite of applications.
Subsequently, in July 2017, the software undertook yet another name change and was officially renamed Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. As a result, the original Dynamics AX name has been retired, and new customers can no longer access the software.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations was renamed Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and was folded into the more extensive Dynamics 365 product range.
This raises a crucial question – is Dynamics 365 just a rebranded version of Dynamics AX?
Dynamics 365: A Comprehensive Overhaul or Just a Facelift?
Unlike Dynamics AX, Dynamics 365 is a fully web-based and cloud-native ERP solution that offers greater flexibility and accessibility. Its cloud-first approach means that the software can be used from anywhere without requiring extensive on-premises infrastructure.
In contrast, Dynamics AX is predominantly a desktop application with a limited number of web and mobile components. As a result, the key differences between these two ERP solutions go beyond just their names.
Dynamics 365 provides seamless integration with other Dynamics 365 suite products, such as CRM, allowing customers to access a complete business solution that combines both ERP and CRM functions.
Dynamics 365 is a cutting-edge end-to-end platform that fosters business continuity and offers a comprehensive approach to managing and simplifying operations, in contrast to Dynamics AX, when users were required to use Dynamics CRM as a standalone application that lacked actual integration.
Although Dynamics 365 provides capabilities similar to its predecessor, the software’s underlying architecture has completely transformed. In essence, Dynamics 365 is a whole new beast, with many significant systems changes that distinguish it from its predecessor. Let us delve deeper into some of the critical modifications made to the platform.
Dynamics 365: An Overview of the Latest Features
- Web-Based Login
Access mode is one of the most significant changes between Dynamics 365 and its predecessor. Unlike Dynamics AX, which requires installation on a desktop system or remote desktop connection, Dynamics 365 is entirely web-based.
This means that users can access the platform from almost any device with an internet connection, eliminating the need for downloads or installations.
By leveraging the power of cloud computing, Dynamics 365 offers greater accessibility, mobility, and convenience, allowing users to work on the go and stay connected to their business operations from anywhere in the world.
- New Interface
Microsoft Dynamics 365 has undergone significant changes in functionality, access, and aesthetics. The platform has received a major makeover, sporting a modern and streamlined design that enhances the user experience and fosters collaboration.
The new interface is highly customizable, allowing users to customize their home page with their preferred colors and default start pages. This personalization level helps create a more engaging and intuitive environment, leading to increased productivity and user satisfaction.
- More Integrations and Increased Support
Dynamics 365 has the edge over Dynamics AX regarding compatibility and support. With the ability to integrate with other Microsoft cloud products like Office 365, Power BI, and Dynamics CRM, Dynamics 365 can streamline workflows and improve productivity.
On the other hand, each version of Dynamics AX had a limited period of mainstream support, with only a specific period for incident support, security updates, and non-security updates. As of 2023, Microsoft has ceased maintenance support and security patching for all versions of Dynamics AX, which means that upgrading to Dynamics 365 can provide businesses with longer-lasting and more comprehensive support.
- Enhanced Business Analytics
Due to its access to AI-powered analytical services and larger business data sources, Dynamics 365 offers notably better business analytics than its predecessor, AX. As a result, more sophisticated reporting and business intelligence capabilities are made possible.
- More Frequent Updates
Microsoft Dynamics 365 has benefited dramatically from cloud-based deployment, enabling ongoing system updates and enhancements without expensive and time-consuming upgrade initiatives.
Dynamics 365 is built for continuous evolution, unlike Dynamics AX, which requires significant re-implementation or transfer projects every 5-8 years. As a result, the system is kept up-to-date and pertinent to the demands of contemporary enterprises.
Also, this makes it simpler for multinational corporations to conduct business in several nations without worrying about software compatibility difficulties with out-of-date versions.
- Flexible Pricing
The pricing model for Dynamics 365 has been designed with more flexibility than its predecessor, Dynamics AX. With the option to choose from a range of licensing models, users can save on costs for user and device licenses.
Additionally, Dynamics 365 is offered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, so companies don’t need to invest in expensive local infrastructure or administration. Microsoft handles the platform’s installation, support, and maintenance, allowing companies to focus on their core business activities.
Businesses can better control their expenditures because they pay for the service based on a yearly or monthly subscription and the number of users using the system.
It could be time to think about switching to Microsoft Dynamics 365 if you’re searching for a more adaptable, accessible, and effective ERP solution for your company.
The choice to migrate should be carefully considered, and it should be done with the assistance of an experienced partner after a complete assessment of the needs and requirements of the company.
Visit edvantis.com to learn how Edvantis can assist with your Dynamics 365 migration!