The highly expected release of a premiere ERP system, Dynamics AX is now a reality. Let’s find out if it was worth the wait.
Mike Ehrenberg, Technical Fellow, Microsoft Dynamics ERP has expressed that in his 12- year career working with Dynamics, this is the “most significant release we’ve ever done“. Microsoft Dynamics partners who had the privilege of testing the product prior to its release also use strong words to describe it: ‘empowering’, ‘opportunity’, ‘next- gen’, or ‘awesome’.
The first major change presents itself in the name of the product. There is no longer a version number (Dynamics AX 7), release year (Dynamics AX 2016) or name as previously referred to, Rainer. Instead, it is simply called Microsoft Dynamics AX. Name without the version number indicates that the Dynamics AX is a cloud- based service and will be constantly updated and maintained. No more updates coming in large batches! The trend towards cloud-based applications is now on a higher level.
Here are four new features worth mentioning:
1) Updated User Experience
The focus on improving the user experience has been one of the keys in the updated Dynamics AX. The keywords here are usability and design. A traditional ERP has moved towards a modern and light user experience reminding us of what a consumer application would look like. The new Dynamics AX is more intuitive and visual.
The ‘mobile – first’ strategy has been one of the priorities. Dynamics AX users are no longer tied to the Windows computer. Rather, the flexibility of the new Dynamics AX allows them to access it from a variety of devices, including Windows, Android, iOS or even Xbox if necessary. That is a major plus for those users who require access to data on the go or from various locations.
Moreover, Dynamics AX is written in HTML5 and is now accessible through a web- based client rather than from a Windows desktop client. That means that it won’t be necessary to install Dynamics AX on every machine. Instead, users will have access to Dynamics AX from anywhere via a web browser.
2) ‘Cloud- first’
Microsoft continues the trend and releases the Dynamics AX first as a cloud-based model. The on- premise version was made available later in 2016. That has improved the sign-up experience and allowed the ‘near instant provisioning’.
3) Pricing and licensing
The licensing of Dynamics AX is based on a subscription model. Two types of licenses are available: user-based or device-based. This flexibility is good news for companies with fluctuations in volume or number of users. No longer will companies pay for unused licenses!
4) Additional features
New features include ‘task guides’ that allow users to record steps done in the ERP and train new people with an easy-to-follow guide; or use Cortana to manage the Dynamics AX by voice.
Integration, integration, integration
The functionality of the Dynamics AX has definitely improved, however, the question remains: How easy is it to integrate with other business systems? The solution to universal integration of Dynamics AX with both Microsoft and non-Microsoft products is called Connect Bridge. It is a platform for integration, synchronization and migration of data, documents and processes. It allows for live and bi- directional integration of Dynamics AX with popular LOBs like Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, Marketo, Exchange, and more. See the list of 30+ connectors. A developer, or a system integrator can implement Connect Bridge fast and with ease. The flexibility of the solution provides control over the integration process.
Contact us to find out about how you can integrate Dynamics AX with other business systems used by your company.
See what a number of Microsoft partners said about the capabilities of the new Dynamics AX in the following video:
All in all, Microsoft has delivered a redesigned product that makes the use of an ERP system more user-friendly and efficient.