Goodbye AX 7, hello D365 F&O?

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Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 arrived barely six months ago, is it already time to show it the door?

Since Takeshi Numoto (Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Cloud + Enterprise) announced the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform in July 2016, the Dynamics ERP community has been wondering where exactly the new product line sits in the already crowded Microsoft business software ecosystem.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Several months later, the roadmap is now clear. The new Microsoft Dynamics 365 will come in two editions, Business and Enterprise. The Business Edition will be optimised for SMBs while the Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition is aimed at larger organisations and will comprise the full functionality of the current Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX 7. In addition, both versions will include Microsoft PowerApps, a new self-build platform for web and mobile apps. Enterprise Edition users will be able to take advantage of Adobe Marketing Cloud and a new collection of standalone artificial intelligence apps starting with Customer Insights and Relationship Insights.

Where has Dynamics AX 7 gone?

Microsoft’s flagship enterprise resource planning solution, Dynamics AX 7, will now be called Dynamics 365 for Operations, or simply Operations. Currently, Dynamics AX 7 runs on Azure cloud, and Operations will still be available as a standalone cloud-hosted application. The product roadmap shows the introduction of on-premise and hybrid solutions coming next year. Mainstream support for AX 2012 is due to end in October 2021.

The Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition will be available both with and without the Operations app. The combined package is extremely high value, tightly integrating the rich functionality of Dynamics CRM with the comprehensive ERP capabilities of Dynamics AX. Underlying these solutions is Microsoft’s Common Data Model, and third-party line of business and industry vertical apps will be available through the AppSource portal↗.

Where do current Dynamics AX 7 users stand?

Current users of Dynamics AX 7 will be offered an upgrade. At the very close of his Dynamics 365 introduction at the Tampa AXUG Summit, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, stated,

“For existing Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics AX 7 customers, you’ll be able to automatically update your systems to Dynamics 365 without having to change anything … As part of the standard app update mechanisms you’ll be notified, starting in November, that an update’s available. You apply that and your system continues to work just fine, but with a lot more features, a lot more capabilities, and the ability to take advantage of all the great services we showed off today.”

A happy farewell

So, while Dynamics AX 7 has been shown the door, it is a revolving door, which sees its immediate return, not just with a new name, but with tighter integration, upgraded functionality, enhanced value and exciting new possibilities.

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