The year ahead for Microsoft Dynamics AX
On August 28th, we hosted our first Microsoft Dynamics AX webinar: Kevin Horlock, Partner Technology Strategist for Dynamics AX from Microsoft UK, presented our members with precious information regarding the near future of Dynamics AX.
This webinar was a big success: 20 consultants took part and gave us some great feedback. Here is a summary of what they’ve learnt.
Introduction to AX 7
User experience and interface
Dynamics AX, going forward, will evolve and grow as the firm evolves and grows, thus transforming the way businesses operate.
In its appearance, AX 7 will have similarities to Office 365. It will introduce efficient workspaces adjusted to the user’s role and activities, with integrated Power BI, dashboards and real time analytics.
Dynamics AX 7 will also include a web-based HTML5 client experience and will be accessible from any device, on any browser. Tablets will be the first to benefit from this improvement, Smartphones will follow at a later stage.
To handle those changes, developers will have access to productive tools for web development. The integration with Visual Studio will be deeper and more engaging for developers.
Functionalities and focus
Functionally, Dynamics AX 7 is based on 2012 R3 CU8. Some elements will be duplicated, while some functionalities will be improved and approached in a different way.
Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 is part of the wider One Microsoft breadth of solutions and fully supports Microsoft’s ambitions of 1) Reinventing productivity and business processes, 2) Building the intelligent cloud platform, and 3) Creating a more personal computing.
Help and support
Help and support will evolve significantly. The traditional help service will change into a more collaborative experience.
Dynamics AX 7 release
The final version of AX 7 is expected be announced at Convergence 2015 (between November 30th and December 2nd). The pricing model will be announced as well. General availability will follow Convergence.
At first, AX 7 will only be deployable on Azure through Lifecycle Services (LCS). This means that Dynamics AX consultants who haven’t used LCS yet will need to become familiar with it.
Roadmap for Dynamics AX 2012 R3/AX 7
This September, Microsoft will start to make the AX 7 preview edition available so that users can begin exploring it and giving feedback. The release date will be determined based on the data gathered at that stage.
After the release, there will be half-yearly update cycles where additional update models will kick-in.
The upgrade of existing customers won’t be available in the first release of AX 7 – it will follow in an additional release.
Over 40 languages will be available at launch.
If you have recently invested in Dynamics AX 2012, you’ll be interested to know that AX 2012 R3 will be continuing for the foreseeable future.
Consultants – How to get ready
– Get up-to-date with certifications at the AX 2012 CU8 level: the baseline functionalities of AX 7 are similar to those of the CU8 release. Having this level of knowledge will mean you’ll only need to learn about the new user experience.
– Learn how to work with Azure and Power BI – they will be central to Dynamics AX 7 implementations.
– For developers, HTML 5 will be a must-have and you’ll need to know how it works with Visual Studio.
– Learn how to use Lifecycle Services.
From January, there will be 4 courses available resulting in 4 certifications.
Two which already exist but will be revised and updated:
– Microsoft Dynamics AX Trade and Logistics
– Microsoft Dynamics AX Financials
Two which are new for Dynamics AX 7:
– Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 Development introduction
– Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 Installation & Configuration
Information and community engagement
Here are Kevin Horlock’s tips to help you stay informed:
– Join Microsoft UK’s Dynamics AX Yammer group.
– Keep an eye on Microsoft’s webinars: they will be set-up on a regular basis and focus on different aspects of AX 7.
– A Dynamics AX 7 launch portal is being added to PartnerSource. It will be a useful source of information.
– Keep an eye out for the Dynamics Technical conference.
Readiness events and readiness program
– Future Decoded (November 10th and 11th 2015) is a key UK event for Microsoft Dynamics.
– AX 7 Preview Technical Conference (October 2015, 400 spaces).
– AX/CRM Technical Conference (February 2016).
Microsoft are running a Dynamics AX Accelerate course program which replaces previous programs such as Fast Track. This program is available on the Dynamics Learning Portal (DLP) and includes virtual classes, community support and sandbox environments.
There are also several level 300 workshops available on the DLP.
Get access to Microsoft Dynamics resources if you’re an independent consultant
If you are an independent consultant, you might not have access to PartnerSource, the Dynamics Learning Portal and Lifecycle Services. We can help you get free access to Microsoft Dynamics training and professional tools.
Please not that this service is only available to independent consultants.
Next Dynamics AX webinars with 365 Talent Portal
Our Dynamics AX webinars will be hosted on a monthly basis and cover a variety of AX-related topics. Keep an eye out for the next one!
About us: 365 Talent Portal is the first online platform that gives Dynamics partners and end-users instant access to hundreds of consultants. With a network spanning 89 countries, it allows companies to search for consultants based on their skills, rates and available dates, enabling them to find the best person for their projects without incurring the hefty fees typical of recruitment agencies. Register here – 365talentportal.com.