What to consider when building a business case for upgrading Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management

For businesses striving to improve through digital transformation (become more efficient, achieve more with less, enable cost reduction and increased operating profit) upgrading Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management (Dynamics 365) can be a great way to meet these goals. However, even though you may be convinced that Dynamics 365 is right for your business, the difficulty may lie in convincing your leadership team that Dynamics 365 has the required capability to improve the overall business, and that it’s worth the investment 

To gain this investment you will need a compelling business case - one that explains why the move to Dynamics 365 is needed, how you decided on the platform, how it will solve business challenges, what the cost and ROI will be and how you’ll implement it. While the contents of your business case will vary depending on your individual circumstances, we’ve detailed some key elements that should be included in order to get your leadership team on board, and how Inciper can help. 

Table of Contents

1) Lay out the business vision

2) Proposing a solution

3) Risks, implications and how to mitigate them 

4) Cost and return on investment 

5) Choosing an implementation partner


1) Lay out the business vision

The foundation of your business case should be on how the business is currently performing, and what the strategy is moving forward. For example, if the company’s main goal is to grow, articulating your understanding of this overall business vision and how the current platform has helped meet this so far will give context to why Dynamics 365 is needed to further enhance capability, efficiency and performance. 

Think about why and how Dynamics AX has been successful so far; examples of this success could be that people at your company adopted the system well, it’s delivered value, or that AX achieved the ROI it was required to. This way, you begin on a positive note, and can recognise the success of Dynamics AX, while showing that the system has run its course, and it's time to upgrade. 

Laying out your business vision and how Dynamics 365 can help achieve it will help get your leadership team on board. At Inciper, we specialise in understanding your individual needs and business objectives, so that we can help create a business case for a Dynamics 365 solution that matches your requirements and is mapped to your vision. 


Want to discuss your business challenges and needs? Speak to one of our Dynamics 365 experts today. 

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2) Proposing a solution

When delivering your business case, your leadership team will ask why they should choose Dynamics 365 over other alternatives. You should explain the alternatives that were considered, and why you ultimately decided on Dynamics 365; detailing the capabilities that led to you choosing Dynamics 365, and how these will help meet the business vision previously mentioned. 

You should outline the current challenges the business is facing as a result of Dynamics AX reaching the end of its life, and crucially, what the implications of these are and how Dynamics 365 will help solve them. For example, one of your main challenges may be that the system requires an increasing level of maintenance which can be tedious and difficult to manage, and the implication of this is that more resources, money and time is needed to maintain the system. Upgrading to Dynamics 365 would solve this challenge as adopting its cloud-based model would reduce the need for, and expense of AX maintenance. This is just one of the many ways in which Dynamics 365 can solve key business problems. 


3) Risks, implications and how to mitigate them 

If your business has undertaken an upgrade previously, it’s almost certain some members of the leadership team will be reluctant to do it again, particularly if it was a challenging experience. Therefore, you need to communicate the potential risks involved in the upgrade, but also how they can be mitigated. 

For example, a perceived risk may be that once Dynamics AX is upgraded to Dynamics 365, it won’t deliver the benefits promised, or that it won’t be adopted by employees across the organisation. However, these concerns are often borne out of bad past experiences with implementation and can be mitigated by choosing a competent Microsoft partner to not only implement the solution, but offer post go-live support and training. At Inciper, we’ll aid your business at every stage - from the initial kick-off to post go-live, and you can be sure that your Dynamics 365 solution will be implemented to your expectations - and beyond.  


4) Cost and return on investment  

Arguably the most important part of any business case, and what will spark most interest, is the total cost of ownership of the solution, and the ROI that it will deliver. Therefore, you need to be prepared to not only explain the cost of the solution in full, but justify why the solution is worth the investment. 

Find out more the best upgrade approach when moving from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for finance and supply chain management.


What is the 5 year TCO of Dynamics 365? 

This may differ across organisations, but you should consider: 


Software licenses 

Moving from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 means that licensing will change. When upgrading to Dynamics 365, you’ll be moving to a subscription model, based on per user per month - different to the historic on premise solution model. However, the cost benefits of this are clear (you can pay for different licenses for different users, and remove users who are no longer needed), and should be expressed. 


Implementation costs 

Ensure you have the right blend of internal and external support and expertise if you want a successful implementation that’s also cost effective. At Inciper, our unique business model ensures that we maximise your internal resources as well as our own expertise, which ensures the solution is implemented in the most cost effective, efficient and successful way. 


Change management and training costs 

Successful Dynamics 365 adoption can only be achieved through effective change management and training, so it’s important to consider process change that is driven by the efficiency gained from the solution, communication and engagement of key stakeholders, and the adoption of the solution. Weariness or fatigue from previous implementations is one of the key factors in a failed upgrade, so it’s essential to stress that once the upgrade is done, it will be the last one. By being honest and managing expectations, you’re more likely to get the leadership team on board. 


Managed services/support costs 

The cost of your solution doesn’t end after the point of go-live, and you should stress the importance of dedicating budget towards managed services, or support costs - whether this is done in-house, or externally. For a more cost effective service, it makes sense to work with a managed services provider, as it means you can contact a Dynamics 365 expert whenever you need, and there’s no need for an expert internal team. 


What is the ROI of a Dynamics 365 upgrade? 

While the benefits of Dynamics 365 will vary across organisations, you’ll need to propose how Dynamics 365 will enhance your business, and be able to quantify them. Potential benefits of a Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 upgrade are: 


  • Reduced costs of hardware maintenance - as Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based platform, you’ll no longer need to pay for on-premise maintenance, and because of this you can grow the business without increasing headcount. 
  • Increased revenue - with a more advanced solution, you’ll be able to process more, and gain greater visibility into how the business is performing. 
  • Business process efficiency - when Dynamics 365 is implemented with your key business processes in mind, the solution will enhance your current practices and drive efficiency. 
  • Automation - you’ll save both time and money by automating tasks that are currently being done manually, leaving more time to focus on meeting goals and targets. 

5) Choosing an implementation partner

When building a business case for a Dynamics AX upgrade, you need to consider who is actually going to implement the Dynamics 365 solution. As there could be some reluctance, or implementation fatigue from previous experiences, it’s essential to work with a Microsoft partner that understands your business, and determines your needs as a priority.  

At Inciper, we work to completely understand your business (your goals, challenges and budget) first and then match the solution to this. Unlike other tech-driven implementation partners, we take the best from your current solution and elevate it, so there’s no fear of losing what you’ve achieved with AX so far.  

Our business-driven RAPID implementation approach delivers immediate ROI and maximises efficiency, without compromising the needs or concerns of your business. At Inciper, we work to deliver a solution that works with your business - speak to one of our experts today. 


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