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Stop waiting: Rethink ERP cloud migration now

  • Posted on July 29, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

The global COVID-19 crisis has been nicknamed “the great pause” – a time to stop and wait. Waiting for government relief funds to arrive. Waiting on carefully spaced, socially-distanced lines at the grocery store.  Waiting for a safe return to the workplace. Fortunately for businesses that had already migrated their ERP systems to the cloud, waiting for the pandemic to pass hasn’t meant an end to productivity. Their teams have easily adapted to remote work with the support of secure, seamless, cloud-connected access to shared data and collaborative communications.  

Companies that waited too long to move to the cloud faced a continuity crisis and continue to struggle. For them, the pandemic has become a painful lesson in inflexibility. Because the rate of change is accelerating, adaptive speed is today’s competitive advantage. That means the ability to make wholesale change – from organization structure and strategy to business processes and underlying technologies – in ever-shortening time periods. For those who realize the wait for ERP cloud migration is over, Avanade and Microsoft have a solution that facilitates the upgrade and transition from old, on-premise versions of Dynamics AX to the evergreen, cloud-based Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. 

The real risk is inaction
The benefits of cloud-based ERP systems are clear and abundant. Companies that have adopted cloud ERP have gained cost optimization with the flexibility of software-as-a-service plus no need for infrastructure maintenance and evergreen (always up to date) IT systems. Cloud ERP is the enabling platform that, even amidst the pandemic trauma, allowed them to stay open for growth and scalability, connected with customers and partners and aggregating data from various sources including IoT and/or IIoT. Yet, for others, even with COVID-19 as a motivator, resistance to cloud migration persists. Why?

Legacy on-premise ERP holdouts predictably point to several perceived hurdles and risks that prevent them from modernizing their systems through the cloud. They may claim insufficient staff to handle the migration task. They are concerned about getting mired in the complexity of the change. They worry that available options aren’t tailored to the unique needs of their industry. What will become of all the customizations they made to the old system? They fear it will take too long. They doubt the changes can be easily scaled across all of their facilities and business units. During a pandemic, these perceived challenges only loom larger and the ability to get unstuck from old, burdensome systems seems nearly impossible as each day passes.

Innovation leads the way
Innovation is the only way out of this quagmire. So, Avanade developed an innovative approach to migrating legacy ERP systems to the cloud.  Avanade’s Intelligent Upgrade Engine is a set of processes and tools, powered by AI, to support the migration from old Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Top talent: The Intelligent Upgrade Engine team is Avanade’s full team of Dynamics experts – over 2,000 - many with the highest levels of Microsoft certification.  Your team need not worry – we bring the migration talent.
  2. Simplified approach: We embrace “adoption” versus “adaptation” of standard solutions. Instead of starting with a blank sheet of paper and replicating past complexity, our Intelligent Upgrade Engine starts from the position of using the standard Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations package and configuring it according to industry best practices.  
  3. Industry best: We’ve developed preconfigured industry solutions that have been tailored to Dynamics 365 and vetted against the Accenture/Avanade Knowledge Library, 25 years of research and data that supports and instructs best practices, processes and metrics
  4. Automated Upgrade Tools: Using AI and machine learning, our tools identify and resolve potential code conflicts between old version code and Dynamics 365.  The tool also provides code error reports for fast fixes and performs unit testing of upgraded functionality. The system helps reduce the time and effort involved in the typical upgrade project by up to 40%.
  5. Global Delivery Network: Our global delivery network of hands-on, highly-certified migration experts drive the upgrade to completion and provide managed services, if required. 

Intelligent upgrades: Proven
The Intelligent Upgrade Engine is a proven process. A good example is Avanade’s recent work with Pellegrini S.P.A. Pellegrini provides catering, sanitation, and industrial cleaning services through its 9,000 employees generating over $700 million in 2019 revenues. We helped Pellegrini migrate its legacy, on-premises ERP solution, Microsoft Dynamics AX, version R2, to Microsoft Dynamics 365. "We have benefited from savings and efficiency, but above all, the speed and certainty of operations on a future-proof platform give us infinite potential for innovation, expansion and integration," said Roberto Prefumo, CIO at Pellegrini. Read more about our work with Pellegrini.

No waiting
In normal times, cloud ERP allows a company’s workforce to be productive from anywhere, any time and this gives a high level of flexibility. In these unprecedented, pandemic-plagued times, cloud ERP technology ensures 24/7 business continuity. In addition, any company that wants to gain the competitive agility brought by new technologies like AI, machine learning and predictive data analytics must be in the cloud. Because an organization’s ERP system contains its most essential data, the first step of digital transformation is to move ERP into the cloud. Being in the cloud is no longer a matter of waiting until change subsides but surviving the change that persists. 

If yours is one of the company’s that got caught flat-footed by COVID-19 because you’re still operating with an on-premises ERP solution, there’s no more time to wait.  Please contact us and we’ll show you the quick, robust way to cloud ERP results.

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