Dynamics AX Data Migration Recommendations or how to stay away from Implementation Limbo

Published: 19th September 2011
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Former Axapta is recommended for upper midmarket. Implementing Corporate ERP system for large company often requires strong project management and phasing approach. Microsoft Business Solutions recommends this application to be implemented and documented in special project management technology Sure Step. We do not recommend handle the project directly to Microsoft Dynamics consulting firm, it is always good idea to have internal project manager or at least very active project coordinator. When you are switching over to AX from your legacy accounting application some data export and migration activity is probably inevitable, but the data massage and import project scope should be manageable to avoid implementation failing potential risk. Let’s review the recommendations, typical data conversion limbo scenarios and popular conversion paths:

1. "Migrate everything" order is opening the door to potential implementation failure. There are several data import tools and technologies. Excel Import is probably the one which is user friendly and requires you to fill in Excel templates in predefined format. But now let’s think about your old accounting system. Is it really possible to export master records and historical transactions and cleanse them to fit to Excel templates? If you have millions of historical documents, do you understand the limitation of Excel import? As it is limited to tens of thousands. If Excel is limited, then you have to appeal to some MorphX X++ custom programming where success is not really guaranteed or could be precisely estimated in consulting hours budget – are you ready to pay for the time which is going over budget?

2. The less data conversion the better. Very rational idea and we recommend you to engrave it in bronze and place to your project management cubicle. What is wrong in keeping your legacy accounting on one of the low profile servers or even user workstations? If legacy customer or vendor calls, you can always login and find the answer about the payment, issued last year. This simple way allows you to eliminate historical documents export and import into Axapta. General Ledger import for historical years could be done in consolidated monthly transactions, if you still want to do GL historical data conversion. Sometimes we hear the opinions that historical data conversion is needed for possible future state sales tax or IRS audit. However why do you think that auditors will not accept your legacy ERP to provide required evidence about historical year accounting?

3. Well, I still think that historical data conversion with million plus documents is required, what is my next step? First of all you should be ready to pay for the data export and import project. There should be expectation that migration will be repeated several times with the quality verification. Excel Import is probably the first option to consider, especially for master records, such as customers, vendors, employees, addresses, GL accounts. Computing power might be limited in time to bring over Excel templates with millions of historical records (even creating such worksheets might be not compatible with modern operating system and Excel). Next step is probably discuss with your Microsoft Dynamics partner the option to use SSIS, or even prepare custom tool via MorphX X++ programming

4. Popular migration paths. First of all it is Great Plains old versions, including 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0 on Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve and Microsoft SQL Server. Second stream of customers is coming from small business accounting packages, such as QuickBooks, Peach Tree, MYOB, Quicken. There are customers coming from SAP direction, upgrading from SAP Business One. There are also customers who finally decided to cut their DOS based archaic accounting system, something like Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or Mac 9.5, 9.2 or earlier versions. There is theoretical possibility to migrate to Axapta from another high-end Corporate ERP packages, such as Oracle EBusiness Suite/Financials, PeopleSoft, high end Sage products. We however believe that such migrations are unlikely to happen in large numbers

5. Data Migration in Process Manufacturing. This is another example where ‘migrate everything’ approach might be not realistic. Process manufacturing in food processing, mining industries is probably the reason for you to switch to Dynamics AX, where in old accounting process production related historical documents didn’t exist. Consider just custom conversion of legacy bill of materials

6. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904 (for international customers, where our representative pick up the phone in St. Joseph, MI call center). help@efaru.com We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, South West Michigan, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed). Our consultants speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese. Our core expertise is in International Business

Andrew Karasev is Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, help@efaru.com 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project http://www.efaru.com and founder of Alba Spectrum information space

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