By: Linda Rosencrance
Now that Microsoft has released the on-premise version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations, dubbed Dynamics 365 for Operations Local Business Data, the company will no longer offer Dynamics AX 2012 R3 to new customers as of July 1. This coincides with the expected Spring 2017 release of D365 for Operations.
Although this move was expected, the timing was a bit sooner than most people anticipated, according to a blog post by Ellipse Solutions. “All good things must come to an end,” wrote the Ellipse team; it described the discontinuation as the “inevitable aftershock” of the Dynamics community’s pressing for an on-premise D365 for Operations.
Another likely consequence is that functional enhancements will be limited to Dynamics 365; and while bug fixes and code maintenance will likely continue for Dynamics AX 2012, functional improvements will decelerate rapidly.
Customers that are currently running Dynamics AX 2012 can still buy additional licenses. However, after July 1 those licenses will be based on a new pricing list, and invoiced according to the new pricing, according to Ellipse. The existing licenses for customers that stay on the current Enhancement Plan will not be affected.
Microsoft has also added a new “middle-tier” user license called “Activity” to Dynamics 365. This license is similar to the AX 2012 Functional license, but adds more functionality for less money than the full Dynamics 365 Operations licenses.
And Ellipse reports that Microsoft will continue to offer Business Value Discounts for Dynamics AX 2012 R3, it will not offer those discounts for Dynamics 365 for Operations Local Business Data.
In addition, Dynamics AX 2009 customers can no longer upgrade to AX 2012 R3, rather they will transition directly to Dynamics 365 for Operations. Microsoft has said that the AX 2012 upgrade tools will be available July 1 and will support either an in-place or a cloud conversion upgrade. The upgrade will take a three-stage approach: analyze, execute, and validate.
The decision to hasten the move toward D365 Operations is not without its critics. As one reader commented in response to MSDW’s earlier reporting on the Spring 2017 release, the move will put the channel under greater pressure:
If we can’t sell Ax 2012 from 1 July, and all the previous partner code has to be refactored and tested across reports, workflows, interfaces, isv modules then it is going to be difficult to sell that ip to a new customer, until all that code migration is done and can be demonstrated e.g. a localised payroll, or a major vertical like construction, jewellery, utility billing etc.