By: Stacie Broadway
Microsoft has announced that several upcoming support deadlines for Dynamics AX 2009 and AX 2012. All Microsoft products have a lifecycle that begins when the product is released and ends when it’s no longer supported. Dynamics AX products are normally supported for 10 years from the release date.
For exact dates of AX 2009 and 2012 releases and support details, you can check out this post.
The end of mainstream support means that Microsoft will no longer enhance that product. If a company takes no action, security updates and non-security hotfixes for their software will no longer be supplied, and the warranty claims will end. If you are facing the end of mainstream support for your version of AX, here are your options:
- Purchase an extended support agreement
- Consider upgrading now to Dynamics 365
- Do nothing and hope for the best
There are extended support options available for $100,000-150,000 a year which would extend your coverage beyond mainstream support. Once a product transitions from mainstream to extended support, the support is limited to self-service and paid options. Extended support includes the following:
- Ability to purchase a paid support agreement
- Security update support
- Non-security hotfix support (If extended hotfix agreement is purchased within 90 days of ending Mainstream support)
- Self Service Support (Microsoft Knowledge Base & Microsoft Help & Support Site)
Extended Support will expire as well. The end dates for Extended Support are as follows:
- Dynamics AX 2009 – 10/12/18 – that is less than one year!
- Dynamics AX 2012 – 10/12/21
- Dynamics AX 2012 R2 – 10/12/21
- Dynamics AX 2012 R3 – 01/10/23
Custom Support Contracts
Once extended support has expired for a product, customers can sign on for custom support contracts with Microsoft. Updates to the product, including security updates, should not be expected outside of the terms defined within paid custom support contracts.
Upgrade to Dynamics 365
It is a common dilemma: choose between an upgrade to a newer version or face the fact that you won’t be able to count on Microsoft anymore for fixing issues, security, and resources. So how do you decide what to do?
- Start talking to your partner to determine if an upgrade to D365 makes sense for you
- Make sure you are up to date on your Microsoft Enhancement plan to take advantage of the 40% discount on upgrading to D365
- Get an upgrade assessment from a partner with Dynamics AX to 365 upgrade experience.
Why would I spend the money to upgrade to Dynamics 365?
We believe many AX customers can realize positive ROI by planning for the right upgrade to Dynamics 365 for Operations. Choosing to upgrade to D365 will help you:
- Reduce infrastructure costs by moving to the cloud
- The cloud model offers monthly subscription fees vs the large up-front cost
- New features and functionality, including embedded BI and availability on mobile devices
- Moving to the cloud allows for scalability and growth at your own rate
- Reduce customizations by around 40% (especially if you’ve made customizations around BI, manufacturing or retail)
- Stability and Security of Azure, including disaster recovery
- New user interface that will boost productivity
- Never budget for an upgrade or implementation again
- Leverage the capabilities of Power Apps and Flow to enable business workflows that were not possible in AX or CRM
- Not excited about the cloud? An on-prem version of Dynamics 365 for Operations is available in June
Do Nothing and Hope for the Best?
We can understand the hesitation to upgrade if Dynamics AX is working well for you. Just be sure to understand what not upgrading means to you. Educate yourself on exactly what Microsoft will and won’t do to once Mainstream Support ends. Pay attention to how many customizations you’re making to keep up with industry demands. And communicate with your partner to understand how much ongoing help you can expect with Dynamics AX in terms of licensing, development, and ongoing maintenance and support.
While there is no single right answer to this challenge for all Dynamics AX customers, the one approach that will not work is to do nothing. If your organization hasn’t yet done so, take stock of your current status and work with your partner to make a plan for the future.