Upgrade

How to prepare for upgrade to MS Dynamics 365?

Friday June 10, 2022
1 min read

STEP 1: CLIENT DIAGNOSIS 

Aim: to understand both the company and its technical environment in order to determine the current functionality of your ERP system 

Phase 1: Diagnosis interview: a general interview during which you can tell us about your specific business needs and motivations 

Phase 2: Client questionnaire: at this point, we collect all data that will serve as a basis for upgrade assessment. We ask precisely about business processes, their quantity, scope, areas for improvement and efficiency.  

Phase 3: Upgrade diagnosis: at the final stage, we outline the scope and duration of the planned upgrade process, with particular focus on your business needs and operations. Our unique approach takes into consideration all business dependencies that need to be looked at during migration process do Dynamics 365. 
 

STEP 2: TECHNICAL AND FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT 

Aim: to help you leverage business processes through migration to D365. This step is all about analyzing your current business needs and estimating the scope for the upgrade process which also results in initial ROI calculation.  

We can differentiate a couple of sub-phases here: 
Phase 1: Planning assessment: we carefully plan out each step throughout the migration process 

Phase 2: Execution assessment: we map your current business processes with D 365 capabilities. As a result, you get an upgrade summary, relevant recommendations and estimates. 

Phase 3: Technical assessment: we take a closer look at your current IT infrastructure and by analyzing it in detail, we match it with Dynamics 365 architecture 

Phase 4: Functional assessment: at this stage, it is crucial for us to understand which customized feature of your current system can be mapped onto Dynamics 365 system. You receive a detailed migration summary point after completing this step so that we make sure that any post-upgrade functionalities will be up-and-running, and the upgrade process will be as efficient as possible. 

Phase 5: Cost assessment and project plan: by taking into account deliverables such as upgrade cost estimation and process (project) plan, we can foresee and outline the next steps. 

Phase 6: Presentation of upgrade model: after agreeing on an upgrade approach and all prior assessment, we prepare and explain to you a tailored upgrade model. With your feedback, we then continue with upgrade kickoff. 

Phase 7: Assessment summary/ closure: we gather all findings and feedback from this step, prepare recommendations and plan for upgrade tasks execution, based precisely on the approved upgrade model (from Phase 6). 
 

STEP 3: CUSTOMIZING MIGRATION PLAN  

Aim: based on all data and findings from STEP 2, we identify business areas requiring more thorough analysis and support. More detailed results help us to verify custom elements of your upgrade. 

Phase 1: Client-specific requirements analysis: we identify all additional needs and requirements which are likely to impact the duration of upgrade process and execution of essential activities.  

Phase 2: Final assessment: taking into consideration specific client requirements, we identify main factors for approaching and executing the upgrade process.  
 

STEP 4: DEFINING UPGRADE APPROACH  

Based on client and system assessment as well as costs, time and resources required, we choose one of the following approaches: technical upgrade, reimplementation or hybrid upgrade. 
 

STEP 5: MIGRATION PROCESS 

Data migration assessment and tailored approach allow us to execute a full upgrade with no process change or deep analysis. The full process involves the following tasks which may overlap in order to ensure a smooth and easy migration process: 
  • Preparing the environment for data migration 
  • Managing, monitoring and controlling project activities 
  • Providing client with pre-defined deliverables 
  • Outlining change management strategy 
  • Identifying areas/ factors/ stakeholders impacted by transformation 
  • Establishing plans for change management in the system lifecycle 
 

STEP 6: UPGRADE PROCESS 

Depending on the approach chosen at STEP 4, you might require either a technical upgrade, reimplementation or hybrid approach for your system transformation.   

1. TECHNICAL UPGRADE: the aim is to upgrade all code and data. We can distinguish four phases here: 
  • Analysis: we analyze all custom objects and prepare solution for configuration of code customizations 
  • Upgrade: we perform an all-around upgrade, together with adding any new functionalities, if necessary  
  • Validation: we run checks to see if upgraded system meets quality requitements defined prior to the upgrade 
  • Go-live phase: we manage and execute all required tasks once the system is fully functional 
 
2. REIMPLEMENTATION: the aim is to migrate only part of data and establish a clean system version, with focus on streamlining business processes. In this process, we: 
  • Define scenarios: we establish business requirements and measurable goals. 
  • Configure the system 
  • Modify: we prepare functional and technical designs for the upgraded system. At this point, we also establish a budget for their execution. 
  • Prototype: we define work packages, implement them and test in order to prototype target solutions 
  • Migrate data 
  • Manage reporting: we collect, analyze and plan all reporting requirements related to implementation 
  • Continue with go-live phase 
 
3. HYBRID UPGRADE: the aim is to conduct both a technical upgrade as well as customize/ add specific functionalities. It this sense, this is a combination of two methods of upgrade mentioned above. Upgrade process depends on client’s needs – it might require more re-implementation bits or be closer to technical upgrade.  

STEP 7: TESTING 

After all data is migrated and upgrade process is complete, it is still important to validate system functionality and ensure that business processes/ environment configurations have not been impacted adversely by introduced modifications. That is why we highly recommend running regressions tests. They will mitigate business continuity risks and reveal any inconsistencies that in the long run might cause and ERP system to fail.  Automated testing that we offer both increases the cost to effectiveness ratio as well as helps overcome any limitations with regards to human resources, ultimately allowing for a more efficient and less cost-effective maintenance of the upgraded system.  
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