Planning Your Dynamics 365 Upgrade: Key Considerations

Planning Your Dynamics 365 Upgrade Key Considerations

Although upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 from the previous software version does not necessarily require complete implementation from scratch, this process can be rather time-consuming. In the case of systems with extensive customizations, the project can stretch even to two years. To ensure a smooth and effective transition to the newest software, you must know the Dynamics 365 upgrade solutions and critical considerations discussed in this article.

Thorough environment assessment

To successfully migrate to Microsoft Dynamics 365, it is highly recommended that the existing system setup, including its configuration, customizations, integrations, and data, be evaluated thoroughly. Furthermore, a detailed assessment of the new system’s capabilities is also required.

Based on these evaluations, you can identify the components that should be migrated to your new system and those that may be redundant. Some customizations and extensions require redevelopment, whereas replacement with new out-of-the-box features is a better solution for others.

Selecting the Microsoft Dynamics 365 upgrade model

Based on your environment assessment, you will be able to decide which upgrade approach to take. Keep in mind that the available options may be constrained by the current version of the Microsoft ERP and CRM applications used in your company. Older software editions may not be suitable for the upgrade in the first place, and you will have to undergo a complete re-implementation.

One of the crucial decisions you must make for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 upgrade is to select between the on-premise form of implementation and migration to the cloud. Alternatively, you can choose the hybrid approach, which will allow you to keep certain functionalities and workloads on-premises and transfer others to the cloud.

Develop backup procedures

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 upgrade will inevitably affect your company’s operations. While you are still in the transition, it is particularly important to have a robust backup and disaster recovery procedure to help you protect your data. Your backups should cover not only the data used by your system but also your configurations.

While developing your backup restoration plan, test the restoration process in a non-production environment to ensure the implemented procedures work as expected.

Regulatory and security compliance

While planning your Microsoft Dynamics 365 upgrade, consider aligning your new setup with regulatory requirements and ensuring compliance with security standards. Access controls, data privacy policies, and encryption methods are among the aspects of your new ERP and CRM applications that require thorough reviewing.

In addition, Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides evealeveragesing and logging features to maintain audit trails, which can help demonstrate regulatory requirements.

Build a robust testing plan.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a system that handles critical business operations, which makes it essential to implement an effective testing plan to validate the correctness of its processes. At the same time, its complexity and frequent updates may require significant resources to handle regular testing, making it sensible to consider test automation during the upgrade process.

You can choose from a wide variety of tools, including no-code applications dedicated specifically to testing Microsoft Dynamics 365 like EA and frameworks, which, although requiring advanced technical knowledge for setup and maintenance, can be used for testing other applications.

Training and adoption

Ensure you take care of user training during your upgrade process to help users understand how the new ERP and CRM suite works. You can encourage user adoption through comprehensive training and workshops and provide employees with ongoing support.

Consider inviting tech-savvy employees to your Microsoft Dynamics 365 upgrade team to allow them to work closely with the new software. These individuals can later greatly assist others struggling with the use of the new system.

Partnering with a provider of Dynamics 365 upgrade solutions

As you understand, the migration process to the newest ERP and CRM suite can require a lot of time and resources, and there are many possibilities for making mistakes. By partnering with a professional provider of Microsoft Dynamics 365 upgrade solutions, you can avoid many challenges that can potentially hinder the process and compromise its results.

If you decide to cooperate with one of the Dynamics 365 upgrade experts, such as XPLUS, you will be able to count on assistance in the following areas:

  • Assessment of the Dynamics 365 CRM environment and planning the upgrade process;
  • Taking care of the technical side of the upgrade process, including the installation and configuration of new software, data migration, and transfer of customizations;
  • Ensuring compatibility of your new Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite with existing customizations and extensions;
  • Developing new customizations if needed;
  • Conducting thorough testing of the newly upgraded environment as well as its integration with other systems;
  • Providing employees with training to boost the adoption of the upgraded software;
  • Post-upgrade support, including optimization services, troubleshooting, and maintenance;
  • Expert guidance on best practices can help your company leverage the full potential of the capabilities provided by Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Bottom line

Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a significant endeavor for any organization. To go through this process smoothly, careful planning and execution are necessary, as is ensuring ongoing support. Since this process can be time-consuming and challenging, it is recommended that you partner with an experienced provider of Microsoft Dynamics 365 upgrade solutions who will guide your company through this project and help you leverage all capabilities of the Dynamics 365 suite.

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