Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services: The Not-So-Secret Ingredient for Success in Enterprise ERP
Replicating success for faster industry-tailored implementations is vital. It's also vital to optimizing quality with enhanced monitoring & cloud-powered support.
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In a previous post, I called out Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) as one of the most important advancements to the Microsoft Dynamics arsenal. In fact, this is one of the most powerful enabling technologies the Microsoft Dynamics team has produced in recent years and certainly a game-changer in the enterprise ERP market at large. Still, I’m always puzzled at how many partners have yet to adopt LCS as a core part of their implementation methodology and how many customers are not realizing the benefits.
Microsoft has certainly not kept it a secret and the new Dynamics AX cannot be deployed without it. I can only assume that the everyday wash of information overload tends to drown out the message. Today, I’ll give you my two cents on LCS and share how SBS Group is utilizing this tool to improve the customer experience.
Two Ways Dynamics Lifecycle Services is Driving Better Implementations of Microsoft Dynamics AX
1) Replicating Success for Predictable, Faster, Industry-Tailored Implementations
Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) helps SBS Group and our customers to improve the predictability and quality of Microsoft Dynamics AXdeployments by simplifying and standardizing the implementation process and leveraging the power of Microsoft Azure to get a quicker return on investment.
Using the LCS configuration manager, we can select pre-tested data and configuration of entities from a pre-defined environment for professional services companies and transfer them to your environment as a way to reduce hours spent. This helps speed up the movement of data between development and test environments as well as making it possible to take advantage of repeatable rollouts.
The Business Process Modeler and Task Recording features of LCS make it easy to record key processes, then upload them for modification and version tracking. You can even export them to Microsoft Viso. In addition to some 800 business processes already included inside LCS, we have created our own library of processes specific to industries where SBS Group is focused.
Even our custom methodology for implementing Dynamics AX has been catered by industry sector and uploaded to LCS to ensure our team has all of the tools and perspective necessary to implement quickly and successfully…without rebuilding the model for each individual implementation.
2) Optimizing Quality and Controls with Enhanced Monitoring and Cloud-Powered Support.
Built on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) makes Dynamics AX updates more discoverable and less onerous. LCS helps you to manage your Dynamics AX updates easily: binary or application updates containing regulatory features, new features, or changes to existing features. You can create a customer update package containing your desired updates (and their required dependencies). Coupled with the Diagnostic data, you can filter out application changes that are already applied or those that are irrelevant to your environment.
With LCS, regularly updated services such as System Diagnostics and Upgrade Analysis, help you manage the application lifecycle. Moreover, the Dynamics AX update installer comes with an automated code-merge tool that simplifies the process of applying hotfixes and regulatory updates to customized environments. After installing updates, the tool proposes a code merge for the new code into the higher layer customizations. It also adds all impacted code to a project so that you can review and correct the merge as needed.
Most importantly, Cloud-powered support is a customer-driven process to prevent and resolve incidents. This reengineered, collaborative support process simplifies and accelerates self-diagnosis and the communication between SBS Group, Microsoft and the customer which can reduce the Days to Solution (DTS) by up to 76%.
Support cases can be logged more easily and a “collaborative VM (virtual machine)” can be created and hosted in Microsoft Azure that automatically replicates a customer’s system down to the last configuration. This environment can be shared with Microsoft and SBS Group support professionals for immediate review and resolution. Dynamics AX Errors and other issues can be replicated and corrected in the Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services collaborative VM, then replicated in the production environment. This is also a fantastic way to try out new 3rd party solutions and ensure they work properly and add value before implementing in a live environment.
By providing a work environment that can be used collaboratively by both partners and customers – together and separately – Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services enables much closer collaboration, speeds up implementations, and reduces the time to value.
Just as we discussed in the previous paragraph regarding cloud-powered support, Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services is designed to engage all stakeholders in a Dynamics AX customer’s success. SBS Group and Microsoft are able to work in concert with support team members on the customer’s team to solve issues, but the collaboration begins even before implementation. From needs analysis to ideation, discover and planning Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services provides a foundation for efficient information sharing and Dynamics AX solution development.
So much more…
The list of features available through Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services is long and I’ll spend some time on other components in future posts. However, the callouts above should more than warrant any Dynamics AX customer or partner to dedicate time to learn more. You can learn more about Microsoft Dynamics On-Premises Solutions here.
To learn more, or see AXIO for professional services live, check out our on-demand video series featuring Microsoft Dynamics AX and Dynamics LifeCycle Services.
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