How to Find the Right Microsoft AX 2012 Support Partner

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Support plans are not exciting. If you’ve ever purchased a TV or laptop from Best Buy or Amazon, you were probably asked if you wanted to buy the support plan. Most people roll their eyes (or think about rolling their eyes) and say no. At most, you considered it for about 2 seconds, internally screamed “No, you fool!” and politely declined. Why do we do that? Many times, it’s a waste of money, especially when you consider how much money it costs vs the replacement cost of the device.

When it comes to support, ERP systems are different. For one, they cost a lot more money and can be, at minimum, a headache when they have issues. If your business is still using Dynamics AX 2012, you are probably familiar with this situation. AX 2012 is a fantastic system. However, Microsoft has ended mainstream support for the platform. This can pose a significant problem for current users. Here’s how your business can continue to safely use AX 2012 even without Microsoft’s direct backing:

Find an Established Microsoft Partner

Since Dynamics AX 2012 has been around for so long, there are numerous Microsoft-certified organizations who are experts with the platform. It is worthwhile to reach out and find a partner aligned with your needs. When researching, consider the following:

  • Are they familiar with your industry?
  • How long have they been working with AX 2012?
  • Do they specialize in any particular area and does that apply to you?
  • If you need local support, how easily can they be on-site?
  • Do they have development resources to troubleshoot any customizations or reports?
  • Do they support Microsoft Dynamics 365 if and when you’re ready to upgrade?

Purchase a Support Plan

Congratulations. You found a potential partner. The next step is to research their support plans. If they don’t offer one, then move on. A good support plan should have options. A stable, standard Dynamics AX 2012 deployment should require less attention than a dynamic system with various complex customizations. Therefore, the partner should be able to offer a plan that will best fit your needs.

Establish a Relationship

While you could “sign it and forget it”, you would be doing you and your company a disservice. It’s important to establish a relationship with your new support partner. Likewise, a good support partner should be curious about your organization. Make sure they are familiar with your business processes, culture, and AX 2012 environment. Provide documentation to your new partner so they have material to reference if an issue arises. If possible, the partner should come on-site to become better acquainted with your organization.

Consider the Future

As we’ve established, Dynamics AX 2012 is at the end of its life. While the platform may suit your organization for now, you will need a strategy for your future ERP needs. Make sure the company you choose to partner with for support can also provide Dynamics 365 implementation services as well. Once you’re established with your partner of choice, you can leverage that relationship to ensure your business is ready for the next step.

Support plans, like insurance, are boring. Allocating money for a service that you may not need all the time can seem like an acceptable risk. However, once problems arise, you need to have a dependable partner to help you continue doing business. By considering some of the guidance listed above, you can rest easy knowing that your AX 2012 environment is stable and safe.

Matthew Newcomb

Author: Matthew Newcomb

Senior Solution Consultant