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Update from the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technology Conference

ARTICLE

Members of RSM’s technology consulting practice that focuses on Microsoft Dynamics AX recently attended the Microsoft Dynamics AX | CRM Industry Summit, and then a few more members of the AX team attended the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference in Redmond, Wash. At both events we learned about the new functionality that is targeted for the new Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 R3 release coming later this year. It’s an exciting new release with some significant new features, including:

  • Warehouse Mobile Data Module
  • Transportation Management
  • Omni-channel commerce and mobile retail management
  • Demand Forecasting
  • Additional functionality around the recently released application Life Cycle Management
  • Some functionality around Master Data Management

Warehouse Mobile Data Module will allow for radio frequency (RF) devices to display real-time transactions including: receiving, putting away, picking, staging, loading and cycle counting. Previously a third party ISV was required for this functionality to be deployed with a Microsoft Dynamics AX instance.

Transportation Management will include rate shopping capability as well as route and load planning. This functionality is imperative for distribution businesses to be competitive.

Omni-channel commerce and mobile retail management will include a Windows 8 based tablet Point of Sale (POS) solution that will provide customers and retailers a very unique shopping experience when deployed. Integration with online stores, loyalty programs and other features we all have grown use to in an online shopping experience, will also be available in this release of Microsoft Dynamics AX2012.

Demand Forecasting will also be a new feature in the Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 R3 release. This functionality will provide a lightweight, but powerful demand planning tool that will allow users to forecast demand based on historical order data found in Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 R3 and then adjust the demand, and import the information into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 forecast models. It will have a feature to disqualify outliers as well. Large one-time orders that would skew the forecast can be removed from the forecast with this feature.

The Application Lifecycle Management toolset has been improved in several areas including the Business Process Modeler and creating and managing support cases and providing the appropriate knowledge management article or hotfix.

Master Data Management functionality will help to keep data synchronized across multiple environments and manage conflicts as well as provide a batch scheduling execution engine for this functionality.

Also at the Technical Conference several new features were discussed that have been recently introduced or will also be available in the coming months:

  • Faster full-system compile; As of CU7, AXBuild.exe utility can perform a full compile of AX in 10 minutes instead of two hours utilizing parallel processing.
  • Coming soon - AX in the cloud!
    • In support of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 demos:
      • "Microsoft Go" site for building AX demo environments in Azure
      • Will be able to choose from over 100 distinct demo scenarios
    • For supporting multiple client environments (Dev/Test/Staging)
    • For Client Disaster Recovery
      • Provision all servers, but turn off all but the SQL Server
      • Ability to use SQL Always on to sync AX activity to Azure
      • Activate other servers necessary for full production replacement rapidly in the event of a system failure
    • For client production environments
  • Business Intelligence – Power BI

In AX 2012 R3, the ability to build PowerView sheets and pin them to the home page in AX will be released, this new functionality will require that SharePoint Enterprise be installed.