Tracey: Good afternoon, everyone. I want to welcome you to our webinar today from Encore Business Solutions. It’s “How to reduce AX cybersecurity risks and upgrade costs.” And joining me today are Mike Lamb and Sam Walters from our Dynamics F&O or Dynamics AX team, and they’re going to be presenting two different programs we have. One is our Encore Cloud Uplift Program and the other one is our D365 F&O Upgrade as a Service. So I’m going to hand it over to them. Welcome, gentlemen.
Mike: Oh, it’s great to be here. This is Mike Lamb, I’m the interim F&O practice lead here at Encore Business Solutions and have been doing AX implementations and upgrades to F&O and in AX for over six-plus years and spent some time as a CIO at a big retail distribution company. And this is a subject that has been near and dear to my heart in previous lives as a CIO when it comes to having equipment in my own data center when I was a CIO and or even a core location as everyone knows it. Security threats are out there and management of this infrastructure is becoming more and more immense and costly as time goes on they cost all these things yourselves. So, Sam, I’ll let you introduce yourself real quick.
Sam: Sure. I’m Sam Walters. I’ve been working with AX and D365 for about 10 years now, and I kind of serve our resident Azure expert.
Mike: Excellent. All right. We’ll go ahead and get started. First of all, I want to say, if you want to go ahead and do the poll question and then we’ll go ahead and get started.
Melissa: Okay. We’ll let that run for a little bit.
Mike: Okay. If everyone wants to do the poll real quick then we’ll go ahead and get started.
Melissa: Okay. Looks like the majority is no at the moment. The answer no.
Mike: Okay, all right. We’ll go ahead and get started here. So we’re gonna go over two of our offerings here at the Encore Cloud Uplift Program and D365 Finance and Operations Upgrade as a Service. So, we’ll go ahead with these two things, so first, we’ll go for the Uplift Program and then the Upgrade as a Service in two separate sections here. First of all, our Uplift Program. Kind of an overview of what is pushing this right now is, you know, Microsoft’s moving to cloud services. The major push for all their platforms, especially the ERP offerings like F&O is everyone is prior aware of, if you’re running 2009, 2012. They’re starting the near end of life with the software themselves, but not only that, the Windows servers and SQL server versions are also starting to get near that end of life. And then, with that, if you have security issues and those types of things are becoming more and more of an issue, if you’re hosting stuff internally with these older server environments. So Microsoft’s trying to get the word out there to get folks to move to Azure going forward to protect these versions from security and support going forward and development issues in the future.
So, what we’ve done here is we’ve come up with a program from Encore that helps mitigate the risks for our customers that are moving right now. If you’re not ready to move, you know, from 2009, AX 2012, that’s a huge investment. We’re working with Microsoft and can move you guys, the server environments from your data center or your own on-premise into the Azure platform. So, we’ll go ahead and go through kind of what that looks like here with the challenges. Our mainstream support sending is, most folks are probably aware of, SQL Server 2008 July 9th, 2019. Support for Windows servers 2008 is January 14th, 2020. Currently, they are being dropped by unsupported critical business software, you know, at that point. Sometimes there’s not a real good easy transition, expensive to move to F&O, so Microsoft’s kind of made it a little bit appetizing here is now they’re offering, if you go ahead and move your older environments, 2009, 2012, those older Windows Server and SQL Server versions, they are offering three years extended support. So, that’ll really cover any additional security risks that come out, issues, things like that, they’ll be patching those and you’ll be supported on the Azure platform.
With the Azure platform, you get the full monitoring, all the alerts and everything. So, as I mentioned before, you’ll have obviously a secure solution for hosting your legacy business software. So, going forward, you’ll reap the benefits of being on the Microsoft Azure platform from a security and redundancy backup disaster recovery, you can take advantage of all that offering right there on the Azure platform. The other nice thing is, if you’re a CIO or CFO, you can control your costs going forward on, you know, a flat monthly fee with this going forward. So, even if you’re hosting, you know, on-premise, even data centers and things like that, you might, depending if you own those servers or not, you might have more infrastructure cost on replacing aging hardware, firewalls, infrastructure, network gear, all that stuff, that you have hidden costs to support the environment. So, and the other thing is also IT departments, they are more and more constrained with resources and allows them to focus on business core activities of supporting their business and get some hands-off on all the day to day little management of these environments going forward.
So, kind of our Cloud Uplift Program we’ve come up with is, what we’ll do is we’ll migrate customers or Legacy business software to Azure. So, you know, if you’re on 2009 right now, 2012, we would move that up into the Azure. We’re familiar with doing full VM migrations or do full rebuilds up there. The environments are fully managed by us, and updates alerting and all that stuff. We offer the fixed monthly cost going forward for that, so you don’t have surprises, everybody knows what the monthly fee is. And then provides a transition path if you’re getting ready to go to 365 F&O, you’re kind of already familiar with the Azure platform as a whole, and it gives you a little bit better pathway going forward to F&O. And then you get the three years extended support most importantly for the Windows Server and SQL Servers and underneath there going forward, so you’re covered with hotfixes and security patches and those things on the Azure platform.
Mike: All right. So, Tracey, I’ll turn it back over to you here and I open the floor if there’s any questions.
Melissa: Did we lose Tracey?
Melissa: Melissa here, I’ll just take a look at the question pane, and, anyone, feel free to put some questions in there if you have any. Not seeing anything coming in for now. Did you want to close it off then, Mike?
Mike: Yes, yeah. Yeah, so, I want to thank everybody for attending today on this webinar here and going through the F&O as an upgrade as a service and the Cloud Uplift Service offerings here. Hope you gained some benefit, knowledge of something along the way on the migration to Azure from your existing environments or from AX 2012 end of life, especially around security risks and that type of stuff, and go into F&O, the transition, going forward. Definitely reach out to us if you have any questions after this and we’d be happy to do a follow up with you. We really appreciate everyone’s time. Thank you.
Melissa: Thanks, everyone.
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