Simplicity: Powerful New Administrator Tools in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

By now, you’ve certainly heard the phrase “Powerfully Simple” used to describe Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Well, it’s not just a tag line. We’ve worked very hard to simplify Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for all of the people who interact with the system: developers, implementation partners, systems administrators, and end users. We address the topics on the Inside Dynamics AX blog series on this blog and talk about usability in another post, so in this post, we want to share some of the ways we’ve made Microsoft Dynamics AX simpler to manage and maintain, and discuss how that can help your business.

Administrative Simplicity

System administrators—the people who keep the systems up and running and ensure that the business processes are mapped correctly—play a key role in any enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation. As we look at the administrator persona, we typically split that role into two areas of responsibility. First, the admin is typically responsible for configuring the systems, whether it’s the initial one-time configuration or ongoing configuration tasks, such as adding new users. Second, many admins also have operational responsibilities, such as making sure that the system is running 24/7, responding to errors or issues, and generally maintaining the application.

  • Security Administration. One area that touches both sides of that coin—configuration and operational—is security. Our research with customers and focus groups revealed that configuring and managing security settings can be a major pain point for ERP admins. So, we’ve made tremendous improvements in how organizations configure and manage security. By introducing a role-based security paradigm, which is much more intuitive and aligned with the way businesses are structured, and shipping a number of preconfigured “role templates,” we’ve dramatically sped up the initial configuration. By starting with these templates and customizing them to your needs, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes to hours, depending on the complexity of your customization.
  • Monitoring and Health Management. Another area where we’ve made some investments that will make the admin’s life much simpler is in the monitoring and health management of the system. Our new operations management tools for Microsoft Dynamics AX integrate with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, so systems admins can check the state, health, and performance information of the ERP system from a single interface, alongside other enterprise servers and applications. System Center Operations Manager also provides alerts for availability, performance, configuration, or security issues and lets the admin take corrective action.

These are just a couple of the areas where we’ve made some great improvements based on input from our customer and partner channel and our collaboration with customers in our Technology Adoption Program (TAP). We’ve received feedback from our customers at every stage of the development process and addressed that feedback at each milestone. The response has been uniformly positive, so we’re excited to roll out these new features with the next release.

 In the interview Rasejh Dadhia, Prinicple Group Program manager, provides a clear articulation on some of the advances made in this area of our simplicity focus


Share Your Thoughts

What other routine tasks would you like to see simplified? What would make your job easier?