Lifecycle Services (LCS) delivers the right information, at the right time, to the right people. We all like the way that sounds – who wouldn’t want the right information at the exact time that they need it? So the question remains; why aren’t more people using LCS?
Let’s take a look at what LCS offers. According to Microsoft, LCS is a Microsoft Azure-based collaboration portal that provides a unifying, collaborative environment along with a set of regularly updated services that help you manage the application lifecycle of your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 implementations.
Microsoft’s definition sounds a bit complex, but the true story behind LCS is that it brings together all the important details we need for implementing and managing Microsoft Dynamics AX environments. This comprehensive tool puts everything in one place to help enable predictable, repeatable, high quality implementations. And, there are tools for everyone – Project Managers, Business Analysts, Developers, and IT Administrators can all take advantage of LCS tools.
There are so many benefits in using LCS that choosing just a few was difficult. Here are my top 10 benefits for using LCS for your Microsoft Dynamics AX projects:
Benefit #1: LCS improves monthly!
That’s right – monthly! LCS is currently being reviewed for improvements and additions as a regular monthly release. Even better, since LCS is an online web tool, there are no upgrades to install, just log in and enjoy the new features and content.
Benefit #2: Business Process Modeler
The Business Process Modeler allows you to create, view, and modify proposed Microsoft Dynamics AX business processes to suit real-life business requirements. The big advantage: it tracks the identified gaps between your business processes and those built into Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Benefit #3: Issue Search and Management
LCS houses a list of all open and resolved issues that have been reported to Microsoft regarding Microsoft Dynamics AX. The list can be sorted by product version and also includes workarounds and items that will not be fixed but have been reported. In addition, you can check the status of your own reported incidents.
Benefit #4: Collaboration
Being Cloud-based allows for easy sharing and collaboration on projects. Projects can be shared across your organization and with those outside your organization helping to build your Microsoft Dynamics AX solution.
Benefit #5: Built-in Project Management Methodology
Many of us are already familiar with Microsoft Sure Step Project Management Methodology. Now you can access it directly from your LCS project. As you move through project phases, tasks and document templates are recommended, and of course, you can upload your related project documents, timelines and supporting files.
Benefit #6: System Diagnostic
For the techie in all of us, you can upload key Microsoft Dynamics AX system information to get indicators and messages about your systems’ health. Manage multiple environments at the same time, and review results through graphically illustrated reports.
Benefit #7: Upgrade Analysis
LCS’ Upgrade Analysis tool collects and analyzes your existing code artifacts, such as AOD and model store files to help plan your Microsoft Dynamics AX upgrade. Analysis can be completed for systems as far back as AX 4.0.
Benefit #8: Downloadable Tools
Microsoft Dynamics AX tools can be downloaded from the LCS portal. This includes some great apps like the Security Development Tool.
Benefit #9: Regulatory Alert Submission
Very new to LCS (beta) is an alert submission that allows you to submit changes in country legislation that may impact Microsoft supported localized country solutions. Upcoming regulatory changes can be flagged and reported to Microsoft to trigger changes in Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Benefit #10 – well, sort of: More tools already inside, more tools on the way
A bit of a repeat from Benefit #1, but so important I had to say it twice. I was introduced to LCS about 8 months ago and in that time I have seen tremendous growth in the toolset offered. With so many more benefits beyond those I have listed, and with so much development being carried out monthly, this tool will become a must-have for all Microsoft Dynamics AX projects.
So now that you are convinced, how do you get started using LCS? Just visit the Lifecycle Services site. If you currently have a Microsoft Dynamics AX licensed application, you can gain access to LCS – just talk to your System Administrator. Once logged in, you can begin enjoying Microsoft Dynamics AX to its fullest potential and share this knowledge with others in your organization.
Manager, BDO Solutions
Ann has been providing ERP software insight to manufacturing and mining communities for over nine years.