Microsoft announced last year that the popular Dynamics 365 HR module will be merging into Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (F&O), ending the former’s six-year run as a standalone SaaS application.
This means that if you’re using applications from Dynamics 365 HR, you’ll need to prepare for the merge by taking certain steps to ensure that you can continue to use HR functionality from within the F&O environment.
Luckily, it’s a relatively straightforward process. Migration tooling has been made available by Microsoft, and we’re going to explain how you can use it in this article.
Why is the merge happening?
The D365 HR and F&O merge is illustrative of a trend that we’ve been seeing emerge since the pandemic: HR moving closer to business operations. In addition, the emergence of big data has pushed organizations to realize the impact of their people data on performance. Although HR has historically been viewed as something of a back office function, it’s now becoming much more business-centric and thus is creating a need for HR to interact more seamlessly with the business, and vice-versa.
The infrastructure merge will also ensure consistency between the different applications in HR and F&O modules in terms of things like application lifecycle management, geographic ability, extensibility, and more. It will also give customers more control over their product because Dynamics 365 HR will become part of the F&O platform, which is a PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) rather than a SaaS product. On F&O, customers maintain their own server and have more control over the product itself, such as the ability to schedule updates that suit their operations and implement security measures according to their own threat and risk assessments.
When should the merge be complete?
Microsoft released its migration tooling earlier this month. As such, we anticipate a migration deadline to be around this time next year, in December 2023. Customers who are using the standalone 365 HR application will therefore need to move to F&O infrastructure by this date.
Migration vs. merge: what’s the difference?
When we say “migration”, we’re referring to the act of Microsoft taking the standalone Dynamics 365 HR module and moving it to the F&O platform.
For customers, the migration is a simple, mandatory ‘lift & shift’ process through which all data, licenses, and integrations are moved from standalone 365 HR to 365 F&O. All customers must complete this migration as a prerequisite for the merge.
The merge on the other hand is an additional optional step. It’s not mandatory like migration; it’s aimed more at customers that have Finance or Project Operations and other applications that they want to bring with HR into the F&O environment.
Customers can either choose not to merge and instead keep HR and F&O running in separate environments or they can choose to merge HR and F&O in the same environment (i.e., so that both departments work with the same data).
This means that there are two categories of customer and therefore two different merge scenarios
- Those using Dynamics 365 HR only
- Those using both Dynamics 365 HR and F&O
For customers using Dynamics 365 HR only, the ‘lift & shift’ migration described earlier is the only process that needs to be carried out. There’s nothing more to it.
For customers using both Dynamics 365 HR and F&O, they have the additional option of merging their data from both HR and F&O following their migration.
We maintain an extensive FAQ page on the Dynamics 365 HR to F&O merge.
Alternatively, listen to the podcast that we recorded with Tulsi Jhaveri, Product Manager at Microsoft. In this episode, Tulsi gave us an update on the most recent developments of the merge, updates about licensing, timelines & more.
How FourVision can help
We know that the prospect of any major change to critical tooling can induce anxiety for even the hardiest of business leaders.
That’s why we’re here to support you. We know that no single Dynamics deployment is the same, and this means different businesses have different requirements and face different challenges.
If you’re unsure about your merge strategy or have any burning questions about the Dynamics merge, get in touch with one of our experts!