Oil & Gas Technology Provider Retains Operational Workflows While Migrating to Modern ERP Platform to Enhance Functionality

August 17, 2023 Ryan Pollyniak

If you operate a legacy version of Dynamics that Microsoft is about to sunset for technical support and patch updates, it’s a good time to move your ERP platform to the cloud. That’s where you can leverage modern functions that enable you to run your business more efficiently. At the same time, you probably have many functions in your current ERP solution that are working well—you don’t want to lose them. 

A prime example is a Western Computer customer that has provided technology solutions to the oil and gas industry for more than 40 years. The customer is based in North America and has offices in South America, the Middle East, and Australia. Close to 75% of the drilling rigs in the Western Hemisphere rely on the company’s data management solutions. 

For many years, this customer relied on Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to run daily operations. In 2015, they migrated from Dynamics SL to Dynamics AX. In 2022, as Microsoft planned to end support for the company’s version of Dynamics AX, the CEO saw this as the perfect time to modernize the ERP platform and move financial management and reporting to the cloud.  

AX Workflows Operated the Same in Dynamics 365 

As part of the modernization, the CEO wanted to enhance the company’s report generation capabilities and maintain a strong security posture to protect sensitive data. At the same time, the staff wanted to continue leveraging the custom configurations Western Computer created for Dynamics AX. The ERP processes worked well in enabling the financial and operations teams to function efficiently. 

To solve this challenge, we recommended migrating to Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. The solutions are ideal for companies with an international presence and include workflows for budgeting, project management, financials, and accounting. The supply chain component includes operational capabilities including engineering, manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution. 

In addition to demonstrating how Dynamics 365 has built-in security controls to address the data integrity concern, we enabled the customer to continue benefiting from the custom workflows built into Dynamics AX by bringing over all the AX process configurations to Dynamics 365 and then executing a transaction-delete process.  

SQL and Data Warehousing Technologies Integrated 

This gave the customer the ability to start a new ERP system without the historical transaction data that was potentially corrupt—but with all the customer, vendor, and item information automatically loaded into Dynamics 365 Finance. We also configured the solution to address two key requirements for the customer.  

These included the ability to continue querying the SQL database directly for financial reporting and eliminating the process of the IT team needing to manually move data from the SQL database to spreadsheets to generate reports. By connecting Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management with Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, we enabled access to a data lake that accelerates the time to generate insights by bringing together SQL and data warehousing technologies. 

Real-Time Access to Information 

By leveraging Azure Synapse Analytics, the customer’s database team can tap into the data lake to get all the real-time information they need in minutes rather than the hours the previous system required—which drained compute resources, delaying the running of reports until the end of the day. With Power BI integration added to the solution, the customer has the flexibility to allow the non-technical financial team to generate a wider range of reports directly in the future. 

The migration to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management also reduces the customer’s overall software costs: they no longer need to implement and pay licensing fees for third-party software functions such as the bank interface and financial journal analysis. These capabilities and others are already built into Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management.  

And when necessary, the customer still has the flexibility to integrate with third-party applications. Western Computer configured connections with the customer’s third-party apps so all data flows automatically and securely into Dynamics 365—allowing managers to tap into accurate and comprehensive reports.  

To learn more about how Western Computer enabled this company to operate more efficiently by modernizing its ERP platform, check out the complete project success story. And to find out how we can deliver the same benefits to your company, contact us today

About the Author

Ryan Pollyniak

As Cloud Transformation Executive, Ryan evaluates client needs to strategize approach and demonstrate Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform solutions to meet clients' business goals. Throughout his extensive Sales career, Ryan has worked closely with the executive teams of mid-sized businesses in a variety of industries. His ability to analyze business processes and successfully execute software implementations has helped him to develop numerous positive relationships with his clients.

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