ERP Evergreen becomes reality for Maersk Container Industry

On Monday 10 June 2019 Maersk Container Industry (MCI) went live on Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) v10. This comes almost two years after implementing test automation, one of the fundamentals of ERP Evergreen. For MCI it means this ERP implementation was their last and they are ready to harvest the long-term benefits of an always-updated business system.

MCI began the D365FO journey late 2015 as a Microsoft TAP Project. While spring and summer 2016 presented many challenges and first site go-live admittedly wasn’t as easy as hoped for, MCI never took their eyes off the value proposition of achieving ERP Evergreen.

ERP Evergreen, or continuous upgradability, is a complex thing. It not only requires the actual ERP application code to be upgradeable but also that the organization is prepared for and has the capabilities to conduct thorough and accurate pre-upgrade testing. Inadequate testing can result in incompatibilities between the new version and existing customisations and ISVs solutions and subsequent serious business disruptions.

Unfortunately, testing and upgrading has in the past been resource-heavy tasks which have been down-prioritised. For this reason, we have seen that new ERP implementations usually come in big bang projects every 8-10 years, leaving the entire organization exhausted and costing a fortune.

But those days are over if you, like MCI, give yourself the best conditions and:

  • Think carefully about current and future possible business scenarios to avoid building and implementing something that does not allow future business process flexibility
  • Implement automated application testing to make sure that for every deployment all code and process consistency can be tested automatically
  • Team up with a competent and long-term partner, who runs your applications as their own

When MCI went live on D365FO v10 on Monday 10 June, more than 60 test cycles had been executed and all application code had been lifted from overlayering to extensions. This has involved the lifting of 1200 objects of which 100 objects have required functionality modifications in order to be upgraded, as well as the lifting of eight different ISV solutions – a massive undertaking done by operations and support partner, Sonata Software.

I would like to congratulate MCI and Sonata for working hard and focused on turning the ERP Evergreen dream into reality.

In doubt about cloud-based D365 and the value of continuous upgrade? My best advice is this: Stop worrying, plan for the future, pick your implementation partner carefully and start your journey towards your last ERP implementation today.

Jakob Ingemann
Business Advisor, CEO & Partner