Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Services [AX 2012]
Updated: March 18, 2013
Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Services lets partners and customers configure an installation of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 by using a cloud-based, interview-style questionnaire. The questionnaire uses general terminology about business processes instead of terms that are specific to Microsoft Dynamics AX. Partners, independent software vendors (ISVs), and customers can create, maintain, and reuse configurations that reflect their custom solutions. Partners can also create additional groups of questions to enlarge the scope of a configuration. The sections in this topic provide information about RapidStart Services: what it is, how it works, how it can help your organization, and how you can start using it.
In this topic
RapidStart Services is a workflow that lets partners, customers, and business experts tailor the configuration and deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 to the customer’s organization. The following diagram outlines the process that partners and customers follow in RapidStart Services to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX.
This process can be broken down into a task-based explanation of the RapidStart Services workflow as you move through each major stage of the workflow.
RapidStart Services roles
Each phase in the preceding diagram is aligned with one of the following key RapidStart Services roles. These roles are assigned in User management in online services for Microsoft Dynamics ERP. In the following list, the roles are described as they are typically assigned. However, you can assign any of these roles to a partner, customer or consultant. For example, in your organization, it might be more appropriate to assign an ISV to the Customer administrator role or a customer to the Designer role.
Partner implementation expert – The Partner implementation expert coordinates the configuration of RapidStart Services by answering basic questions to specify the version of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, the scope of the implementation, and the appropriate geographic location and industry.
Designer – The Designer reviews templates, functional areas, and questions. The Designer also modifies or adds new capabilities based on a partner’s or customer’s extensions, and then adds the capabilities to the tool as additional templates. The Designer has complete access to the design and configuration experience.
Customer administrator – The Customer administrator works as the project manager for a configuration and deployment. By adding users to the tool and assigning roles, the Customer administrator determines who answers questions for each area. The Customer administrator also monitors the progress of these users and manages the connections for the Microsoft Dynamics AX endpoints.
An additional role, called View, does not fall into the RapidStart Services phases. A user who is assigned to the View role can review and copy functional areas and templates from another organization. Before a customer can copy a functional area from a partner, that customer must be set up as a user in your organization and must be assigned to the View role.
RapidStart Services is scalable and easy to customize to suit the business processes that your organization needs to configure for your implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX. By using RapidStart Services, you can reduce the time and cost of your implementation and include custom extensions in your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 setup. Additionally, you can give your organization’s business experts control over the design of the setup and improve the overall quality of your implementation.
Reduce implementation time and cost
RapidStart Services can help you reduce the time that it takes to implement and deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX, and also reduce the implementation costs of Microsoft Dynamics AX. By using RapidStart Services to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX, the configuration portion of your implementation can be reduced by up to 50%.
The following features contribute to the reduction in time and cost:
Preconfigured templates include default settings for many options in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 based on the most common values for your industry. You can also make choices about the settings that are unique to every organization.
Configurations for business process and modules can be created and saved to serve as a basis for additional implementations of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
Targeted questionnaires allow users who are familiar with the customer’s business processes configure the application by entering information based on general terminology for a business process. These users don’t need to understand the intricacies of the application.
A guided sequence of steps for configuring business processes provides progress indicators throughout the configuration.
Include custom extensions in the original ERP setup
Through the Extensibility Framework, RapidStart Services supports the solutions that partners develop to be reused in multiple implementations of Microsoft Dynamics AX. Because of this support, partners and ISVs can create appropriate questionnaires to cover the intellectual property (IP) that are specific to their industry. Partners and ISVs can also create templates that capture best practices, and can then reuse these templates while allowing for differences between customers.
Empower your organization’s business experts to design the original setup
Because RapidStart Services provides an intelligent questionnaire-based framework that can be modified, business experts in an organization are empowered to contribute their insights to the original setup and deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in their organization. These business experts can also help tailor questions to the organization.
Improve the quality of your implementation
The following features of RapidStart Services help improve the quality of your implementation:
A structured implementation process
Integrated workflow and reporting
Strong collaboration between partners and customers
Simplified migration of master data
A transparent setup process
Sign up for online services for Microsoft Dynamics ERP. Partner Portal is available to Microsoft channel partners who have signed the Online Services Addendum (Schedule C) to the Solution Provider Agreement (SPA). Partner Portal lets channel partners set up and manage online services for their customers. By using online services, partners can create, maintain, and reuse configurations that reflect their custom solutions, and can also create additional question groups and questions to enlarge the scope of a configuration. These configurations can then be uploaded to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 during the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX for a customer. For information about how to activate your Partner Portal account, see Activate your Partner Portal account.
After you have activated your partner account, the RapidStart Services administrator for your customer can complete the activation, access Customer Portal, and start to use RapidStart Services. For more information, see Add a Customer administrator to a RapidStart Services service.
After your access to RapidStart Services has been enabled, you can use Customer Portal to add users in your organization to your implementation and assign user roles. Customer Portal is a password-protected site for users of online services and is included as a benefit of a Microsoft Dynamics ERP service plan. Customer Portal lets customers manage online services, online users, and online user roles, and set user and organizational preferences. For more information about how to add users and assign user roles, see Add organization users and assign roles in RapidStart Services.