Dynamics 365 licensing has been our hot topic this past month.
We had so many questions about it that we prepared a webinar and a guide that would help businesses get their heads around it.
The first impression was that it was going to be a real change for the businesses already using Dynamics CRM Online. Increasing the scope of the platform and the way that access is granted was always going to be something for existing customers to get their heads around but it’s been quite straightforward.
So we said goodbye to basic and professional (except for customers who had to wait for their renewal dates) and we welcomed Team Member Licensing, Application based licensing and Plans.
The changes have essentially made enterprise grade technology available to SMBs who previously relied on off –the-shelf CRM or ERP systems. The joined up approach we are now seeing from Dynamics 365 is reducing the need for expensive customisations that only Enterprise firms could meet the costs of in the past.
Now that Dynamics 365 is within reach of every size of business, businesses that were previously getting by with CRM and accounting software can look at the tech the big boys are playing with. The new features such as advanced analytics, the use of AI for customer insights and the integrations of the sales and financial components means that improvements are visible from day one.
It’s seriously tempting to rush out and get Dynamics 365 and get it going right away and no Microsoft Partner is going to turn you away. However, two notes of caution. Firstly, no platform in the world is going to give you what you need if you haven’t decided what those needs are in the first place. A good Microsoft Partner will work with you to establish corporate objectives, to understand your current processes and see how best to implement Dynamics 365 to meet those goals. It can be a detailed process but it doesn’t have to be long winded. Don’t let any previous experience of Off-the-Shelf be your guide. Trust your partner.
Secondly, remember your people. End users need to adapt to new processes and standards. Dynamics 365 will undoubtedly make your business more efficient and productive but your employees are human so it’s essential that you consult with them.
A quick recap of the license types and prices as of Jan 2017:
- Team Member – aka light users. These are for the employees that don’t need access beyond visibility and minor edits.
- Apps – role based licenses. So, a sales employee may need the sales app, a customer service employee; the customer service app, a project manager; the project app. You get the drift. All of the apps have their own fixed price and that doesn’t change based on volume.
The big gain so far is that you’re only paying for the access and individual needs rather than access to the whole system when they will only interact with a few screens.
Simple so far.
Interestingly, when you get to one employee needing more than one app, it’s cheaper to move to a plan – a sign of Microsoft’s intention for volume.
So, e.g. a Client Services Director who needs access to the Customer Service App and the Field Service App should be on Plan 1. He may still want to have visibility of the Sales app to see what is coming in but he could have team member licensing on that.
Plan 2 brings in what were the ERP features in the old Dynamics language so that would have been the AX for Operations and Financials.
SO, where does that leave you? We’re always happy to talk you through your options over the phone or email. Just get in touch.