December 20 2016 by Jane Davies

You may have heard about the launch of Dynamics 365 by Microsoft and wondered what this means for you as a Dynamics CRM user or prospective buyer.

If you’re a current CRM user, you will have noticed your CRM icon changed suddenly overnight without warning and became Dynamics 365. Surprise everyone!

So what does this mean?

Dynamics 365 is simply a new family name and a new way of structuring the licencing of the online CRM software into separately accessible applications, as well adding financial and operations applications to the family. Dynamics CRM Online, as we know and love it, is now simply member of the Dynamics 365 family. 

At the same time of the launch of Dynamics 365, the CRM solution got a bit of a facelift and some new features. Upgrades to the new Dynamics 365 version of CRM from CRM Online 2016 will be available for scheduling soon. Look out for emails from Microsoft inviting you to upgrade.

Dynamics CRM is a huge solution, with a plethora of functions - and constantly being added to in a frequent release program. Most small and medium businesses would use a fraction of the functionality now available within the entire CRM solution. 

By creating this Dynamics 365 family of Apps, Microsoft has enabled clients to choose only the applications within the family that they actually need (ie. licence individual modules) or, optionally access the entire family (ie. licence on a Plan).  A Plan is designed to be more cost effective than individual modules if you use functionality of more than one application.

The main, or at least the initial reason, many of our clients purchase CRM, is to support their Sales process, and often this core function is the only application they use. 

So now, this Sales App can be licenced individually from the other Dynamics CRM applications they may not use. For businesses that are looking at CRM for the first time, can simply start with just this App.

But as needs expand into Customer Service, Marketing or Project services, this is where the other applications come into play. That’s when you’re better off, cost-wise, to access the whole Dynamics 365 App family on a Plan even if there are functions you won’t use. 

In our view, calling them Apps is a bit of an understatement. When you think of a mobile phone App, you might think of a cut down version to be made suitable for device usage. But, these are fully fledged cloud business solutions in their own right. 

The beauty of the Dynamics 365 family is how happily the Apps will work together. The Operations App and ‘the Apps previously known as CRM’, share what Microsoft are calling a Common Data Model, which makes integration and the sharing of data between the Apps, much simpler. Not to mention the already seamless integration with all of the commonly used Office 365 suite. This is powerful stuff.

Having said all of this, I guess the elephant in the room is price. Is Dynamics 365 more expensive or cheaper than under the Dynamics CRM Online model?

The real answer is … sometimes and depends. Not really a satisfactory answer, I know, but it’s true.

Licences for users that need only limited access are much cheaper, while full user licences are more expensive.  So your overall pricing outcome will depend on the mix of users you have. 

For small clients, the fact that there is no longer a five licence minimum for the CRM modules which means smaller organisations won’t pay for premium licences that they don’t need.  And at the other end of the scale, there is a scaled pricing for companies with a larger number of users, which makes each licence cheaper, the more you buy.

There is some very keen special pricing for new Sales App clients (for the first 25 users).

If you’re an existing licensee of Dynamics CRM Online, you don’t need to do anything right now. There’s no decisions to make until your renewal date.  At your renewal date, you can access ‘transitional’ pricing Microsoft has in place until December 2019 which will be comparable to your current licence costs. At that point, you will need to look at your mix of licences and determine if the transitional pricing, or new Dynamics 365 licencing is best for you. We can help with that. Just ask.

Our thinking

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May 24 2017 by Jane Davies

Ok, it would be fair to say that as a Microsoft Partner, we’re firmly biased on the side of Dynamics 365. But hear us out. We’re asked this question a lot – why should we go with Dynamics over Salesforce?