On October 11 of this year, Microsoft overturned the apple cart by introducing Dynamics 365. If you haven’t heard the news, hold on tight, because the introduction of Dynamics 365 means there are significant changes ahead for Dynamics customers.
What Is Dynamics 365?
Microsoft’s description of Dynamics 365 is that it will unify traditional customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities into “new purpose-built business applications.” It is essentially the next generation of intelligent business applications that will enable organizations to grow, evolve and transform—or, you can think of it as getting your business applications in pieces, each with a specific business function like sales, customer service, operations, financials, field service, project service automation, marketing, and/or customer insights, as is seen in the image below:
Customers can start small with only Sales, for instance, and add Marketing or Customer Service later. Each “piece” has its own cost, which is a big change—today, you’re buying all of Dynamics CRM, for example. With Dynamics 365, you would only be buying pieces of Dynamics CRM.
With a general availability date of November 1st, Dynamics 365 will incorporate a number of other “modern” features, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, Internet of Things plug ins and mobile-friendly use.
The idea is that cloud has at last reached a tipping point, which Microsoft sees as a point of no return. In short, so many businesses are moving to cloud-based applications that it makes more sense to go all in on cloud applications that connect rather than to stay the current course.
It’s something that many speculate is a part of a broader vision to keep with up Salesforce. This is particularly telling with the introduction of Microsoft’s online marketplace, called Appsource. Appsource will allow for Dynamics 365 users to buy add-ons directly from the platform and incorporate them easily into the pieces they are using from Dynamics 365.
Can I Still Buy CRM or AX, etc.?
The answer to this question is yes…and no. Dynamics 365 is doing away with the names we are familiar with. Thus, no more “Dynamics CRM” or “Dynamics AX.” Rather than sticking with those software product names, you’re now buying a piece of that name—like “Marketing” (from Dynamics CRM) or “Operations.”
This will undoubtedly cause some confusion—rather than running a web search for “Dynamics CRM” technical questions, you’ll have to run a search for a more specific function, like “Dynamics 365 Sales” how-to’s.
On the financials side, Microsoft has been pretty clear that the new Dynamics 365 Business Financials package was not created to excite and entice existing Dynamics GP, NAV or SL users. Rather, it’s designed to bring in new customers who are currently using other financial products that are not affiliated to Microsoft.
What About Pricing?
For starters, on November 1st, customers who are new to Dynamics Online (CRM and ERP) will only be able to purchase Dynamics 365. Existing customers (who might be using Dynamics CRM Online, for example) can use that offering until their renewal, at which point they would also have to transition to Dynamics 365.
The good news is that our Dynamics CRM customers will not have to make a change for the next two years. That means if you’re using Dynamic CRM or Dynamics GP in our cloud, you will not need to worry about the impact of Dynamics 365 for the foreseeable future.
According to ZDNet, “Microsoft’s pricing and licensing scheme for Dynamics 365 is not simple. There are two editions (Business and Enterprise), two user subscription options (by user and application) two subscription types (full and light); and two Plans for Enterprise (P1 and P2).”
If you’re like us, visuals help. Take a look at the charts:
What Does This Mean for Existing Customers?
According to Microsoft, all existing CRM Online customers in Direct and CSP will be allowed to auto-renew in to their existing CRM Online subscriptions until February 1, 2017. Current Dynamics CRM customers can continue their subscriptions or change to the Dynamics 365 apps and bundles.
If you’re currently using our cloud, fret not: Dynamics 365 isn’t changing what we’re offering to you. If you’re not currently using our cloud, note that our prices will still reflect the ENTIRE tool—meaning you’ll get all that Dynamics CRM and ERP have to offer at the same price.
Want to learn more about Dynamics 365 or get started with hosting in our cloud? Contact us today!