Microsoft Dynamics for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions, an initial comparison. Microsoft has released their Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing module, this article is an initial review of the module and high-level comparison to ClickDimensions (the other mainstream marketing automation option for Dynamics 365).

Availability – There are a few different subscription options for the Marketing module. Let’s first compare the pricing models between Dynamics Marketing and ClickDimensions.

Dynamics Marketing is priced based on the number of contacts. There has been a lot of um let’s say feedback on this model. As a partner we work with many Dynamics 365 clients, we see even small businesses that have lots of leads/contacts in their Dynamics database. Often times there is a large number of leads/contacts that will never be marketed to, under Microsoft’s pricing model you are paying for these leads/contacts even if you don’t market to them. The upside to Microsoft’s pricing is that there are no upcharges for functionality, you get all the goodies with any subscription level.

ClickDimensions has two pricing/subscription levels, Basic and Advanced/Business, different levels of functionality. Also, the levels include certain numbers of email sends, Basic includes 50,000/year and 200,000 with Advanced/Business. An email send is each copy of an email you send, for example, if you have the contact Bob Smith in your database and you send 4 different email campaigns that include Bob that is 4 email sends. Basic is priced at $499/month, Advanced/Business is $699 per month. You can purchase additional email sends ($100 for 100,000, $200 for 200,000 etc.)

The Advanced/Business subscription level adds functionality – Automation, Landing Pages, Lead/Contact Scoring, Event Management, Surveys and Subscription Management. For a fair comparison with Dynamics Marketing you should use the ClickDimensions Advanced/Business subscription level.

ClickDimensions also offers Social Engagement that is an add-on, $250/month for Basic and $600/month for Business. Microsoft includes their Social Engagement tool in the base price of Dynamics Marketing. The Social components of each solution are different so look at each closely to determine which solution meets your Social needs.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Pricing/Packaging

Standalone – The Marketing module is offered as a standalone option. This is a differentiator, ClickDimensions is only available as an add-on to Dynamics 365. The standalone marketing module also includes Microsoft Social Engagement, Voice of the Customer for Microsoft Dynamics 365, 1 Portal, Non-Production/Production Instance, and Storage. Pricing is $1500 for the base package with 10,000 contacts. You can add more contacts for $250/month for 5000 contacts.

“Attach” Plan – If you already have Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement plan licenses you can attach Dynamics Marketing to your subscription for $750/month, 2000 contacts included. Additional contacts cost $600 for 1st 8000, then $250 for each additional 5000. If you already have Dynamics 365 application licenses (like Sales Enterprise vs the full Customer Engagement Plan licensing) you can attach Marketing for $750/month, includes 10,000 contacts and $250/month for each additional 5000 contacts.

If you license the Marketing module standalone you get Microsoft Social Engagement, Voice of the Customer for Microsoft Dynamics 365, 1 Portal, Non-Production/Production Instance, and Storage. If you are a Customer Engagement Plan customer you get portals, Social Engagement with your Customer Engagement subscription. If you have the Sales app. licenses you don’t get Social or Voice of the Customer, they can be added on to your subscription.

Dynamics Marketing limits the number of emails you can send monthly, 10 times the number of contacts in your database each month. You can also have up to 100 active customer journeys.

To truly compare pricing you will need to know the number of leads/contacts in your database and the number of emails you plan to send annually.

Confused? We can help you determine the proper solution and subscription level.

Functional Differences

ClickDimensions leverages standard Dynamics 365 functionality (Marketing Lists for example). ClickDimensions looks and feels like any other area of Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 Marketing is deployed in the new Unified Client (if you try to access the functionality via the standard browser interface you will be confused as all the functionality is not there(at least not that we could see). There is no clear instruction on this, to access the Marketing functionality log into your portal – login.microsoftonline.com, click on Dynamics 365, then find the tile for Marketing, this will get you to the unified client.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Capabilities

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Capabilities

ClickDimensions Capabilities

ClickDimensions Capabilities

I have used Microsoft CRM/Dynamics 365 for over 14 years, the Marketing module is different. Yes, it looks very new and fresh but that comes with a learning curve. When I first logged into the Marketing tool I could not easily perform simple tasks (like building a segment, more on that later). I had to revert to the documentation.

Things are different and the standard Dynamics 365 entities are not used in some areas. For example, Marketing Lists. If you have put a lot of time and effort into building Marketing Lists and try to use them in Dynamics Marketing you will likely be upset as you cannot use them unless they are set as a “subscription list” (not that we could see anyway). Here comes the new “fresh” functionality… lists in Dynamics Marketing are called Segments. Ok, no problem I go over to the Segments. You would think that Segments are built using Advanced Find right? Nope… whole new system for querying and adding Leads/Contacts to a segment. Again if you spent a lot of time and effort building Advanced Find queries you cannot use them (again not that we could find). Going to a Segment and then clicking on Definition will let you build a segment:

Dynamics Marketing Segment

Dynamics Marketing Segment

You can build your query one of 3 ways, Designer (point and click), Flow or Query. I cannot understand why the standard entities like Marketing Lists and Advanced finds are not used. Now users need to learn multiple ways of querying.

ALSO – I found the Marketing module not to work with Microsoft Edge…. I had to open it in Google Chrome.

You cannot just pull together a list and send an email, you must build a Journey even for one-off emails. The Journey functionality is nice and I think will ultimately prove to be a good tool. ClickDimensions has very similar functionality in their campaign automation (very similar UI for building Journeys/campaign automation).

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing Journey

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing Journey

Pages, Forms and Websites are pretty nice in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Very visual and drag/drop based editing. LinkedIn lead generation is also built-in allowing you to create forms on LinkedIn to collect leads. There are some advantages in these areas over ClickDimensions in our opinion.

Reporting in Dynamics Marketing is good with some builtin dashboards. There is a PowerBI content pack also available however we could not get it to connect to our Dynamics Marketing instance. ClickDimensions also has builtin dashboards available as well as a PowerBI content pack, builtin views.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Dashboard

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Dashboard

All-in-all we are impressed with the Microsoft Marketing offering, especially for a V1 release. I like that it is available as a standalone application for businesses that are not ready for full CRM or just need a marketing application. I am not thrilled about the pricing model (based on leads/contacts), that will limit sales in a lot of accounts who are smaller but with large databases.

I admit I am biased having used ClickDimensions for a lot of years. I try not to let that sway my opinions. I am a Microsoft and Dynamics 365 evangelist, I love what Microsoft is doing with the Dynamics 365 platform but our job and first loyalty is to our clients and to help guide them to the best solution for their needs/requirements. From where I sit today we will need to spend more time with the new Marketing module and will be writing additional reviews on the solution.

If you would like guidance on selecting the best marketing automation platform for your business, a demo of Dynamics Marketing or ClickDimensions please reach out to us – 844.8.STRAVA (844.8.7282) or email me at [email protected]

About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. In 2017 he founded Strava Technology Group, a firm that is focused on helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM and Dynamics 365. To reach David connect with him on LinkedIn. To learn more about Strava Technology Group visit www.stravatechgroup.com

By | 2018-04-20T16:15:05+00:00 April 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Why Microsoft Dynamics CRM/365 Projects Fail, a Microsoft Partners Perspective

CRM implementation projects are complex and riddled with landmines that can cause significant issues or even failure. In 2001 Gartner published one of the first studies examining failure rates of CRM initiatives, they found that 47% of projects failed or failed to meet expectations.

Over the last decade and a half failure rates have not decreased substantially. We have discovered, and most industry analysts agree, that there are a limited number of core reasons for CRM project failure. The reasons change a bit from enterprise to SMB and slightly by industry but all stem from the same high-level reasons. In a lot of cases, the failure can be attributed to the typical CRM project lifecycle.

Typical lifecycle of a CRM project

Many businesses retain a Microsoft partner or consultant to help with the implementation. A budget is set for the project but often it does not reflect the true effort needed to successfully implement a complex solution like CRM. It is also common that the Microsoft partner/consultant basis their estimate on a time & materials basis, this creates a significant risk to the company as it bears the cost for any inaccurate estimates or “scope creep”.

Implementation begins and often times, very quickly, necessary items are discovered that are not accounted for in the estimate. The choices are to increase the budget to cover the additional necessary items or to forego these items (and the associated value).

At the end of the implementation, the Microsoft partner/consultants role is typically scaled back to a reactive support role. The most common support models offered by partners/consultants are hourly time & materials based support or a fixed-cost support agreement for “break/fix” support. Many businesses that implement a CRM solution do not have the internal resources or bandwidth to adequately support & maintain the solution. The business may not at this point be realizing the expected value of the solution (in some cases because those additional items discussed above were left out) and will not provide additional funding to enhance the solution.

Unless you have a dedicated CRM administrator and champion on staff, a “break/fix” type support contract will not provide the necessary level of service to maintain the solution. During design/planning for the implementation, it is impossible to capture all the necessary configuration/customizations that will be necessary to achieve success. Most often these items are discovered after testing and/or go-live. The problem is at this point there is no budget to further enhance the solution.

Even if the company does have a dedicated CRM administrator and champion on staff they most often cannot cover the entire solution. There are many layers of technology to a CRM solution, it is virtually impossible for a single resource to possess all the necessary skill sets to support the entire solution.

This is a “rock and hard-place” situation. The company will not provide any more funding for the CRM project as they are not realizing the expected value. The CRM solution will become static and not be enhanced thus the expected value may never be achieved.

Finally, critical items needed for success never make the radar. These items include ongoing user adoption monitoring/management, ongoing solution road mapping, management & executive engagement etc.

With collectively over 60 years of experience helping businesses achieve success, we wanted to develop a service that reduces risk, mitigates the failure points and helps assure success with Microsoft Dynamics CRM/365. Total Solution Management is a managed service specifically for Dynamics CRM/365. It is designed to solve the typical challenges that lead to failure in CRM projects. Our service is fixed cost providing a predictable budgeted expense, includes unlimited “break/fix” support, provides ongoing enhancement services, user adoption monitoring & management, training, ongoing road mapping and more. With Total Solution Management, you are gaining an entire team of highly experienced professionals in all areas of Dynamics CRM/365 to support and maintain your solution. No on-staff CRM resources are required however if you do have a CRM administrator/champion on staff we work closely with them and become their team.

NO COST REVIEW OF YOUR SYSTEM

We offer a no-cost review of your CRM implementation. During this collaborative session, we revisit the goals and objectives of the project, determine what’s working and not, do a technical level review of your Microsoft CRM/365 system and educate your team on how to get more out of your investment.

The outcome of this session is a written report summarizing the current state of the system, desired future state, a road-map on how to achieve future state and any technical level issues we identify.

We are so confident that our Total Solution Management service will provide great value to your organization that we require NO upfront term commitment. We welcome the opportunity to discuss our service with you.

Contact Us for more information or to schedule your no-cost system review.

By | 2018-04-15T01:37:24+00:00 April 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pricing Updates

Microsoft Dynamics 365 pricing has been updated as of April 2. There are a number of important changes to the pricing model and some new additions as well. The video below provides in-depth information on the new pricing and licensing info.

For more information visit our Dynamics 365 pricing & licensing page or feel free to give us a call – 844.878.7282.

By | 2018-04-15T01:37:24+00:00 April 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Microsoft Releases Marketing Module for Dynamics 365

We have been hearing about this for quite a while, it is finally launched – the new Marketing module for Dynamics 365. This has been released to public preview meaning you can access this and start using it today.

To enable this public preview feature go to https://trials.dynamics.com/Dynamics365/Preview/Marketing Specify your email address (that is used to login to Dynamics 365 as an admin) and your phone number. It will walk you through a brief setup process and enable the preview. Note: It takes a while to provision this module (up to an hour). Also, we recommend enabling this in your sandbox or other non-production system to test before deploying to production. Let us know if you would like assistance getting the marketing preview setup in your Dynamics 365 system.

For other previews:

  1. Go to Settings > Administration.

  2. Choose System Settings, and then click the Previews tab.
  3. Read the license terms, and if you agree, select the I’ve read and agree to the license terms check box.
  4. For each preview feature you want to enable, click Yes.

Pricing – I spoke to Microsoft, no pricing is available yet… stay tuned.

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing, marketers can seamlessly:

  • Generate more leads from multi-channel campaigns across email, landing pages, webinars, phone calls, in-person events, LinkedIn and more. New customizable templates for emails and landing pages help you create campaign content quickly. And with a dedicated email marketing service, you can get the word out reliably.
  • Nurture more sales-ready leads by personalizing the buyer’s journey that guides your leads to next best experience based on their engagement.
  • Target the right audience using embedded intelligence capabilities like dynamic segmentation. With multiple lead scoring models, you can prioritize the leads that are ready to buy. Automated insights can help you track how your leads are engaging during your campaigns.
  • Organize events with ease using the event portal to manage in-person events and integration with webinar providers.
  • Track and improve marketing performance using built-in dashboards. Run surveys from the application that help you better understand your customers.

We are excited about this launch and will be analyzing the new functionality and sharing what we find. Look for a comparison with ClickDimensions and a webinar to showcase the new marketing module, both coming soon.

Microsoft Announces Continued Support for Outlook Add-In

In June 2017 Microsoft announced that the Outlook add-in for Dynamics 365 would be deprecated and would be replaced by the Dynamics 365 app for Outlook. This meant that the Outlook add-in would be supported in its current state but also would be removed from Dynamics 365 version 10 (next major release).

Recently Microsoft announced that because of overwhelming feedback from customers and partners the Outlook add-in deprecation would be reversed. Largely this was due to functionality gaps in the new Outlook app. Microsoft will continue to release the Outlook add-in and customers upgrading to newer versions of Dynamics 365 will have the same Outlook integration experience they are used to with the add-in. The add-in will continue to be fully supported in future versions of Dynamics 365 and bugs will be fixed. Additionally, Microsoft said they would be making much-needed improvements to the performance and reliability of the add-in.

The Outlook add-in was in our opinion one of the most problematic areas of the Dynamics CRM solution. It would randomly stop working, need un-installed/re-installed, and was generally unstable. It also upon installing degraded the performance of the users PC, sometimes to the point that it had to be uninstalled. Microsoft developed the new Outlook app that uses more current design and places no code on the user’s device, however, there were a number of key pieces of functionality left out of the new app. See below for a few key gaps between the two solutions:

The newer Outlook app does not offer:

  • Track and Set Regarding for Tasks
  • Work Offline
  • Sort, Filter, Format and Group Views
  • Control Field Level Sync.

This is however balanced with the enhanced functionality of the Outlook App:

  • Ease of installation (pushed from Office 365 admin)
  • One-click Set Regarding
  • Shows D365 summary alongside the email
  • Works with Outlook Web
  • Works on mobile devices

If Microsoft simply creates parity on the above Outlook app functionality gaps the add-in can be deprecated. I personally switched to the Outlook app when it was released and never looked back, however, this is much more difficult if users rely on the functionality only offered in the add-in.

I commend Microsoft for listening to customers and partners! Until performance and stability enhancements are made I recommend deploying the Outlook app as those that use the add-in will tell you it is one of the largest sources of problems and user complaints.

Stay tuned, we will be watching this topic and posting info as it becomes available. If you would like to discuss your unique situation please contact us anytime.

About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. David is President & CEO of Strava Technology Group, a firm that is focused on helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM and Dynamics 365. To reach David connect with him on LinkedIn. To learn more about Strava Technology Group visit www.stravatechgroup.com

Strava authored 3 of the top 10 blog posts in 2017

We are happy to learn that we have the #1 article and 3 of the top 10 blog articles on the CRM Software in 2017- https://www.crmsoftwareblog.com/2018/01/top-ten-crm-posts-2017/

The blog that landed us the number one spot is the Dynamics 365 July 2017 Update

The #5 and #7 articles were Dynamics 365 Business Edition Canceled Before it Ever Saw the Light of Day

We thank the CRM Software Blog for the opportunity to share our perspective on all things Dynamics 365. If you haven’t checked out this blog we highly recommend that you do.

By | 2018-04-15T01:37:25+00:00 January 23rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

FREE Training on Insights for Dynamics 365

If you missed the webinar you can watch the recording:

FREE Training – Microsoft Insights for Dynamics 365 powered by InsideView Technologies, Inc.  

Jan 18, 2018 1:00 PM Eastern Time 

Microsoft Insights powered by InsideView is included in most Microsoft CRM/Dynamics 365 subscriptions and is one of the most powerful tools in the system.  Join us for a free training webinar on how to get the most out of Insights for Dynamics 365. Guest speaker Jeff Brenot from InsideView will co-present.

Topics for the training session – 

-Update Lead, Account and Contact records with just a single click

-Add new contacts to Accounts

-Place Accounts on your watchlist to be notified automatically when new information is released about them

-View ownership and family tree information -View posts your leads, customers, suppliers, and competitors publish on social media

-Build and import lists of precisely targeted prospects based on a wide variety of criteria: demographics, firmographics, business triggers, and common connections

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pricing & Licensing

This blog and video will help you understand the Microsoft Dynamics 365 pricing and licensing.

We recommend you watch the video however we have summarized below.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM is now Dynamics 365
  • Components of Dynamics 365 are Sales, Marketing, Finance, Operations, Customer Service, Field Service and Project ServiceDynamics 365 Pricing Information Automation
  • Dynamics 365 can be licensed as individual applications or as a Plan
  • Team Members license is for “light users”
    • Read access across Sales, Service, Field Service & Project Service
    • Write access to Contacts, Accounts, Notes & Activities
    • Read/Write to Custom Entities
  • Team Members cannot access Marketing Lists, Cases, Products,
    Contracts or Work Orders

The “Business Edition” consists of only the Financials application. Functionality includes: Financial Management, Inventory, Purchasing, Project Management and Outlook Integration for Quote, Invoice, Order & Credit Memo.

Microsoft announced that the Sales & Marketing modules would not be released under Business Edition – see our blog article for more information

Business Edition Financials – priced at $40 per user/month

Enterprise Edition

Licensed as Individual Applications or Plans (groups of apps).

Application Licensing

Start with what you need and upgrade to plans as your business grows. You can buy Dynamics 365 applications for:

Retail – $170 pr user/month

Talent – $40 per user/month

Sales$95 per user/month

Customer Service$95 per user/month

Project Service Automation $95 per user/month

Field Service$95 per user/month

Relationship Sales $135 per user/month

PowerApps – $40 per user/month

Additional Licenses:

Team Member – Execute basic processes and share knowledge. $8 per user/month

Dynamics 365 Enterprise Plan 1

Get full use of all applications in one comprehensive, cost-efficient license.

$210 per user/month

Includes:

Additional Licenses:

Team Member – Execute basic processes and share knowledge. $8 per user/month

Operations Activity – Perform transactional tasks with Finance and Operations or Retail applications. $50 per user/month

Operations Devices – Access Finance and Operations or Retail application functionality through a shared, licensed device. $75 per device/month

Unified Operations Plan

Get full use of applications that help connect and manage your business operations.

$190 per user/month

Includes:

  • Finance & Operations
  • Retail
  • PowerApps

Additional Licenses:

Team Member – Execute basic processes and share knowledge. $8 per user/month

Operations Activity – Perform transactional tasks with Finance and Operations or Retail applications. $50 per user/month

Operations Devices – Access Finance and Operations or Retail application functionality through a shared, licensed device. $75 per device/month

Customer Engagement Plan

Get full use of applications that help build and support customer relationships.

$115 per user/month

Includes:

Additional Licenses:

Team Member – Execute basic processes and share knowledge. $8 per user/month

Discounted Dynamics 365 Pricing Available!

Enterprise Sales Application – $40 per user/month, renewable through December 1, 2019! Maximum 25 licenses (if you need more than 25 licenses all licensing must be purchased at regular pricing (see below). This discounted pricing is available only to new customers (a customer that has not previously licensed any version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Online or On-Premises) prior to this purchase).

Enterprise Sales & Customer Service – $65 per user/month, renewable through December 1, 2019! Maximum 50 licenses (if you need more than 50 licenses all licensing must be purchased at regular pricing (see below). This discounted pricing is available only to new customers (a customer that has not previously licensed any version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Online or On-Premises) prior to this purchase.

Dynamics 365 Team Members Licensing – $5 per user/month, renewable through December 1, 2019 New customers that purchase the above SKUs will also be able to obtain a version of Team Members, Enterprise edition at $5/user/month. Up to 150 Team Member licenses are available with the above promotional pricing. 

We hope this information was helpful!
For a quote on Dynamics 365 licensing send us an email – [email protected] or call us 844-8-STRAVA (844-878-7282). FREE training with every license purchase to help get you up and running.
About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. David spent 20 years as VP/Partner for a leading Microsoft CRM partner where he founded the Microsoft CRM practice. In 2017 he founded Strava Technology Group, a firm that is focused on helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM and Dynamics 365. To reach David connect with him on LinkedIn. To learn more about Strava Technology Group visit www.stravatechgroup.com

Review of the New Dynamics 365 Unified Interface

The Dynamics 365 Unified Interface is coming and we had the opportunity to review it, below are our thoughts. The Unified Interface for Dynamics 365 is an updated user interface and is common across devices (mobile, tablet and desktop). It also includes some functionality only being released to the new client.

You open the Unified Interface from the My Apps area of your Office 365/Dynamics 365 portal. It displayed in ours as “Dynamics 365 – Mobile”. When you log in for the first time you will be presented with an entirely new user interface with new navigation and a very clean interface.

Unified Interface

When you open a record you will notice several changes to the interface:

Dynamics 365 Unified Client

There are “tabs” to sections of the form and to related information

Columns and areas of the form have been re-designed. Field labels do not get cut off any longer.

The New Activity Timeline is included in the Unified Interface (will not be available in browser UI). This area now displays combined activities (including custom activities), posts and notes in a single view and with a better visual. A filter option is also available allowing you to filter down to only the type of records you want to see (Past Due, New Posts, Notes, etc)

Relationship Insights is also displayed in the new interface.

Other Features of the Unified Interface:

  • Responsive UI (Form factor adaptive) across platforms and devices.
  • Full Accessibility support from the get-go.
  • Provides common pattern set that all features can leverage – learn once, use everywhere.

Dashboards include new chart items:

D365 Unified Interface Dashboards

   Mobile gets a face-lift also

D365 Unified Client Mobile

We are excited about the new Unified Interface. For Administrators there will be less redundant work creating elements in multiple areas. Forms will be mobile responsive as they are created. For end users it offers a much cleaner, friendlier overall user experience. Microsoft got this right.

About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. David spent 20 years as VP/Partner for a leading Microsoft CRM partner where he founded the Microsoft CRM practice. In 2017 he founded Strava Technology Group, a firm that is focused on helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM and Dynamics 365. To reach David connect with him on LinkedIn. To learn more about Strava Technology Group visit www.stravatechgroup.com

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition – New Product Direction

Last week Microsoft announced that the Dynamics 365 Business Edition would not be released (not with the name “Business Edition”) In a post on 9/22 Microsoft’s Alysa Taylor laid out the plans for Dynamics 365.

To “further simplify” Dynamics 365 offerings and “increase ease of selection” Microsoft will offer a single collection of Dynamics 365 applications for customers of “all sizes and complexity”. The applications will span Marketing, Sales, Service, Finance and Operations as well as Talent. This will enable customers to adopt the areas of the product as needed by their business. The Business and Enterprise names will be dropped to create one product suite that can be adopted by a small or very large organization.Dynamics 365 Business Edition Direction

There will be “additional price point(s) with different level(s) of functionality”, the first area of the suite to get this will be Sales in Spring 2018. Microsoft also plans to offer a new end-to-end business management cloud solution – an expansion of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations adding the full capabilities of Navision (NAV). It will be delivered in two offerings – cloud model with a pay per user/month or via the ISV application platform which enables ISV’s (those who develop add-ons) to enbed the technology into their offerings.

Microsoft also stated that they will continue to offer on-premise versions of Dynamics NAV, GP and SL. Dynamics NAV 2018 and GP 2018 will become available later this calendar year.

Our take on this new direction

Simplifying the licensing and pricing is a good thing. Having two offerings (Business and Enterprise) coupled with application licensing, plan licensing got very complicated. Having one product with options to license the functionality a business needs is a good model. When there was Professional, Basic and Essential licensing, businesses were over-buying functionality. The Professional license included all builtin Strava Technology Groupproduct functionality (Sales, Service Marketing) however the average business only uses 20% of the functionality in an enterprise application. This new model solves the issue of overbuying functionality. I do also like the option to get it all for those businesses that want an end-to-end solution.

So all-in-all we feel like this is a good strategy and one that should have been set from the beginning of Dynamics 365. It is much better to address this now than to have had to change directions after a release of Business Edition.

For now you can license the Dynamics 365 product at significantly discounted prices, for more information CLICK HERE

About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. David spent 20 years as VP/Partner for a leading Microsoft CRM partner where he founded the Microsoft CRM practice. In 2017 he founded Strava Technology Group, a firm that is focused on helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM and Dynamics 365. To reach David connect with him on LinkedIn. To learn more about Strava Technology Group visit www.stravatechgroup.com

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