Microsoft won't start rolling out the first of its Dynamics 365 deliverables until later this year. But that's not stopping CEO Satya Nadella from championing the coming CRM-ERP cloud bundle as the premier example of how Microsoft's focus on business processes will change how customers buy and use business apps.
Introduced earlier this month, Dynamics 365 combines three Azure-hosted Microsoft services: the cloud version of Microsoft's Dynamics AX ERP suite, Dynamics CRM Online, and the "Project Madeira" small-business financials offering. Dynamics 365 will be integrated with Office 365, the Office Graph and, some time after Microsoft's acquisition receives approval from regulators later this year, LinkedIn.
Since the introduction of Dynamics 365, Microsoft officials have said relatively little (at least publicly) about how Microsoft is planning to package and license Dynamics 365. However, officials did reveal a few more specifics about the coming Dynamics 365 offering at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto.
As Microsoft officials said earlier this month, there will be two primary editions of Dynamics 365: small business (Business Edition) and enterprise (Enterprise Edition). The Business Edition will offer financials, sales, and marketing modules, while the Enterprise version will include operations (ERP), sales, marketing, customer service, field service, and project service automation modules, according to MSDynamicsWorld.
These modules are a combination of existing Microsoft ERP and CRM Online modules.
Microsoft is "de-constructing CRM Online into its component parts, i.e., sales, marketing, customer service, etc.," explained Steve Mordue, CEO of Forceworks.com, a Microsoft Partner. "These 'parts' will join field service and project service, which were already 'parts'. Once done, you would have the option to license just a part, or the whole shebang at the Enterprise level."
The Dynamics 365 Business Edition is aimed at small to mid-size business users with up to about 100 seats, Mordue said. Though it's basically a slimmed-down ERP product with its roots in the Dynamics/NAV ERP world, Microsoft officials are trying to encourage employees and partners to drop the "ERP" moniker when referring to Dynamics 365 Business and instead just call it "Financials".
Dynamics 365 customers are going to have a choice of licensing Dynamics 365 by application or to use functionality across the suite via a role-based licensing alternative. But there's more: There also will be the option to license Dynamics 365 via "plans", which are groups of apps that can be used by all "plan" users when purchased together. Or they'll have a team member option for users who only need light access to the piece parts in Dynamics 365 and will have partial, restricted access.
Dynamics 365 for Business Plan is listed as a calendar 2017 deliverable, according to MSDynamicsWorld.