Microsoft has a plan to clean up its overlapping project-management services

Microsoft seems to be moving toward simplifying and consolidating its project-management services portfolio by championing its new Project Service.

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As Microsoft watchers know all too well, Microsoft has a lot of products and services that offer similar and often overlapping features. Sometimes there are so many similar products that Microsoft needs to create diagrams about which product to use when. But it looks like the various Microsoft teams working on project tracking/management apps and services may be getting their act together. 

Also: What makes Microsoft tick?

MSDynamicsWorld.com reported this week that Microsoft is working to remove its Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation (PSA) product from the business applications portfolio. The plan -- based on info from partners who've allegedly seen the latest Dynamics 365 pricing and licensing slide decks -- is to combine PSA with Microsoft Project and Project Online.

"PSA and Project Online are merging into a new project management tool to be called 'Project Service,' Steve Mordue, aMicrosoft Business Applications Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and Dynamics 365 Partner Advisory Council member, confirmed to me when I asked about this.

I also asked Microsoft officials for more information about this. No word back so far. 

Update (March 11): A Microsoft spokesperson provided the following statement: "Microsoft can confirm that Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation's capabilities will be distributed into the new Project Service and Dynamics 365 for Sales to provide a deeply integrated experience for customers."

Project Online has been part of the Office 365 line-up for the past several years. Project Service Automation joined the Dynamics 365 line-up (alongside Field Service) in 2016, following Microsoft's FieldOne acquisition in 2015, as MSDynamicsWorld noted.

At Ignite last year, Microsoft officials outlined plans for the new Microsoft Project Service, which would include project-management and take advantage of the Common Data Services for Apps platform. Common Data Service for Apps is basically XRM, Microsoft's "anything relationship management" platform for writing line-of-business applications) now running on top of Azure.

As TechRepublic noted recently, the Project Service already is available and those with a Project Online subscription can see "Project Home," the web portal for creating and managing projects. TechRepublic also says "a future update" will connect the Project desktop app to the new Project service and "at some point," Microsoft Planner plans will appear here, as well. (Microsoft has a whole other stable of planning and note-taking apps that are not connected with Planner and/or its Project Service. At least not right now....)

There are three announced capabilities & experiences in new Project service: Home, Roadmap, and the new project management experience. While Home and Roadmap are available today, users can start new projects in the new Project service only when the new project management experience is available later this calendar year.


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Update (March 11): Here's the latest on Microsoft's Project guidance: "Project Online service, also known as Project web app, will continue to receive key performance & security improvements. While these new services will become our primary project management services over time, customers who are already using Project Online can continue to do so with confidence," a spokesperson said.

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