With the April release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, we were finally introduced to the long awaited “less than full-fledged” sales user license for Dynamics 365. Once upon a time, Microsoft launched its CRM Online product to compete with Salesforce.com and entered the cloud CRM market with a simple approach– one license at one price.
Today, we experience a much more typical Microsoft license model, which is to say that it is complex– and at times gray. Nevertheless, we were told in the fall of 2016 when the standard sales license went from $65 to $95 that there would be a “Business Edition” version following shortly. As we now know, the Business Edition concept was jettisoned and we proceeded to wait 18 months for the fulfillment of this concept.
Welcome, Sales – Professional.
The intent of this write-up isn’t to dwell on the past but rather to highlight some of the key components of the new license type so readers are aware going in and can adequately navigate the decision process.
Before we discuss the user subscription license itself, let’s cover a couple of extremely important considerations regarding the overall subscription components. With Enterprise subscriptions, the organization receives a sandbox instance and a portal instance which are included. For Professional subscriptions this is not so. So, plan accordingly to pay $150/mo. for a sandbox and $500/mo. for a basic portal subscription if you go with a “Professional” instance.
Now we’ll get to the user licenses.
First of all, you can’t mix-and-match Professional sales license capabilities in the same instance as Enterprise license capabilities. What does this mean? Well, it means that the two license types have different capabilities and rights and you can’t use them against the same database. All users will default to the lower rights level. There are cases where a larger organization may have more than one instance, so this situation wouldn’t be irrelevant, but if you’re a one instance organization you are either a Professional org or an Enterprise org.
Ok, now that we have that established, what are the primary differences in the Professional version? Well, they break down into three primary categories– standard features you don’t have access to, additional functionality you don’t get, and limits to customizations. Let’s start with standard features.
This is probably the most confusing category because when it comes to core functionality, there is so much interdependence involved that determining where things unwind can create a little gray area. What we basically advise is that if your process(es) require the use of any of the following, then you need an Enterprise license (or need to consider changing your process).
There is also growing list of Microsoft authored extensions for D365 for Sales that provide additional value to the subscription and most of those are not included with the Sales Professional license, including:
- Social Engagement
- Voice of the Customer
- Relationship Intelligence Suite
- and I will add a bullet to suggest that additional “new stuff” will likely fall here, also
The above list also includes offline sync capability for the mobile apps, as well as PowerApps for Dynamics 365.
Lastly, there are a number of customization capabilities that have limits imposed on them, too. I won’t go into detail on the numbers since you can refer to them in the license guide (see Appendix C), but these include custom entities, business process flows, custom workflows, forms per entity, and custom reports. Another line item in this set is a limit on the number of third-party applications, like North52 or ClickDimensions, that can be installed.
If you’re still stuck after reading through this, and want some guidance on how to approach a new subscription– or transitioning an existing CRM Online subscription, let us know. The water’s a little murky in the deep end of the pool, but we’re seeing plenty of clear water where we’re swimming.