I always thought that SharePoint licensing was complicated. Recently I have changed my mind on this. Have you ever looked into Dynamics 365 licensing? On the Dynamics 365 Pricing site you can find a great overview in the licensing guide with 60 pages of details explaining it all.
As you read through the guide it is quite likely that you get completely lost in all the options. One of the reasons is all the legacy options. In my case I’m only interested in the cloud options and any historical on-premises licences just make things complicated.
Additionally, there are many additional things to consider. Do you work in Government or in Education? Do you want to make use of some of the Dynamics 365 applications developed by Microsoft? As I went through the guide mentioned above I quite quickly bumped into the overview below.
Does this help?
Well, the above overview can do with a bit of a clarification.
It all starts with selecting a plan.
There are 2 plans available
- Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan
- Dynamics 365 Unified Operations Plan
The above two plans can be purchased as a single pack with the Dynamics 365 Plan. That way you can use application across both plans.
Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan
The Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement plan covers the following applications:
- Dynamics 365 for Sales
- Dynamics 365 for Marketing
- Dynamics 365 for Field Service
- Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
- Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation
- Microsoft PowerApps Plan 2
Dynamics 365 Unified Operations Plan
The Dynamics 365 Unified Operations Plan covers the following applications:
- Dynamics 365 for Talent
- Dynamics 365 for Retail
- Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
- Microsoft PowerApps Plan 2
Assuming that you want to use the base applications as pre-configured application then the choice of plan(s) may be easy. There are options to just purchase one of these applications however if you use a combination of applications it will be cheaper to purchase a full plan.
Professional and Enterprise
If you do go for an application based licence rather than a plan based licence then on top of all of the above, there is also a choice to be made between enterprise and professional. just to compare the differences between these options the table supplied on the Pricing page may help.
Once you have selected your plans you will need to have a look at your users. For this you need to consider the needs of your users. Microsoft recognises 2 types of users:
- Full users
- Additional Users
Straight from the licensing guide. The below will explain what these different users are:
Full Users are the users whose work requires use of the feature rich business applications functionality. Examples of full users are sales people, customer service representatives, finance employees, controllers and supply chain managers. These users have also been referred to in the past as Professional users or Power Users. These full users are licensed with a Dynamics 365 Plan, or Dynamics 365 Application subscription.
Additional Users often represent a large percentage of users in an organisation and may consume data or reports from line of business systems, complete light tasks like time or expense entry and HR record updates or be heavier users of the system, but not require full user capabilities. These additional users are licensed with Dynamics 365 Team Members or Dynamics 365 Operations – Activity SL for Dynamics 365 for Talent and Dynamics 365 for Retail subscriptions.
Well I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t really explain what each type of user can and can’t do? And even the visualisation doesn’t really help.
Yes I understand that a plan covers a set of applications. Then users can be given specific applications to use.
For users that don’t need the full functionality there are 3 types of licences
- Team Members
- Operations Activity
- Operations Device
Team members are named users that have a licence as an additional user. Operations Device means that users would share a single device and can therefore share a licence. The activity licence is for users that use the applications Finance and Operations, Talent or Retail.
Team Members also have a PowerApps for Dynamics 365 Applications license. So you can get to all your data and do what you need within a PowerApp as long as your purchased one of the above plans or an Enterprise licence.
There are so many options to consider. This makes it really quite complicated to make the right choice. A good way to go about this is:
- Select the applications you are interested in
- Select a plan (one of the 3 plan options)
- Group your users (note the minimum number of full users required on the plans) into full users and additional users
- Consider the customisation you might want to make or additional solutions you might want to develop.
Especially for the last point. Dynamics 365 is just a framework that will let you build any applications that you may need. Hence it might help to purchase a plan that covers your future vision of your organisation.