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Upgrade to Dynamics 365 – Part 1

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upgradeWith Microsoft’s recent release of Dynamics 365 and more versions to come shortly, many customers are asking about it. Why should you care and what do you need to know? You are required to upgrade to Dynamics 365 if you are on Dynamics CRM Online or Dynamics AX Online, but expect to experience a seamless transition. If you are on an On Premise application, you won’t be required to upgrade to Dynamics 365, but there are many benefits we’ve outlined below which we hope will encourage your decision.

 

Regardless of what application you are upgrading from, it’s imperative that you engage with all departments to understand the requirements across your company. Whether they use the application, manage it or customize it, each department plays a crucial role in the upgrade process.

 

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of assisting many customers with a multitude of upgrades to Dynamics CRM. Below are some insights that we’ve gained which we hope will help your company.

 

Do I need to upgrade to Dynamics 365?

Microsoft will no longer be releasing new versions of Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics AX Online. Upgrading those applications will require a transition to Dynamics 365. Microsoft will perform the upgrade for those currently on Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics AX Online. Your administrator will have the option to choose your upgrade date, beginning December 2016.

 

On premise customers

For On Premise customers, Microsoft will continue to support you with future releases. However, consider whether upgrading to Dynamics 365 Online will benefit you. There are many benefits to moving to the cloud and many new features in Dynamics 365 that will only be available in the cloud version. Switching to Dynamics 365 online now can save you time, costs and material later on for future upgrades. Microsoft will continuously maintain your infrastructure in the cloud and you will have the option of opening free support requests. In addition, you will have quicker access to new features and patches as Microsoft releases them. Concerned about where your data will be stored? Check out our blog: Where oh where is my data?

 

In general, your company should have a routine upgrade path for your applications as new releases are made available. Otherwise, you can leave your systems vulnerable to incompatibility issues as infrastructure changes and you risk growing security threats. Consequently, you can also hinder your teams ability to maintain competitiveness with other organizations who utilize CRM applications. Upgrades can help you benefit from the latest trends, increase your teams efficiency or productivity with new features!

 

How will this affect my license agreement with Microsoft?

You can maintain your current licensing agreement for the time being if you are a current Dynamics CRM Online or Dynamics AX Online customer until your renewal date.  If you would like to begin using some of the new features of Dynamics 365 in advance of your renewal date,  you can either add seats of Dynamics 365 to your current subscription, or transition to the new pricing options for Dynamics 365.

 

Your company will have different pricing options to choose from in each of the two editions (Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition and the Dynamics 365 Business edition) made available.  You will get the best value for your money with Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition, according to Microsoft. Check out our Dynamics 365 pricing and licensing options blog to understand the benefits your company can reap from for Dynamics 365 enterprise.

 

What new features are there?

We’ve all been engaged learning about many of the new and exciting features, so check out some of our current blogs (with more to come!):

 

What is Dynamics 365 (an Overview)

Top 5 Things in Dynamics 365 to be Thankful For

Customer Relationship Health

Extending with Flow, Power BI and Power Apps

Apps for Phones and Tablets

 

So, will you upgrade to Dynamics 365?  Stay tuned as we outline the key items to consider if you decide to upgrade. These will include updating custom components, changes to the interface, migration of data (for On Premise customers) and preparing your departments through training.

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