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This chapter is from the book

Understanding the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Licensing Options

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016, Microsoft has expanded its license offerings to better suit the needs of its diverse customer base.

License Options Explained

As detailed in Figure 4.8, Microsoft now offers four levels of subscriber licenses for Online:

  • Enterprise—This top-end license for CRM Online includes all features as well as most of the rest of the items that fall under the Dynamics CRM umbrella, such as Parature and Social Engagement.

  • Professional—This license includes access to the core functionality, the ability to customize and access all modules delivered by Microsoft, and xRM solutions developed in house or by external vendors.

  • Basic—This mid-tier license provides basic access to several core entities, such as Contact, Account, Case, and Lead (in addition to xRM solutions). This is a good option for organizations that do not use the Sales Force Automation, Customer Service, or Marketing components that are delivered with CRM.

  • Essential—The entry point for CRM Online is the Essential license. With this level of license, the user cannot access any of the core components or core entities. A good example is a pure xRM solution, as described in Chapter 3, “Customizing and Designing Applications Within Dynamics CRM 2016 (xRM).”

Figure 4.8

Figure 4.8 User capabilities by license level for CRM Online.

The availability and licensing options by user vary, and as new products are added, they continue to evolve. Figure 4.8 provides a sample breakout of the features available at each license level, but be sure to check out the licensing and purchasing options available at the time of purchase for changes to this list.

In addition to the access and functional rights provided with each license, as the number of licensed users within an organization grows, additional free capacity enhancements are included. A quirk that existed before Dynamics CRM 2016 was that regardless of the number of users, every organization received 5GB of storage. This meant that organizations with only one or two users had 5GB, and organizations with thousands of users also had 5GB. Luckily, Microsoft has recognized this deficiency and added scaled storage, as described in the next section.

For On-Premises deployments, the following options now exist:

  • Server

  • Enterprise users

  • Professional user or Device client access license (CAL)

  • Basic user or device CAL

  • Essential CAL

Although this new licensing is significantly simplified over previous licensing, it still requires some conversation with regard to the actual pricing because Microsoft licensing is as diverse as its many offerings.

Online Add-on Features

Microsoft recognizes that the number of users is not always a clear indicator of the needs of an organization and that the additional storage and non-production instance scale-up outlined previously may not meet an organization’s needs. To address this, Microsoft allows an organization to, on a monthly basis, purchase additional capacity:

  • Additional production instance—An organization may purchase an additional production instance as an add-on license. Each user licensed in the main production instance has access to this new production instance. The projected cost for this is $549 per month per additional production instance. For example, a service organization may decide to use the additional production instance to segregate a client’s data.

  • Additional non-production instance—An organization may elect to purchase additional non-production instances for activities such as development, testing, or demonstrations. The cost for a non-production instance is $150 per month for each additional non-production instance. This comes as a great relief for organizations that require additional instances but do not want to purchase full production instances.

  • Additional storage—For each additional 20 licensed users, an organization is granted 2.5GB, up to a maximum of 995GB total, at no charge. However, if the organization wants to purchase more storage than allocated, it can do so at $9.99 per gigabyte.

Figure 4.9 shows the options available.

Figure 4.9

Figure 4.9 Optional add-on features for CRM Online.

New License Paradigm

The new license levels and features are part of a shift in licensing for Microsoft:

  • Multitier model—Organizations have flexibility to license the right level of functionality for every user; it is no longer one-size-fits-all.

  • Parity between offerings—Now there are consistent multitier license offerings for Online CRM and On-Premises CRM.

  • Mobile access—Mobile access for Windows, Android, and iOS devices is included with each license at no additional charge.

  • Non-production instances—Non-production instances provide better support for organizations with non-production needs.

  • Updated EA (Enterprise Agreement) availability—Microsoft offers favorable terms for license transitions from On-Premises to Online.

  • Flexible premium support offerings—Microsoft offers several different levels of premium support for each Online client.

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