New Licensing, Maintenance Plans Debut for Microsoft Dynamics

Redmond giant aims to simplify and improve the value of its purchase and upkeep programs for business management solutions

Redmond giant aims to simplify and improve the value of its purchase and upkeep programs for business management solutions

Redmond, WA — July 13, 2006 — Software company Microsoft unveiled new licensing and maintenance models for its Microsoft Dynamics solutions, aiming to simplify and improve the value of the purchase and upkeep programs for its business management solutions.

The software provider's "Business Ready Licensing" is intended to streamline pricing for Microsoft Dynamics solutions — including Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV and Dynamics SL — by moving from a pricing model based on hundreds of modules and granules to a new model based primarily on the number of concurrent users who actually use the software.

This new model has three offerings: Microsoft Dynamics Business Essentials, Advanced Management and Advanced Management Enterprise. They are based primarily on common functionality and represent a price reduction for a typical entry-level configuration, eliminating much of the complexity of licensing enterprise resource planning software, according to the Redmond giant.

Beefed-up Maintenance Plan

Meanwhile, the new Enhancement Plan for maintenance is intended to increase the value for customers through the life of their product solutions and represents a global maintenance program for Microsoft Dynamics solutions. The program introduces new benefits, such as transition investment credits, unlimited online training courses for customers and resources to connect customers with the Microsoft Dynamics community.

Combined, the two programs are intended to provide customers with a compelling way to increase the value of their investments in Microsoft technology, lower the entry barrier to Microsoft Dynamics solutions, improve customer productivity and evolve with the life of their business, according to Microsoft.

"Business Ready Licensing and Enhancement Plan enable us to bring more value to our customers while streamlining our offerings," said Tami Reller, corporate vice president of the Business Solutions marketing group at Microsoft.

Partner Benefits

Microsoft said that its industry partners should benefit from a reduction in pre- and post-sales administrative efforts associated with the complexity of maintaining and selling multiple product modules thanks to the new offerings.

"Customers want less complexity and a licensing program that is simple and transparent and gives them more value for their money," said Cornelis Bosch, vice president of business development at To-Increase, a Microsoft Dynamics industry partner. "Business Ready Licensing offers the right balance between simplicity and flexibility by offering customers a very clear and transparent pricing model that not only simplifies their purchase decision but also lowers the entry barrier for them to choose the right business solution for their specific needs."

Small, Medium and Large Targets

The Microsoft Dynamics Business Essentials offering provides an integrated financial and supply chain management solution that is designed for companies that need a core financial management and trade solution that will enable them to scale as their business grows.

Microsoft said that the Advanced Management offering would be the preferred solution for growing customers that need complex, highly functional financial and accounting programs and that are looking for an adaptive solution to manage advanced processes for their financials, supply chain management, manufacturing and project accounting needs. It also helps them obtain the key business intelligence and reporting required to manage their organization, according to the solution provider.

Finally, the Advanced Management Enterprise edition is targeted at organizations with complex needs, providing a set of advanced supply chain management, field service, configuration, manufacturing and development capabilities on a flat-fee basis.

In addition, Microsoft Dynamics CRM customer relationship management functionality will be included on the Microsoft Business Solutions price lists over the next 12 months, starting with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Business Ready Licensing is focused on new customers. Customers not licensed under Business Ready Licensing today will have the choice to stay on their current licensing model (modular-based licensing) or make the transition to Business Ready Licensing when it makes sense for them, Microsoft said.

New Education and Transition Benefits

In addition, Microsoft said it is delivering new benefits to all Microsoft Dynamics customers that are current on their maintenance plan, including unlimited online training benefits available for all customers enrolled in the Enhancement Plan. This includes "e-courses," covering detailed concepts on specific topic areas such as product modules; courseware/training manuals that can be used as a study tool or a desktop reference; courseware extensions, with addenda available for selected courseware titles, and providing content on local functionality within a given country; "What's New?" training manuals/courseware, addressing differences in features and functionality between product versions; and learning plans that provide road maps to help individuals find the training they need and outline every training and certification option available for each module.

The new transition investment credit benefit for customers using Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics SL enables customers to apply 100 percent of their Microsoft Dynamics license investment toward the move from one Microsoft Dynamics product code base to another or advance from one package level to another (such as from Standard to Professional) within a product family.

The CustomerSource community and tools will extend Microsoft Dynamics Web site to all customers globally who enroll in the Enhancement Plan, with additional focus on localized content and languages. CustomerSource offers product and service content specific to the customer's account, a searchable knowledge base, downloads, discussion boards, online training, news and other features, giving customers various tools they need to get more from their Microsoft Dynamics solution.

Business Ready Licensing Plan is available for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics SL and will be available to purchase worldwide August 1. The price for Microsoft Dynamics Business Essentials will start at $2,250.

Additional Articles of Interest

— For the latest facts, figures and benchmarking data from the supply chain industry, read the "Running the Numbers column in the April/May 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— For a quick-read update on supply chain enablement projects and solutions for the busy executive, read the "Supply Chain Executive Briefing" in the April/May 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.