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Is there a future for Dynamics 365 on-prem?

The short answer is no, the cloud is the future. To know more then read the longer answer and why I say that on-prem is obsolete.

The long answer

I recently did an evaluation of an on-prem Dynamics 365 CRM 2016 version 9.0 for a company in my home country Iceland. The purpose was to create a report weighing the options of keep on hosting the system on-prem vs move to the latest cloud version. One thing was clear from the start that there are end of support dates down the line for on-prem hosting. The exact dates vary based on version & service pack, for this blog and to answer the question in the title the exact dates are not the important part. For details on end of support use this link.

So let’s look at on-prem hosting

Hosting D365 on-prem is falling way behind the development and new features in the cloud version. The two main areas are financials and functionality.

Financial reasons

On-prem hosting is at the moment more expensive since Microsoft has a really good promotional price on cloud licenses. The cloud license is a dual licenses that works both for the cloud and on-prem systems.

Functionality reasons

On-prem hosting naturally has a watered-down cloud capabilities, especially when it comes to the Power Platform and related solutions. This is not only true for the Power Platform but also all other cloud systems that D365 interacts with e.g. Microsoft Teams.

What benefits come with cloud hosting?

Cloud hosting for D365 naturally has all the main cloud benefits like other cloud applications such as:

  • No more hardware maintenance and procurement in new equipment every gew years
  • Free up valuable IT employees that can now focus on strategy and planning to utilise the technology to grow the company. This can lead to new business for companies in the form of new products or services.
  • Companies can focus on their core business and not running an IT company within the main company.
  • Always run the latest version of your application(s).
  • Microsoft takes care of monitoring, security, updates, disaster recovery, backups and lots more.

In addition to these points Microsoft has all the focus and investment in the cloud applications. This was crystal clear in last weeks MS Ignite and the opening keynote from Satya Nadella plus the MS Ignite Into Focus: Business Applications. All the major new announcements where around AI and collaboration between various cloud applications. Cloud applications are increasingly getting smarter and the boundaries between them are fading away.

Call a D365 contact directly from a record in D365 using the Teams integration

The best examples of this is how D365 and Teams are becoming besties, see upcoming features. Now D365 users can in the context of Teams call a contact from D365 directly and have all the information for that contact directly in Teams. AI is then used to transcribe the call and with sentiment analysis make a list of action items, suggest meetings and follow up, rate the call and so on. The user only needs to review the suggestions from AI to finish all logging from that call and there is no need to spend 10 to 15 minutes after the call doing that.

Here is a list of new D365 and Teams collaboration features

  • Easily edit a Dynamics 365 record within a Microsoft Teams conversation
  • Seamlessly add activities and notes to Dynamics 365 records from within a Microsoft Teams chat or channel
  • Share Dynamics 365 records in a Microsoft Teams message
  • Drive seller productivity with a seamless experience between Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams meetings
  • Keep additional stakeholders in the loop by sending automated chat notifications from Dynamics 365 to Microsoft Teams
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders using Microsoft Teams chat from within Dynamics 365
  • Quickly add relevant stakeholders to Microsoft Teams chat using suggested contacts

Why is on-prem obsolete?

The main reason is that Microsoft is focusing on the cloud and most if not all these new features are only available in the cloud version. Also, the pricing. Why should companies pay more for less? That simply does not make sense.

Aim for the cloud – The future is there

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