On Premise Dynamics 365 Licenses for Free

Posted by Jonathan Smyth | October 4, 2017 | Blog

Early in 2017 Microsoft announced a significant change in the deployment model for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, finally making an on-premise solution available to the existing Dynamics AX user base. More recently, in June 2017 Microsoft released its upgrade policy which yields some highly beneficial changes for current users of Dynamics AX on versions 4 or AX2009.

In general, the software industry is moving away from a concurrency license model and toward a named user approach. Recognising the benefits a concurrent model affords existing customers, Microsoft has come up with a very fair compensatory solution which delivers extra value to existing users moving from the AX2009 concurrency model to the Dynamics 365 (or Dynamics AX 2012) named user approach.

In the case below, we take a fictitious customer and provide a worked example to demonstrate how many extra licenses they could realise, as part of an upgrade to Dynamics 365. The headline figure in this example is an increase from 40 concurrent licenses to 120 named user licenses, a significant increase without any additional license fees.

KM Manufacturing
In this fictional example, KM manufacturing is a UK based manufacturing company with a legacy Microsoft Dynamics AX2009 installation. Currently, the company has one base pack, an additional application server (AOS) for batch processes and thirty-nine additional system users; a total of forty users including the user incorporated in the base pack. For each AX2009 base pack the company receives one Dynamics 365 application server, one full operations user and two activity users. For each additional AX2009 user, KM manufacturing receives a further one full operations user and two activity users. We’ll cover the key differences between the user types later in this blog but for now, let’s illustrate in a simple table what its license upgrade looks like:

As you can see, the upgrade presents KM Manufacturing with a total of 120 named user licences. A huge uplift without any additional licence fees, allowing the organisation to expand its usage across the organisation, reaping further benefit from its initial investment.

Different License Types
There are several different licence types within Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations:

Full Operations User
• Licence with the highest user permissions
• Has the potential to access all areas of the system
• Typically an IT manager or a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Activity User
• Represent the largest group of users
• Permissions sit between those of full operations users and team members
• Includes “activities” such as sales order entry, purchase order entry, production order entry and all of the associated processes such as picking slip creation, delivery notes, and invoicing

Team Member
• Entry level license which;
o Provides read-only access to most areas of Dynamics 365 as well as the ability to create timesheets, expenses and purchase requisitions.
o Allows those whose functional footprint is significantly smaller than a full operations user or activity user to contribute within Dynamics 365

My Advice
To conclude, the transition from Microsoft Dynamics AX4 or AX2009 to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (the latest version of AX) will provide a significant increase in the number of user licenses due to the move from concurrent licensing to named user licensing.

As part of any software upgrade, the migration of existing data and customisations need to be considered, of course. But perhaps the benefit of extending the use of your business management solution across the organisation could prove worthwhile. Certified Microsoft Gold Partners, such as Ardent Solutions, who have a successful track record in helping customers upgrade their business systems should be the vendors of choice for this task.

If an Ardent Solutions customer was using AX4 or AX2019 my advice would be simple; let’s take a look at your current user configuration and calculate how much better off you will be with regard to your number of licences by upgrading. The offer is quite genuinely outstanding, and not one to be passed up on.

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