Microsoft Power Apps gets pay-as-you-go licenses; Dynamics 365 gets more new modules





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Credit: Microsoft

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of Microsoft Dynamics 365. During that time, Dynamics has evolved significantly through a long journey from branding, pricing and packaging to the growing suite of modules that handle CRM and ERP tasks that it is today.

At the Ignite IT Pro show this week, Microsoft is making several Dynamics 365 and Power Platform announcements. Unsurprisingly, given the history of Dynamics, some of these involve even more changes to product bundles and names.

Dynamics 365 Connected Store, a service to make retail spaces more efficient, will henceforth be called Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces. There is a new bundle that Microsoft has dubbed the “Microsoft 365 Customer Experienced Platform” that brings together existing Dynamics 365 Marketing, Customer Insights, and Microsoft Advertising services. And by adding first-party voice services to the Dynamics 365 Customer Service platform, Microsoft now has something it bills as an all-in-one digital contact center. Microsoft is also unveiling a preview of a brand new Supply Chain Insights module that allows users to proactively manage their supply chains.

Perhaps one of the biggest announcements at Microsoft’s Ignite IT Pro show this week – from a customer and/or partner perspective – is the introduction of a pay-as-you-go licensing option for Power Apps.

Until the end of this year, Power Apps prices and licenses were incredibly expensive and complicated. To help grow Power Platform’s user base, Microsoft has announced significant price reductions for Power Apps. As of October 1, Power Apps plans per user have been reduced from $40 per user per month to $20 per user per month. And Power Apps plans per app went from $10 per user/app/month to $5.

Now Microsoft is taking it a step further and introducing Power Apps pay-as-you-go licenses through Microsoft Azure subscriptions – a feature that is now in preview. Until now, when developers were ready to deploy Power Apps to users, they had to buy prepaid licenses first. The pay-as-you-go option allows developers to associate an Azure subscription with Power Apps and pay only for what they use.

“Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) takes away some of the biggest concerns everyone has had, especially when it comes to broad but lightweight apps that require premium features,” said Jukka Niiranen, Forward Forever Power Platform Advisor. “Paying only for the monthly active users lowers the barrier to trying individual apps before committing to/negotiating a per-user license agreement in ways the current Per App couldn’t do. It’s also a huge thing of a cost management perspective that IT can now pay for Power Platform functionality in a similar way to how they pay for Azure capacity.”

There is also more integration for Dynamics and the Power Platform with Azure, Teams, Office 365/Microsoft 365 and other parts of the “Microsoft Cloud”. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to more closely connect Teams, Office, and Outlook with Dynamics 365.

Microsoft is previewing new collaboration features in these apps so that companies can do things like find business data with Microsoft Search and turn that data into embedded Fluid components (now called Loop components) in Outlook and Teams. Sales teams can use Teams to collaborate on Dynamics 365 sales records within a Teams chat or channel. Salespeople can display a “chat now” button anywhere in Dynamics 365 inbound or outbound Teams voice channels.

Microsoft will also extend the Context IQ capabilities it announced today for Microsoft 365 to Dynamics 365. This set of AI functionality, rolling out next year, is designed to predict, search, and suggest information that people need – right in the flow of their work.

On Ignite, Microsoft also released milestone updates today for its various vertical/industrial cloud bundles. As previously announced, the Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services is now generally available. The Cloud for Manufacturing is now in preview; Cloud for Nonprofits is generally available; and Cloud for Sustainability is in preview. Microsoft is adding more new features around virtual visits, insights and bookings to the already available Cloud for Healthcare.

These industry clouds bundle common data models, cross-cloud connectors, workflows, application programming interfaces, and industry-specific components and standards. They are designed for use with Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform tools, and other Microsoft services and are intended to connect front-end productivity tasks with back-end data management.




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