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What are the REAL differences between PRO and BASIC subscription levels in Dynamics CRM 2013 Online? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi there

    I have some questions regarding the differences in functionality/usage rights between the Pro and Basic subscription levels for Dynamics CRM Online Fall 2013. I have looked at many guides, including the Dynamics CRM Online Licensing Quick Reference Guide, have read Jesper’s great article (http://tinyurl.ms/yzxg) and have looked at various charts such as the ones shown in this blog post (http://tinyurl.com/npfsoqf ) . I’ve read posts discussing the new “simple” licensing and simplistic examples of types of users needing which level, such as the ones here: http://tinyurl.com/ltvmhoo and here:

    So having read all of this, I still have some questions with regards to Basic users. I have read it described as “For sales, service and marketing users who need to manage accounts, contacts, leads, cases and access custom applications as well as for business analysts who require reporting capabilities. And is designed for users or teams that have assigned records such as accounts, contacts, leads, cases or activities. Typically, these users focused on core, assigned activities supporting sales, service and marketing.  These are users who need to create, update, edit or manage their own accounts, contacts, leads or cases. They may need access custom applications that use CRM data or require reporting or query capabilities.  Customer service representatives, business analysts, sales, service staff and clerical staff with assigned accounts or tasks would fit into the “Basic” group.”

    With that said, how is a Basic subscription level good for sales, if they do not have access to Opportunities. I read somewhere that they can READ opportunities, just can’t do anything with them. How, then, is this good for Sales staff since they would need to manage and control their opportunities.

    Here is our scenario, and perhaps someone can help with min. licensing rights that would be required and why:

    • We have estimators that work outside the office that need access to creating & updating Accounts/Contacts and leads. We can get by with someone internally with a Pro license reviewing these leads and converting them to opportunities. No problem there. However, once that Opportunity exists, these estimators should be able to provide a Quote to the Contact (we plan on developing a custom quoting application within CRM that updates the Quote records in CRM. Currently, this quoting is done externally but we do want the estimators to record that data in the CRM system. I suppose optionally we could have the estimator submit their quotes to the office and have someone there with Pro license record the quote in CRM). Regardless, the estimator should be able to convert those quotes to a sale at some point and should be able to track their outstanding estimates and sales within CRM. From what I can see, the Basic license does not permit this??
    • In addition, we have production workers out in the field that need to be able to read & update Account/Contacts as well as info from some custom entities. It appears the Basic license allows this. Everyone needs to access correspondence that has occurred with these accounts/contacts as well.

    So reading one of the charts (http://www.muchmorebi.com/Microsoft_CRM_2013_License_Level.htm ), Basic license does not have access to “Opportunity Tracking”, “Order Management”, “Price Lists” or “Quote Management”.  What all do these things this entail/cover in the product? What screens/entities? Since the sales pipeline is mostly about opportunities, quote and sales, how useful is this subscription level to a service organization that estimates and quotes on jobs having products and labour? Or does that mean just no updating of Opportunity info (such as attaching a quote)? Can they see their opportunities in a sales pipeline, for example?

    I’ve read that CRM does not enforce usage rights and that it must be controlled through assigning access permissions within CRM itself via security roles.

    We are generating quotes (eventually) through a set of custom forms and entities in order to feed that to the Quotes. Those quotes should be able to be converted to a sale by anyone. Those sales are sent to Dynamics GP through the connector by a Pro license user. That invoice is fed back into CRM and should be viewable by that estimator/sales person in their pipeline. Also, if an estimator is out at a job site and notices other bidders, they should be able to record that info against the opportunity. I guess they cannot do that with a Basic subscription because they cannot do “Competitor Tracking”?

    I guess bottom line, although I can read all of these charts that tell me what the subscription levels do or do not have access to, it still doesn’t drill down enough tell me what that feature entails and what they may or may not have read only or update permissions to. Specifically Quote Management, Price Lists, Oder Management, Invoice management, Competitor Tracking, Goal Management. Is the term “management” more of  an admin side thing but the Basic users still can access and update the forms, just not share or assign??

    Sorry this is so lengthy but I could really use some direction/more info on what these Actions cover (screens/entities/read/write capabilities) relating to the headings in the chart.

    Thanks!

    Sunday, March 30, 2014 10:42 PM

Answers

  • The very short reply to your question is.... If you want to utilize the opportuntity, Quote, Order, Invoice, Product, Pricelist forms.. you will need the professional licens. There are also more limitations on the marketing and service when using the basic license.

    The basic licens does not allow you to view, create or edit these forms.

    So a thumb rule is.....

    • With professional, you can use all entities
    • With Basic you can use accounts, contacts, leads and activities as well as some reference tables (activity management) - Used for partial XRM solutions
    • With Essential, you cant use any of the default tables except for some reference tabels - I cant think of a single case I would have ever chosen this license type... because if you are not going to use Accounts, Contacts, Activities, the whole idea of CRM goes out the window.

    So if you are working with sales people.. you are allmost certain of having to buy the professional licenses.


    Rune Daub Senior Consultant - Dynateam CRM http://www.dynateam.dk

    • Proposed as answer by RuneDaub Monday, March 31, 2014 10:33 AM
    • Marked as answer by IMTS1 Tuesday, April 1, 2014 10:47 PM
    Monday, March 31, 2014 10:33 AM

All replies

  • The very short reply to your question is.... If you want to utilize the opportuntity, Quote, Order, Invoice, Product, Pricelist forms.. you will need the professional licens. There are also more limitations on the marketing and service when using the basic license.

    The basic licens does not allow you to view, create or edit these forms.

    So a thumb rule is.....

    • With professional, you can use all entities
    • With Basic you can use accounts, contacts, leads and activities as well as some reference tables (activity management) - Used for partial XRM solutions
    • With Essential, you cant use any of the default tables except for some reference tabels - I cant think of a single case I would have ever chosen this license type... because if you are not going to use Accounts, Contacts, Activities, the whole idea of CRM goes out the window.

    So if you are working with sales people.. you are allmost certain of having to buy the professional licenses.


    Rune Daub Senior Consultant - Dynateam CRM http://www.dynateam.dk

    • Proposed as answer by RuneDaub Monday, March 31, 2014 10:33 AM
    • Marked as answer by IMTS1 Tuesday, April 1, 2014 10:47 PM
    Monday, March 31, 2014 10:33 AM
  • Thanks Rune. Unfortunately that's what I thought. I found a blog post by Steve Mordue who actually said exactly what I was thinking about the whole subject and had the same levels of confusion: http://www.forceworks.com/cost-dynamics-crm-2013-go/

    Bottom line, like Steve says "this tiered structure means a Partner actually has to understand your business and what your users actually do rather than just how many of them there are. So add another item to the list of skills a Cloud Partner has to have today, because things just got a lot more complicated."

    ~DM

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014 10:53 PM
  • We are going through this whole process too.  We are replacing a legacy app for a 2000 seat staffing company, and the cost of user licences is a pivotal issue in the discussion about whether to recode in .net or move to Dynamics.  We've looked at a couple of vertical solutions on the CRM platform, and the developers think a basic licence will be sufficient for a majority of users working with candidates, roles and contracts.  I think a split of licences between pro and basic might be workable, but the lack of clarity from MS, resellers and app consultants is frustrating and not very helpful at all.  

    One interesting thought came up - there's a paper called "Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 On-Premises Volume Licencing and Pricing Guide" which (in Appendix A) gives a table similar to the at muchmorebi.com Both tables have the entries

    • Write custom entity records
    • Read custom application data

    and all 3 licence types are valid for those

    Our reseller advice was that the way round the licence problem was to create custom entities for those oob entities that we might have licence problems with - which ties in with the MS guidance.  This makes it yet more interesting as we could use cheapest essential licences and just use custom entities all the way through.  Interesting but not easy!

    Interestingly it looks like a new (fourth!!!) licence tier is coming this year 2014 - Enterprise - according to the 2014 release schedule viz.   "The Unified Service Desk pulls customer data from multiple sources including CRM and Microsoft Social Listening (more on this below) as well as integrating with third party telephony services. The USD will be exclusively available with a new licence tier called CRM Enterprise (UK pricing is yet to be confirmed but CRM Online is stated as $200 per user)."

    Incidentally - does anyone have any pointers to compelling case studies or online demos of great CRM impementations - our recent dismal vertical app demos have fired up the internal pundits who want to rebuild the app as bespoke code - I see the Dynamics platform as a key accelerator and integration platform but I'm fighting a battle with developers who want to take 2 years to code from scratch.  Although I think we may end up with a heavily customised CRM, I think it will be a fast and extendable platform for a sales based organisation.

    Thursday, April 3, 2014 8:23 AM