Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition vs Business Edition

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s latest SaaS business solution. It combines ERP and CRM workloads in the cloud. There are two versions of Dynamics 365: Business and Enterprise.  But what exactly is included in each version? This blog article will break down the differences between the Business and Enterprise editions of Dynamics 365.

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Dynamics 365, Business Edition

Dynamics 365, Business Edition is the “lesser” of the two Dynamics 365 versions. Microsoft officially recommends Dynamics 365, Business Edition for companies with 10-250 employees. It is also less expensive. Microsoft has built the Business Edition line to be a streamlined/simplified version of their most popular Dynamics products. Often, this means sacrificing your ability to customize for gains in automation, product competitiveness in the marketplace, and integration.

When you buy Dynamics 365, Business Edition, you start by purchasing the user rights to at least one of the Business Edition modules:

You can add more modules as you need them, since they are all 100% integrated with one another.

Dynamics 365 for Financials and Operations, Business Edition

Dynamics 365 for Financials and Operations, Business Edition is Microsoft’s cloud-based accounting software.  It is born from Project Madeira, which was based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Basically, its functionality is the following:

  • Financials
    • Dimensional Accounting
    • Chart of Accounts and GL
    • Receivables (A/R)
    • Payables (A/P)
    • Year-End Closing
  • Sales
    • Quote, Invoice, Sell, and Administrate all of the important aspects of charging your customers.
  • Purchasing
  • Inventory
  • Light Relationship Management

There is also a job module which allows you to track costs and collect revenue against projects.  This is an extremely basic list of functionality, but it’s not missing too much. Microsoft’s plan for Financials and Operations, Business Edition is for everything that is in Microsoft Dynamics NAV’s starter pack to be included: any other functionality will be integrated by partners and third party business apps.

Dynamics 365 for Sales, Business Edition

Dynamics 365 for Sales, Business Edition is based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM online. It is a “light” version of Dynamics 365 for Sales; optimized for SMBs.  Once again, its functionality can be extended with partner and third-party apps and integrations. Features include:

  • Contact and Account Management
  • Lead and Opportunity Management
  • Sales Reporting and Pipeline Management
  • Customer Analytics

Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Business Edition

Dynamics 365 for Marketing is a general marketing automation system. Functionality includes:

  • Email Marketing
  • Event Planning
  • Marketing Webpages and Forms
  • Personalized Content & Multichannel capabilities.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Business Edition

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Business Edition is also under development. Expect that it will be a light version of Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Enterprise Edition. We expect to see it released in Fall 2017 or Spring 2018.

Dynamics 365, Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365, Enterprise Edition is definitely the higher-powered of the two Dynamics 365 versions. Microsoft recommends Dynamics 365, Enterprise Edition for companies with more than 250 employees.

When you buy Dynamics 365, Enterprise Edition, you once again start by purchasing the user rights to at least one of the modules:

And once again, you can add more modules as you need them, since they are all 100% integrated with one another.

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition is based entirely on Microsoft Dynamics AX; one of the most fully-featured and robust Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems on the planet. The question when it comes to Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition is not: “can it do that”. The answer is most likely yes. It comes with extensive Finance, Accounting, HR, Project, Production, Manufacturing, Retail, Distribution, Public Sector, and Professional Services functionality.

Its feature list is too long to go into here, so i’ll leave you with one of the top results for Dynamics AX features. Its worth noting here that Microsoft is replacing Dynamics AX with Dynamics 365 for Financials and Operations, Enterprise Edition.

Dynamics 365 for Sales, Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365 for Sales, Enterprise Edition is based entirely on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Once again, you should know that Dynamics 365 for Sales will be entirely replacing the Microsoft Dynamics CRM product line. If you want to learn more about Dynamics 365 for Sales, try poking around for information on Dynamics CRM.

Dynamics 365 for Sales, Enterprise Edition is a fully-featured Customer Relationship Management system. In addition to standard lead and opportunity management, you’ll manage contacts, accounts, custom entities, and even more: things like documentation, competitors, and sales literature are included. When comparing the Business and Enterprise Editions of Dynamics 365 for Sales, also look at how much you can customize the system: expect that Dynamics 365 for Sales, Enterprise Edition will have a few more configuration options than the Business Edition.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Enterprise Edition is not a Microsoft-developed product. I’m not sure if Microsoft is planning on developing their own Enterprise marketing solutions. For the foreseeable future, Microsoft has partnered with the Adobe Marketing Cloud to fill in marketing functionality. You may also want to consider ClickDimensions.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service contains functionality from several places. The first is Dynamics CRM, which comes with case tracking, assignment, resolution, and escalation capabilities. The second is Parature, which brings some good self-service and multi-channel capabilities.  Finally, Microsoft is opening up the platform to third parties and has also been adding lots of new functionality.

Microsoft started integrating these four sources of functionality in 2013, and Dynamics 365 for Customer Service is the culmination of that process.

Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation, Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation is an awesome product which will allow you to estimate, quote, template, and schedule your project resources. It then integrates with your Sales module (for quoting and estimating), and your Operations module (for getting paid).

If you are a professional or project services company, give this module a good look.

Dynamics 365 for Field Service, Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365 for Field Service provides you with additional tools that enable your on-site support agents with scheduling, service agreements, task management, on-site reporting, and more.

Dynamics 365 for Retail, Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365 for Retail was recently announced by Microsoft. It provides capabilities that allow you to manage your POS as well as manage your customer relationships from brick-and-mortar locations. You can read more on the product roadmap.

Dynamics 365 for Talent, Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365 for Talent was announced following Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn. Even though Microsoft’s ERPs have HR capabilities, Dynamics 365 for Talent is a broader Human Capital Management (HCM) system. You can read more about Dynamics 365 for Talent on the roadmap as well.

Comparison of Dynamics 365 Business and Enterprise Editions

Module Dynamics 365, Business Edition Dynamics 365, Enterprise Edition
Financials and Operations Very Light Very Comprehensive
Sales Light Full
Marketing Unknown Full (Adobe)
Customer Service Light Full
Project Service No Full
Field Service No Full
Retail No Full
Talent No Full

 

Business or Enterprise Edition: Which One is Right For You?

Before you read this section, try our interactive tool. After answering a few questions, you get an instant recommendation!

This is a very, very complicated question to answer; especially since Microsoft Dynamics 365 is still a relatively new product! There are at least a few things that will inform your decision:

Modules and Functionality

The first thing to look at is the modules. If you need Project Services or Field Services functionality now or in the future – and your budget can handle it – we recommend you go with the Enterprise Edition. It will make your implementation – and your future – a lot smoother. However, I should caution you about the following modules:

  • Marketing
  • Field Service
  • Customer Service
  • Project Service
  • Retail
  • Talent

You might think you need these modules. And you might! But if you are also considering an ERP product (Financials and Operations), let that guide your decision more than anything else.

So: look closely at the functionality differences between Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations, Business and Enterprise Editions. One of these will be the core of your solution, so it needs to meet your requirements. If you find that Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations, Business Edition is too small; and that Enterprise Edition is too large – I strongly recommend you evaluate Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Dynamics NAV is a mid-market ERP that does a fine job of integrating with the other Dynamics 365 modules (especially Sales/Customer Service/Field Service/PSA).

Limits on Functionality in the Business Edition

Generally, there are some small areas that the Business Edition will be lacking in functionality in comparison to the Enterprise Edition. One of the best examples of this is your options for accessing the application. The Business Edition is usually only available through a web browser, whereas the Enterprise Edition can be accessed by remote desktop, a desktop client, or an Outlook Client.

Also, the user interface in Dynamics 365, Business Edition is quite slimmed down. This means you won’t always have the most in-depth list of options for taking an action compared to the Enterprise Edition. A lot of the more “powerful” but less-used options for acting on a sales lead, for example, have been simply removed in the Business Edition. A phrase I’ve seen Microsoft use is “minimal, but pertinent”, when it comes to your options in the Business Edition.

Overall, you should evaluate functionality differences within the context of your specific requirements when evaluating the Sales, Customer Service, or Finance & Operations Module.

Customizations, Add-ons, and Extensibility

You are almost certainly going to be extending your solution with customizations and integrations. Check Microsoft AppSource or talk with your partner to figure out which edition has the best additional tools for your business.

Microsoft has indicated that there will be limits on customization in the Business Edition of Dynamics 365; particularly the “Sales” and “Customer Service” modules. This will happen in two key areas:

Add-on limits:

There will be a limit on the number of apps you can add from Microsoft Appsource in Dynamics 365, Business Edition. I haven’t been able to confirm the numbers yet.

Extensibility limits:

There will be a limit on the number of Custom Entities you can create, and a limit on number of Workflows you can create in Dynamics 365, Business Edition.

Encore works with a fair number of mid-market companies that need to start thinking about customizing software to meet their needs. In these cases, the Enterprise Edition is the better fit, because it has more configuration options. However, in these conversations Dynamics NAV often makes an appearance due to the fact that it is very customizable and not quite as “beastly” as Dynamics 365 for Financials and Operations, Enterprise Edition.

Making these decisions are difficult, so if you’re still with me – I’m going to plug my recommendation tool again. It will assist you in making a choice based on variables like your company size, industry, budget, and more.

Amount of Data

Microsoft has indicated that Dynamics 365 for Sales, Business Edition will have a limit on the number of Accounts that you can have in the system. I expect that other Business Edition modules could also have data limits.

Company Size

Deferring to Microsoft: if you have more than 250 employees, start looking at the Enterprise Edition. Anything less: consider the Business Edition. Obviously, this is not a foolproof method, and there will be many exceptions to this rule.

Budget

Budget is usually the most critical decision factor. Business Edition and Enterprise Edition are not the same price; the Enterprise Edition software will cost more every month.  More importantly, consider the services and third-party extensions you will be purchasing.

It is entirely possible that this number could change as the core product changes, but you should know that a Microsoft Dynamics AX (now known as Dynamics 365 for  Financials & Operations, Enterprise Edition) implementation project often requires hundreds, if not thousands, of hours in implementation services. That can lead to a bill well in excess of $500,000. A Dynamics 365, Business Edition implementation project, on the other hand, is much less expensive. Get quotes from a Dynamics 365 partner before committing to a solution.

 

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