FastTrack is a Microsoft program that assists with large and complex Dynamics 365 solution implementations.
In this article, I’ll explain who’s eligible, how it works, and what the main benefits and limitations are.
Table of Contents
- Eligibility for FastTrack
- Benefits of FastTrack
- FastTrack Architects
- How FastTrack Works
- What Does Your Dynamics Partner Need to Do?
- What Kind of Project Is FastTrack Helpful For?
- Limitations of FastTrack
- Further Resources
Who Is Eligible for FastTrack?
Typically, a company with $1 billion in annual revenue will be eligible for FastTrack for a Dynamics 365 implementation project. Complex projects involving multiple Dynamics 365 applications and/or the Power Platform are more likely to qualify.
In the past, there was a firm eligibility limit requiring $100k annual spend across your Dynamics 365 licenses, and Microsoft’s public documentation still says eligibility is based on a “minimum annual spend,” even though it doesn’t say what that spend number is. However, Microsoft has now made the criteria more flexible and contextual.
For instance, if you’re a large company implementing Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations along with both Field Service and Power Automate, Microsoft is likely to accept your project for FastTrack even if your annual licenses are somewhat smaller than $100k/year.
FastTrack is applicable for most but not all Dynamics 365 products.
(now technically licensed as Finance and Supply Chain Management)
(D365 Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Project Operations, and Field Service)
Your Dynamics partner can nominate you for FastTrack. It helps to work with a partner who has experience with the program.
Benefits of FastTrack
The most significant benefit of FastTrack is that it increases the chances of a successful implementation.
FastTrack brings Microsoft architects and product teams into the loop to answer questions and provide guidance on your implementation project. FastTrack will help you and your Dynamics Partner:
- Reduce risks
- Develop solid solution architecture
- Avoid deployment-delaying problems
- Follow best practices in a complex Dynamics 365 implementation
- Strategically take advantage of upcoming product updates
Your Dynamics partner’s communications with the FastTrack team will give them a window into details about planned updates to Dynamics 365 products. That can inform decisions about your best go-live date, and exactly which version of your solutions we should test and go live with.
Sometimes, waiting a month for a new out-of-the-box feature (that your Dynamics partner and FastTrack team have validated) can save you significant time, money, and hassle.
FastTrack Architects are the main Microsoft points of contact with each FastTrack project. Architects bring a wealth of experience with complex deployments of Dynamics products, and the organizational and technical challenges those involve.
Depending on project type, the FastTrack Architects may organize success workshops, give recommendations, and access the Dynamics 365 product teams for input as needed.
How FastTrack Works with You and Your Partner
Here’s a simple diagram showing the interaction between the different groups in a FastTrack project: you (the customer), your Dynamics Partner, the FastTrack Architects, and the D365 product teams.
FastTrack has two different approaches, for larger or smaller projects. The approach FastTrack takes for larger projects has more direct interactions with the FastTrack Architects.
FastTrack for Larger Projects
For larger projects, the FastTrack Architect leads success workshops directly. It used to be the case that this model of engagement was only for companies above $300k annual license spend, but the criteria have become less clear-cut in recent years. More complex projects at companies with lower spend may qualify.
FastTrack for Smaller Projects
The second model of engagement, for smaller projects, has less direct interaction between your own implementation team and the FastTrack team. Instead, the FastTrack team largely supervises and advises through your Dynamics Partner.
The success workshops are run by the Dynamics Partner, and the FastTrack Architect will join some of the meetings between Partner and customer to confirm the validity of recommendations and findings.
Regardless of which approach FastTrack uses for your project, FastTrack is an excellent addition to your implementation process, increasing the overall success rate.
What Does Your Dynamics Partner Need to Do for FastTrack?
Your Dynamics partner can nominate you for the FastTrack program, and will collaborate with FastTrack on your implementation.
Partners with experience in complex, multi-application solutions will be most effective at leveraging the expertise of Microsoft’s team for the kind of projects FastTrack is intended to facilitate.
Encore’s teams for the relevant solutions — Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations and the Dynamics 365 CRM applications — are trained and certified in Success by Design, which is Microsoft’s framework for FastTrack implementations. We follow those same best practices whenever we implement those solutions, even for smaller customers.
We have contacts with Microsoft’s FastTrack team, and we sometimes reach out to FastTrack staff for advice on difficult situations even if the project is not technically a FastTrack one.
What Kind of Project Is FastTrack Helpful For?
FastTrack is very helpful for big, complex projects – for instance, if your project is:
- For a larger company (usually over $1,000,000,000 revenue)
- A big Dynamics project touching many facets of your business
- A multi-app solution (usually using both Finance & Operations and one or more of the Dynamics 365 CRM applications)
- Integrated with multiple other non-Microsoft solutions
You may have noticed that this list is very similar to the eligibility criteria. In short, if your project is eligible for FastTrack, your project can benefit from FastTrack.
Limitations of FastTrack
There is a key limitation of FastTrack that you should understand up-front: it is not a replacement for working with an experienced Dynamics Partner.
The FastTrack Architects will not be there in the day-to-day trenches of your implementation, nor are they meant to be. Instead, FastTrack is meant to support you and your Dynamics Partner as you plan, work through the implementation, and go live.
Indeed, your solution partner should bring their own architect to the table in order to develop the technical and functional blueprint for the project.
A second important limitation is that even FastTrack can’t necessarily solve every implementation problem.
If there’s a functionality issue or bug with the Dynamics product, FastTrack Architects can advocate to the Dynamics 365 product team for changes. However, they can’t dictate the roadmap to those product teams.
For more advice on the complexities of implementations, you may also be interested in:
- Success Factors for ERP Implementation
- How to Mitigate 7 ERP Implementation Risks
- Encore, a Dynamics Implementation Partner
For guidance specific to your business’s needs, please contact us. We’d love to talk with you.
Many customers come to us for their first Dynamics implementation. Others want to add a new solution to their Microsoft stack. And others ask for help with ongoing but troubled implementations.