Two weeks after Microsoft unveiled Dynamics 365, the Redmond-Wash.-based giant made good on its promised release date yesterday. 

Along with the general availability of the solution came some answers to questions that the October announcement raised.

For many, though, yesterday's announcement was all about pricing transparency, as well as an opportunity to see Microsoft's roadmap for the new suite that combines its customer relationship management app, Dynamics CRM, with its Enterprise Resource Planning app, Dynamics AX.

Pricing Takes Aim at Salesforce

The release comes in two editions: enterprise edition and business edition. The enterprise edition is for organizations with 500 or more users, while the business edition is for small and medium-sized (SMB) organizations with up to a few hundred users.

Like Office 365, you have options when it comes to subscriptions: user subscription offers two choices (by user and application), two subscription types (full and light) and two Plans for Enterprise (P1 and P2).

Even still, the pricing is interesting if for no other reason than who Microsoft is targeting on the Dynamics 365 website.

The Enterprise edition leads with, "Salesforce costs $470 more!" then goes on to break down what Dynamics 365 offers as opposed to what San Francisco-based Salesforce offers in terms of features and cost.

(Editor's Note: In the hour since time of writing, the price dropped down from the $515 price captured in the image below.)

According to Microsoft's numbers, an enterprise plan for an organization with 500 users costs $115 per user per month as opposed to $585 per user per month for an equivalent Salesforce deployment. 

While Microsoft originally indicated that Dynamics 365 would come with services provided by Adobe Marketing Cloud, the price list included no mention of them, so those services don’t appear to be available now.

All Apps, in One Place

Jujhar Singh, corporate Vice President, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, noted that Dynamics 365 is a core part of Microsoft’s strategy to pull its applications together in a blog post announcing Dynamics 365 availability.

“To better enable end-to-end business processes, we have unified the navigation and core user experience across each of the Dynamics 365 applications.” 

Once a user has logged in, the screen will display all of the apps that they have access to for their role. Users also gain access to hundreds of third party business apps through a link to Microsoft AppSource.

Cortana Gets a Job in Sales

The roadmap offers some interesting new features listed in either preview or in development phase. Cortana, in particular, stands out.

Cortana is Microsoft’s digital assistant. Integrating it into Dynamics 365 will give it sales and marketing functionality.

The new functionality is already in preview, and per the roadmap, takes Cortana to the “next level” by adding sales activity data, accounts and leads into the assistant. This means users will have access to:

  • Sales digest: an overview of sales-related activity and how it has been updated
  • Account overview: Insights into all accounts and related activity
  • Deal overview: Provides key details such as product stock keeping units
  • Meeting prep: A native meeting prep experience

Microsoft will release the Cortana capabilities in English-speaking countries first and in other languages afterwards.

Other news worth noting: As of yesterday evening, new customers will not have access Microsoft’s CRM or ERP online products but will, instead, have to go with Dynamics 365.

Those enterprises already using Dynamics CRM and AX can continue using both applications, but will have to move to Dynamics 365 when their contract expires.