For some of our readers this might come as a shocker, but a lot of Dynamics 365 customers are still using Dynamics 365 On Premise versions.There’s various reasons why customers bring up why they are still on an On Premise version. In this article I’ll try and demystify a number of myths regarding migration to an Online environment.
If you’re one of those On Premise customers… I strongly encourage you to read through the article and get in touch!
Myth #1: “It’s not secure”
When I hear IT Managers say they don’t believe in the cloud because it’s not secure, I am truly baffled… It is true that ‘the cloud’ is accessible from anywhere and on any device… Something which I still consider to be a benefit. By no means does this mean the cloud is less secure. The opposite is true actually, Microsoft’s data centers host thousands of customers and they simply cannot afford to have a weak security policy in place.
Don’t just take my word for it though, Microsoft has done a lot of audits through independent companies to check for compliance with ISO standards, GDPR, SOC, FedRAMP, … All of these audit reports are available online. You can read through them at https://servicetrust.microsoft.com/ViewPage/MSComplianceGuideV3. Did you know that 95% of the Fortune 500 companies is trusting on Microsoft Azure for their security, privacy and compliance?
There are several aspects when it comes to security:
- Security. Protecting your company against cyber threats.
- Privacy. Protecting your data and complying to GDPR regulations.
- Compliance. Complying with legal or regulatory standards?
Microsoft has invested heavily in all of these areas and has bundled its information in the Microsoft Trust Center. What’s even more is that Microsoft not only invests in securing it’s infrastructure and the way they handle your data. They also help you in the way you handle your identity and data and guide you through securing your company in the best possible way. Microsoft does this by identifying the weak spots in your security policy and helping you resolve them.
Did you know about Office 365 ATP Safe Links which provide ‘time-of-click’ verification of the hyperlinks in a received email? I could go on for hours… but I think it’s safe to say that yes, the Microsoft Cloud is secure… and most likely a lot more secure than most of the On Premise infrastructures.
Myth #2: “It’s more expensive”
This is without a doubt the #1 reason I get when talking to SMEs. I get it, the licensing policy regarding the Dynamics 365 suite can be quite confusing and seem pretty expensive at first… But keep in mind that the licensing cost is pretty much the only cost that is still relevant with a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement environment.
With a Dynamics 365 On Premise environment, it is harder to tell the actual TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of your CRM system… But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. There’s different factors to take into account when looking at the CRM On Premise TCO:
You also have Client Access Licenses which you need to purchase annually.
- Expensive Support
For an On Premise environment you’d either need Premier Support, a Service Plan or Software Assurance. All of these come at a hefty price.
- On Premise Data Center Costs.
This is a cost that is often underestimated. Not only do you need to take into account the purchased hardware (servers, hard disks, UPS, …), there’s also the Software Licenses (Windows Server Operating Systems, SQL Server licensing is a serious investment). Last but not least you’d also need to take into account the electricity, heating- and cooling cost of having one or more servers in a server room up and running full-time.
- IT Maintenance Costs.
With Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement there’s no more need to upgrade your server software, update firewalls and the likes… Because Microsoft takes care of all that for you, drastically reducing the budget you’d spend on IT Maintenance.
- Reduced Development Costs.
With every new release Dynamics 365 becomes more business oriented, more flexible and more easy to adapt to your business processes, reducing the need for development capacity.
Interestingly, Forrester did research on the topic and found that on average there’s a total TCO reduction of 7% when comparing a cloud migration to the Dynamics CRM 2011 and 2013 On Premise versions. You can find the full report on dynamics.microsoft.com.
Myth #3. My environment is too complex to upgrade
In certain customer scenarios this argument actually makes sense. Over the years I’ve seen quite some Dynamics 365 On Premise implementations that really look scary to migrate and often times just get labeled as ‘Non migrate-able’. Think about the following:
Did you notice a common demeanor in the list above? That’s right, complex environments are usually complex because of integrations they have with other systems. Luckily Microsoft is well aware of this. The Power Platform is developing with an unseen pace and every new release includes features that help us overcome these kind of issues. Think about the Data Export Service, which enables you to sync your Dynamics 365 Database to an Azure SQL DB. Another example is the Data Services On-Premises Gateway, which allows you to connect your local Web Services to Power Automate. The list of tools to enhance your online experience is increasing every day.
Finally, a migration to Dynamics 365 Online does not have to be a single-shot big-bang story, those usually end bad anyway. Instead, it might be an opportunity to re-assess your business processes. For example, maybe your sales team isn’t dependent on all of the complexity above. What if you could migrate your sales team to Dynamics 365 Online and have them make use of all the new functionalities they are currently missing out on? Did I mention the native iPhone / iPad apps?
Chances are the enthusiasm of these early adopters will swirl through the company and they will become your ambassadors for future Dynamics 365 migration tracks within the company. We’ve had great success with scaling up Dynamics 365 Online environments like this.
Want to learn more about our success formula for On Premise to Online Migrations? Check out our Fast Forward offering or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember… You can’t say migrate without saying great ;-).