Microsoft PSA License Changes

Dynamics PSA has seen an enormous adoption and development in the past 2-3 years when it was launched. With some major releases integrating the app with the CDN services and releasing impressive UI changes, PSA has hit some high points with an adoption 

While PSA as a stand-alone SKU, provides an end-to-end project management solution, when used as a part of the Customer Engagement plan, becomes the critical Delivery link between Sales and Invoicing. 

The Customer engagement Plan comprises of Project Service, Field Service, Customer Service, and Sales – it’s a suite of apps.  

Today, using just the Customer Engagement Plan license, an organization can work the entire length of the sales cycle through to invoice generation. There are a smooth collaboration and handover between the sales team, the project team, and Accounts within PSA.

This license plan may see another change soon.

Microsoft has finally made an announcement – albeit, not a detailed one, on how it is planning to “restructure” the dynamics PSA License – putting an end to at least some strong rumors floating around the web that Microsoft plans to remove Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation from the business applications portfolio and license it differently.

PSA is not going away but Microsoft is about to decouple the whole Planner and Task scheduling functionality from PSA and move it directly to the new Project Service

In Q1 2020, we will replace PSA’s Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Gantt, and task scheduling capabilities by leveraging these from the new Project service experience. This will provide a truly differentiated and world-class experience, bringing the best of Microsoft Project and PSA capabilities together into a seamless offering

While we will have to wait until Microsoft reveals some more, I feel, that the Project Manager, managing Tasks and schedules, will be the one most adversely affected. This seamless process of Quote to Invoice will now have the key Project management piece of tasks and schedule removed. 

Soon, there will not be any project scheduling experience in Dynamics part of the offering on the product, that experience will entirely come from the Project Online license.

  • While Microsoft has promised that the combined SKU of Project Online + Dynamics will be priced comparably to the current full PSA license we will have to wait for another quarter before we have clarity on these.
  • Apart from the Analytics and Integration with Dynamics 365 apps, Approving of Time and Expenses and Task and Resource Scheduling were the 2 main actionable sections in PSA.  If that is now an opt-in and priced higher, customers would lose the core benefit of the app. So while MS may restructure the background processes and replace the existing ones with the mature Project services, they will most likely price it the same, so that existing and Potential PSA users don’t have to re-strategize their application bundles
  • The decoupled licenses, if priced higher, may benefit those Organizations who have not been using the complex Schedule Board and the nascent task scheduling. Now they would pay less and only pay for what they use.
  • The Announcement does not clearly mention if there will be some functional and transitional changes for existing PSA users from an application perspective. It may be a hurdle to cross for Partners and customers if there is one.
  • Project managers managing Large projects probably did retain their Project Online License alongside PSA and integrated it in some ways with it. They should continue to use Projects. There seems to be deeper integration with Dynamics coming our way in the upcoming releases.