With Customer Engagement relegated to on-prem, partners will bear the Dynamics 365 branding burden

November 4 2019

In branding terms, Microsoft is now at least two generations away from the use of the term CRM. Customers still use Dynamics applications to carry out CRM-centric activities and processes, but today they license Dynamics 365 pre-built applications with names that explain their specific purposes: Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and so on.

CRM as a competency never vanished, either from the Microsoft's business applications lineup or from the partner channel. The related apps have been grouped under the "Customer Engagement" umbrella since Microsoft made the brand transition to Dynamics 365, and ISVs have happily sold against those apps for a decade or more.

But now that grouping appears ready to fall away, creating a flatter Dynamics 365 application lineup. Alert Microsoft MVP Jukka Niiranen noticed that Microsoft has quietly announced plans to leave the Customer Engagement name behind in its cloud product marketing, relegating the name to the on-premise product only. Niiranen makes the good point that Microsoft probably would have been better served leaving the on-prem product's name as Dynamics CRM years ago and letting "365" serve as the signifier for Microsoft cloud services.

Here's the critical wording in Microsoft's Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement on-premises documentation:

Effective October 2019, the Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement SKU/license plan is no longer available for “online” customers. More information: Dynamics 365 Licensing Update

With this change for online customers, we are no longer using the term “Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement apps” to refer to the collection of following apps and its related services:
* Dynamics 365 Sales
* Dynamics 365 Customer Service
* Dynamics 365 Marketing
* Dynamics 365 Field Service
* Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation

For online customers, these apps are model-driven apps running on Common Data Service. You can build model-driven apps using PowerApps. More information: What are model-driven apps?

This decision tracks with what key Dynamics 365 brand managers have said recently.

About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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jefflfrye's picture

Glad I am not a partner anymore and have to put up with this craziness. Try to sell these products to customers who are also looking at competing products from companies that are not bipolar.

Good luck to the professionals out there still operating in the space Microsoft charged into when they purchased Great Plains. I feel sorry for making fun of Ballmer. At least Microsoft wasn't under the thumb of the erratic cloud army.