Microsoft’s roadmap for Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA)
When it comes to selling project-based services, organisations have realised the need to automate their end-to-end business processes to empower Project Managers, Portfolio Managers and Project Accountants to track, manage and deliver services efficiently - from point of sale to invoicing. One can achieve this only by seamlessly integrating best-of-breed work management solutions with business applications.
Having understood the importance of this, Microsoft is investing in creating a new product experience that will encompass the unique capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA) and Microsoft Project. This new offering enables seamless integration across business processes – from managing, project planning, budgeting and scheduling to pricing, sales and resource management.
Since its release in 2016 as a part of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement suite, PSA has witnessed significant growth. The diagram below shows the various business processes the current application supports in most project-based organisations.
By unifying the best functionalities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for PSA and Microsoft Project, project-based service organisations can now have access to a comprehensive solution that enables and accelerates their business transformation journey. This combined offering will provide a powerful project management experience no matter which application you begin with from Microsoft’s portfolio of solution offerings, while strengthening the experience of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Project.
A look at the new capabilities
Project Managers working in project-based organisations all over the world prefer Microsoft Project as a tool of choice for its comprehensive project planning capabilities. The task scheduling engine that comes with this tool is highly robust and feature rich.
Microsoft is recreating project planning capabilities on the cloud by leveraging Azure and Common Data Service (CDS). The first release of the new Project service version will be available in Q3 2019.
The new Project service is being made available only in Premium and Professional subscriptions. A user with Project Online Professional subscription will have access to core project management capabilities which include roadmap, task scheduling and task grid/ board/ timeline capabilities. In future releases, Microsoft plans to add risk tracking, issue tracking, cost management and core resource management capabilities.
Microsoft is planning to replace PSA’s Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Gantt, and task scheduling features by leveraging these from the new Project service, in Q1 2020.
Bringing the best of Microsoft Project and PSA together will provide a differentiated and world class experience. Until Microsoft completes this shift, clients who require existing PSA capabilities can continue to purchase Microsoft Dynamics 365 for PSA. Once the new Project service is made available, Microsoft will announce a way of embedding the features of the current PSA with the new, integrated experience. A combination of Project online subscriptions and Microsoft Dynamics 365 subscriptions will replace the PSA subscription. Microsoft will provide discounted offerings for clients who wish to purchase both - new project services along with current PSA features as well as upgrade offers for existing PSA clients.
About the Author
Dhananjayan K J is Senior Digital Marketing Manager for sa.global, where his role is to primarily develop and implement digital marketing strategies for Microsoft Dynamics products and services. Dhananjayan has over 12 years of enterprise marketing experience with strong background in digital marketing across industries.