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Essentials vs. Premium: Which D365 Business Central Plan Is Right For You?

Which Dynamics 365 Business Central plan is right for your organization? Get more information around licensing and pricing in this blog post.

A laptop with a Dynamics 365 Business Central dashboard on the screen surrounded by black and beige decor

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the ideal ERP solution for small and medium-sized businesses to help them manage crucial business processes, from finance and accounting to sales to customer management, human resources, and much more. Not to mention, Dynamics 365 Business Central has numerous benefits your company can leverage.

If you are considering a transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central from NAV or simply looking to upgrade from entry-level accounting software, this blog post will dive into the different licensing options and help you figure out which is right for your company.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Licensing

There are two main subscription licensing options, each catering to slightly different business needs: Business Central Essentials and Business Central Premium. To use this ERP software, you must license one of these plans. Both plans are licensed by user and are fast to implement as well as easy to configure. There's also a 'Team Members' licensing option to add on additional users.

The difference between a full user vs. an additional user:

A full user is someone who will be working heavily within Business Central on a daily basis. These will typically be your customer service employees, sales and marketing staff, finance employees, and supply chain managers.

An additional user or team member is a 'light user' or users who do not require the full capabilities of Business Central. For instance, they may need to view data reports, log their expenses or time, and other such activities.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials consists of several modules that are considered essential for any business.

Modules included within Essentials:

  • Financial Management

  • Supply Chain Management

  • Customer Relationship Management

  • Project Management

  • Warehouse Management

  • Human Resources Management

This gives your users the following capabilities:

Finance Management: Get help managing budgets, fixed assets, account schedules, deferrals, etc. It also covers bank account management, payments, reconciliation of bank transactions and accounts, and several other essential functions.

Sales and Marketing: It makes managing campaigns, contacts, interactions, documents, and opportunities much easier. Also, you get support for integration with Dynamics 365 Sales application.

Sales and Delivery: Sales order management and invoicing, pricing and discounts, shipping, and returns. It also supports bulk invoices from Microsoft bookings.

Purchasing and Payables: Some of the essential functions include managing purchase orders and their returns, invoicing, discounts, managing alternative addresses, vendors, etc.

Inventory: Along with a basic inventory, the primary functions include managing item attributes, categories, budgets, and tracking. Other functions include managing cycle counting and analysis reports.

Supply Planning and Availability: It covers functions like order and supplies planning, demand, sales, and inventory forecasting, besides calendar management.

Project Management: You get the necessary support for managing basic resources, capacity, costs, jobs, and timesheets.

Warehouse Management: The features include warehouse receipt and shipment, bin setup, warehouse management systems, etc.

The Essentials plan is ideal for small and medium businesses that want a single management software to run all their departments and processes smoothly. It comes with all the basic modules that are essential for handling the daily operations of a business.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium

The Premium license has everything in the Essentials license plus service management and manufacturing.

Modules included within Premium:

  • Service Management

  • Manufacturing

  • Financial Management

  • Supply Chain Management

  • Customer Relationship Management

  • Project Management

  • Warehouse Management

  • Human Resources Management

This gives your users the following capabilities:

Service Management: The major functions covered in this module include planning, dispatching, and managing service contracts, items, orders, and prices.

Manufacturing: Some of the critical features include assembly management, version management, basic capacity planning, standard cost worksheet, etc.

Companies that have manufacturing and distribution needs may be more likely to go for this licensing plan. However, at the end of the day, Dynamics 365 Business central serves SMB businesses across a range of different industries.

Full List of D365 Business Central Capabilities Out-Of-The-Box:

Full list of D365 Business Central Capabilities Out-Of-The-Box
A continuation of the above list of features

For more information, refer to the Business Central capabilities guide here.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Pricing

Now that you know the different features you will be getting in each of the two plans let's look at their pricing. The plans have a fixed cost on a per-user per-month basis, and both offer a one-stop management solution for business needs.

D365 Business Central Essentials Pricing:

The D365 Business Central Essentials is currently priced at CAD$89.60 or USD$70 per user, per month.

D365 Business Central Premium Pricing:

D365 Business Central Premium comes with additional modules, it is currently priced at CAD$128 or USD$100 per user, per month.

Team Member Pricing

You can add additional team members to your selected plan from CAD$10.20 or USD$8.00 per user/month.

Infographic detailing Dynamics 365 Business Central Pricing structure

A business can purchase only one type of licensing plan for all its users. In other words, there cannot be a mixture of some users having the D365 Business Central Essentials plan and others having the D365 Business Central Premium. Also, each of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central licenses is a named user license.

Which Plan is Better Suited for Your Company?

Whichever Dynamics 365 Business Central licensing plan you choose, you'll still be able to leverage the benefits of Cloud ERP, including reduced costs, increased agility, painless upgrades, and maintenance, as well as easy integration with the other Microsoft apps and tools.

To figure out which plan is better for your business, get in touch with the Kwixand Solutions team. As a Silver certified Dynamics 365 Business Central partner, we offer a free, no-obligation 1-day assessment for Business Central that will give you a deep understanding of how Business Central would work in your company, along with the process, costs, and timeline of deployment.

Click to register for a free 1-day assessment to see if Dynamics 365 Business Central is Right for You


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