For the past few years, Microsoft partners have been able to offer incentives to help on premises versions of Dynamics to migrate to the cloud. This lead to a common belief that “On prem” versions of Dynamics will eventually be phased out. In 2016, Microsoft introduced the Modern Lifecycle Policy
, a program that will include continuous service and support.
No one can deny that Microsoft’s gargantuan investments in the cloud space and the SaaS applications of Dynamics 365 has paid off. Azure will soon be the leading producer of revenue
within Microsoft and Dynamics 365 has so much more to offer in the cloud. With that said, we can not forget that the powerful applications of Dynamics originated with on-prem installations. We often encounter companies who continue to use Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement, Microsoft’s name for the on-premises version and it is now clear that its fixed lifecycle has a stated end date. For the past few years, the majority of our work is with the online versions of Dynamics and the Power Platform, however we do still occasionally have to support those that have not yet made the transition to the cloud. The time is upon us, it is our opinion that Microsoft is ready to close the door.
Dynamics 365 Online is covered under the Modern Lifecycle Policy, while the on-prem versions will remain on the Fixed Lifecycle Policy, providing support for a product over the span of 10 years in two -year phases starting from the date of product release. Phase one is Mainstream Support in which new features and functionality are provided along with security updates and bug patches. The second five year period is Extended Support in which no new features are introduced, warranties expire, and mostly consists of security updates with some bug hotfix support available for a price.
As for the obvious, the Mainstream Support for Dynamics CRM 2016
ended on January 12, 2021. We are now in the second phase, making the ticking of the clock a little louder each day. At first glance, we didn't see evidence that Customer Engagement is going away as a whole, just that CRM 2016 is going through the normal lifecycle steps. For good measure, we double checked and reviewed the Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement (v9.0)
support dates, Mainstream Support ends on schedule in 2024, but the Extended Support ends in synch with the end of CRM 2016, three years early.
Based on the information as it is written, it appears that the on-premises version of CRM/Dynamics 365 will no longer be available beyond 2026. If you are using one of these on-premises versions, now is the time to reach out and explore your options of the feature-rich online version.