When it comes to a mature and well developed software product, it is hard to beat a Microsoft product, and Dynamics 365 HR delivers a well laid out interface, with the power to manage human capital. However, we fault it for the high pricing especially as a stand alone offering, the additional charges for upgraded support, and the amorphous methods of contact to receive support.
Advanced support options available
Efficient Human Capital Management with actionable organizational charts
Support contact methods are not specified
Pricing gets expensive as a stand alone
Additional charge for enhanced support adds to cost
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Microsoft hardly needs any introduction, as the computer software juggernaut that had its origins in 1975. With omnipresent household and workplace offerings, such as the Windows OS, Office software, and the Edge browser, it is hard to spend a day without interacting with a Microsoft driven product, which has pushed this company to be among the most valuable publicly traded corporations.
In more recent years, it has pushed into the cloud based space in multiple directions, including the “Hyperconnected workplace,” and under the Dynamics 365 banner we find business applications for Marketing, Service, Operations and Commerce. There is also the Dynamics 365 Human Resources offering, which is used by Hollis, Kiwa, SoftwareOne and TNA Packaging and Processing Solutions.
Plans and pricing
Pricing for Dynamics 365 is best done via a quote from Microsoft. This is because the pricing can get complex depending on the number of users, and the number of Microsoft products that the organization needs, as it would be really unusual for a group to only need a single Microsoft product, and the more likely scenario is for different users to require different combinations of Microsoft apps.
What we do know about the pricing does indicate that as a standalone item, the Dynamics 365 HR is a higher cost option, as it runs a hefty £90.50 (around $122) per user per month. However, as we scale up, the costs make more sense, as the subsequent Dynamics 365 app costs a less lofty £22.60 ($30) per user per month.
What becomes apparent right away is that Dynamics 365 is clearly a mature software product, with a well thought out interface that contributes to the ease of use. Being able to organize and automate complicated HR processes is where Dynamics 365 excels.
There is Human Capital Management (HCM), designed for administrators to easily access their workforce via an ecosystem such as with the ‘Hierarchy Designer’ to be able to simply build an organizational chart. Management is then better able to understand the ‘People data,’ from a centralized source, and then this information becomes actionable with the ability to “Quickly view hierarchy charts, direct reports, and managers.” Furthermore, even more advanced data is easily accessible, including open positions, employee transfers, and even workforce analytics. Once this is all set up the productivity of the HR professionals is enhanced through process automation, Management of tasks, and a workflow that prioritizes the more important tasks for timely action.
There is also the ability to discover insights about the workforce. Rich dashboards from Microsoft Power BI are used to synthesize, and in turn display data, and then insights are revealed through ‘Embedded analytics.” Management can simply keep in touch with employee trends via surveys made through ‘Customer Voice,’ for “A more collaborative work environment.” Data can be further synthesized through using the Common Data Service that can combine info from not only Dynamics 365 HR, but also partner applications.
Dynamics 365 includes the subscription support for no additional cost. Technical support is included 24/7, with a target to address the issue in under an hour for the most critical issues. For less severe issues, help is provided in under 4 or 8 hours depending on the issue. There is also access to virtual on-demand training.
There is also an option to upgrade to a Professional Direct support plan, which has a cost of $9 (£6.80)/user per month, with a minimum of $180/user per month. This upgraded plan has a faster turnaround time of also under 1 hour for the most critical issues while adding priority routing, but then a target of under 2 to 4 hours for the less severe problems. It also adds engineering led web based webinars, and Advisory Support for remote configuration of how to scenarios, and configuration and setup scenarios.
In neither plan are the support methods of contact specified. When we clicked on the ‘Contact Us,’ button, it went directly to our Microsoft login credentials. It is not indicated if there are options for direct phone support, fax, a direct email address, a chat box, or a support portal.
We should also mention the option for Unified Support. This plan covers all the Microsoft products and services utilized for an organization, both on the premises, and also cloud based. This top of the line plan adds things like a dedicated Customer Success Service Manager, the option for Microsoft engineers to be brought on site for a technology initiative, and proactive management of IT health via predictive analytics. The pricing requires a quote, and is “Based on the percentage of licensing.”
Finally, there is an active community forum, for users to be able to pose questions, and interact with peers.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 HR delivers in ways that we truly expect a product from the software folks at Redmond should make. We appreciate the easy organizational charts, the synthesizing of data, the clean interface, and the emphasis on Human Capital Management that competitors fall short on. We also should mention that the pricing of this offering is on the higher side, particularly when not combined with other Microsoft offerings, and that the better support options command an additional premium. When we put this all together, we encourage organizations seeking a full feature software tool for HCM should take a close look at Dynamics 365 HR.
Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.