Can you avoid Microsoft’s data storage price hike?

Does your Business have Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer relationship management (D365 CRM) software?

Do you use the Common Data Service (CDS) storage facility it to store your database, file, and log information?

Glenn Powell, Director at Formus Professional Software is encouraging all organisations using Dynamics 365 to check their licensing plans, contact their software partners and calculate their renewal costs.

You could be set for an unwelcome surprise after the end of December 2020 if you don’t.

What is changing?

As an example, from December this year the cost for storage could see you jumping from £3.80 to £30.20 per GB.

There are 3 different types of storage: database, file, and log, all with slightly differing new prices, however this is a flavour of things to come when you next renew your licence no matter what type of data you are storing in CDS.

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Before April 2019 you could buy your D365 package with a given amount of data storage space included. Any extra storage licences needed for customer data, project documents or business logs were fairly reasonably priced (depending on the offer and licencing you opted for).

Eight-fold rise

However, over the last year Microsoft have slowly been rolling out new prices for this additional space… to the tune of almost an eight-fold rise. For businesses storing significant amounts of complex records, this new monthly price hike could represent hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of pounds of extra costs per month.

Many businesses we have spoken to are not aware of this upcoming price increase.

When will this happen?

It has already begun for some organisations. Details of the higher storage costs were quietly released by Microsoft last year.

Businesses with a Dynamics licence that haven’t yet switched to an alternative storage solution will be automatically transitioned to the new pricing plan on December 31st, being applied upon the individual business’s next annual licence renewal.

What to do next?

Don’t wait for you next licence renewal date. Investigate now and give yourself plenty of time to seek advice, look at your options and choose what you would like to do going forward.

Check your actual data storage size

The amount of data held within a CRM environment can be large; with millions of records, workflows, files, attachments and audit logs. For some industries, such as finance, with databases holding details on every single transaction, the storage requirement will be even larger.

Cleanse & clean up your data

Bring your storage requirement size down by deleting and de-duplicating as much data as possible. However, be aware that this might be a short-term solution as data rarely shrinks or stays the same over time.

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Split your data

What really needs to stay within the Dynamics environment and what could be stored somewhere else? There are cheaper storage platforms to choose from however you need to make sure the two platforms are still seamlessly linked. You want little or no disruption to how you use your CRM as a result. It is possible to achieve but you may want to seek advice on how to do this.

Where can I find more information?

With the considerable dependency on database storage, Microsoft is starting to nudge licence-holders towards other, more efficient, storage solutions. Although these price increases have been known for a while, it concerns us that it has not generated much publicity in the market. As a Microsoft Gold Partner we keep an eye on Microsoft updates to decipher what they might mean in real terms for business. We can certainly help you.

However, if you have the time and the in-house capacity, some further useful public information can be found within the Microsoft admin power platform documentation itself, under New capacity storage model. You may also find it helpful to check out their documentation on freeing up storage space.

When you consider that some businesses have CRM databases containing hundreds of gigabytes of data, it goes without saying that storing that data within Dynamics 365 is about to get a lot more expensive unless you start planning to change the way you use it.

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