The Future of Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation.

Organizations that sell project-based services need automation of end-to-end business processes to empower Project Managers, Project Accountants, and Portfolio Managers to efficiently track, manage, and deliver these services, from the initial sale all the way to invoicing. In order to achieve this, seamless integration of best in-class work management applications with business applications is essential.

Because of this, we’re preparing a new product experience that will bring together the industry-leading capabilities in Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA) and Microsoft Project, an integrated way to manage sales, scheduling, pricing, project planning, resource management, and project economics.

First released in 2016 as part of the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement suite of applications, Project Service Automation has seen phenomenal growth over the last three years. The application in its current form has end-to-end scenarios for project service companies supporting the following business process flow:

By bringing together the best capabilities of Dynamics 365 for PSA and Microsoft Project, organizations can choose a comprehensive solution that helps support and accelerate their digital transformation journey. This joint offering will deliver a robust project management experience no matter where you begin within Microsoft’s portfolio of product offerings while deepening the integrated experience of Dynamics 365 and Project. Existing resource management and project economics capabilities will continue to be supported and will seamlessly integrate with the new Project service.

New and exciting capabilities

New Microsoft Project service: Microsoft Project is the tool of choice for Project Managers all over the world for its comprehensive project planning capabilities. The task scheduling engine that powers these capabilities is feature-rich and powerful.

Microsoft is re-imagining project planning capabilities on the Microsoft cloud leveraging Azure and Common Data Service (CDS). The first release of the new Project service is in line with this investment, and will be available in Q3 2019. It will become Microsoft’s primary project management service over time.

The new Project service will be available only in Project Online Professional and premium subscriptions. With a Project Online Professional subscription, a user will have core project management capabilities including scheduling, task grid/board/timeline, and road-map capabilities. In future releases, issue tracking, risk tracking, core resource management, and cost management capabilities will be added.

Project + Dynamics 365: In Q1 2020, we will replace PSA’s Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Gantt, and task scheduling capabilities by leveraging these from the new Project service experience. This will provide a truly differentiated and world class experience, bringing the best of Microsoft Project and PSA capabilities together into a seamless offering. Until we complete this move, customers who require the existing PSA capabilities will be able to continue to purchase Dynamics 365 for PSA licenses as they’re able to today (which does not rely on the new Project service).

Once the new integrated experience is available, we will announce a new way of acquiring the capabilities encapsulated in the current PSA offering. The PSA subscription will be replaced by a combination of Project Online subscriptions and a Dynamics 365 subscription. We will be providing a discounted offering for customers that need to purchase both subscriptions i.e. new Project service along with the current PSA capabilities, as well as a transition offer for existing PSA customers.

Microsoft is committed to both new and existing PSA customers

Our focus on providing a solution for customers that delivers profitable projects on time and within budget while increasing employee productivity is not going away. On the contrary, this new technology direction will allow us to increase our investments in this space and add more functional capabilities at an ever-increasing pace going forward. We will announce more details on our innovation roadmap as we get closer to the launch of the new Project service.

Customers evaluating PSA today should feel comfortable to continue their evaluation, purchase, and installation of our in-market product, with knowledge of a rich and full product road-map.

As we see phenomenal growth in this space, bringing together these products is key to our vision. We’re very excited for the innovation we can bring in this space and are looking forward to the value that Microsoft and its partners can bring to our customers.