Eligibility & Exclusions for the Microsoft Dynamics ERP "Buy 1, Get 3" Sales Offer: Understanding the Fine Print

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On March 1, 2011, Microsoft announced the “Buy 1 Get 3” promotion.  According to Microsoft,This promotion targets growing and medium-sized businesses that wish to take advantage of the rich functionality, low cost of ownership, and rapid deploy ability offered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP or Microsoft Dynamics SL.”

The promotion allows new customers to purchase 1 user license at full price, and get up to 2 additional users free. It applies to either Dynamics Advanced Management (AM) or Business Essentials (BE) editions of Dynamics GP (Great Plains) as well as Dynamics NAV (Navision) and Dynamics SL (Solomon). This is an excellent offer since it could mean savings of up to $7,960! (side by side comparison of Dynamics GP Business Essentials vs Advanced Management)

But when you read the fine print, is the “Dynamics Buy 1 Get 3” offer too good to be true?  Honestly, no!  There are very few eligibility requirements, and the exclusions seem pretty clear and practical.  But every buyer should know the full cost of their accounting software purchase, so I will attempt to give details on the fine print of this promotion. Note, the fine print is taken directly from Microsoft’s "Buy 1 Get 3" webpage but the explanation is my own unofficial interpretation:

Microsoft Dynamics “Buy 1 Get 3” Eligibility and Exclusions:

1)  This offer is NOT available in Russia. 
This might not seem to matter for anyone except the slighted Russians, but the fact that Russia is the only country that is specifically excluded makes me wonder if this promotion might soon be released to other countries. Last year, after the Dynamics GP “3 for $1” promotion was launched in the US, it went global a few months later.  A benefit of the “Buy 1, Get 3” going global  would be that companies who have offices or subsidiaries in multiple countries could all standardize on the same system for the same low price. We’ll just have to wait and see.  Right now this promotion is only available in the USA and Canada.

2)  This offer applies to new customers making their initial purchase of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP or Microsoft Dynamics SL only. 
Of the four Dynamics ERP products, the only product NOT included in this promotion is Dynamics AX (Axapta).  This is good news for NAV and SL buyers, who may have been feeling slighted with last year’s “Get 3 for $1” promotion that only applied to Dynamics GP.
“New Customers” are companies not already registered with Microsoft and in possession of a Microsoft authorization number (this used to be your phone number but now is an authorized number given by Microsoft).  So if you purchased a Dynamics system years ago, are no longer active with your maintenance plan, and now realize it would be cheaper to buy a new system than upgrade your old one, unfortunately, technically you would not be eligible for this promotion.

3)  Customers located in the United States purchasing GP or SL must purchase one year of the Business Ready Advantage Plan when they purchase their license.  Customers located in the United States purchasing NAV must purchase one year of the Business Ready Enhancement Plan when they purchase their license.  Enhancement/Support Plan fees will be calculated based on the System list Price (“SLP”) of all users (including the two (2) additional users) and components, based on the regular Dynamics Price list.
No matter what it is called, customers must agree to purchase a one year maintenance plan on the software.  This is nothing alarming as the maintenance plan is always required for the first year and in fact some other current Dynamics promotions require multiple-year commitments.  But what you should be aware of is that the maintenance plan is calculated as 18% of the FULL System List Price, NOT the discounted price.  (see chart below). So the maintenance plan is still full price, not discounted by the promotion, you only save money on the actual license cost.  Nothing hidden here, but something a buyer does need to calculate correctly. (What is included in the Dynamics GP maintenance plan?)

4)  Eligible customer may accept 1 or 2 additional users, as they deem appropriate. 
When you buy 1 license, although you CAN get 2 more at no cost, you may choose to only take 1 additional free license. Why would you do this? Because you may not want to pay the maintenance fee on that 3rd free user. For Dynamics GP 1 year of maintenance for 1 user is $405 (BE) or $716 (AM).

5)   Additional users and Functionality modules will be sold per regular Dynamics Price List.
You only get a maximum of 2 users free. So if you want more than 3 users, you are welcome to buy them, but for users 4, 5, 6 and up, you will pay the full license price.

Here is a chart to illustrate some pricing scenarios with the promotion:

Microsoft Dynamics GP-Buy 1 Get 3 Offer Chart

6)  Customers who take advantage of this offer will not be allowed to transition to another Microsoft Dynamics ERP product using their transition credit for two years from the date they purchase their first Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP or Microsoft Dynamics SL licenses.
Typically, Dynamics gives customers the power of choice, allowing them to transition/move to another Dynamics ERP edition or product and get a full investment credit on the original system list price.  For example, a customer using Dynamics SL could transition to Dynamics GP, and get a credit for the price originally paid for SL.  But you can’t do that for 2 years if you use this promotion!  Sorry, you cannot get free users of Dynamics GP and then use the full price credit to move to Dynamics AX the next day.  Makes sense to me, but I secretly hope that someone did this in the past and was pretty pleased with himself at finding such a cool loophole.

7)  This promotion/offer does NOT apply to:

  • Microsoft Dynamics Light UsersLight Users cost $195 for each named user (+enhancement/maintenance fees).   Each user includes Human Resources Management (HRM) Self-Service Suite, Requisition Management, 1 Management Reporter Viewer (you must purchase a Light User in order to get the Viewer), 1 Business Portal Employee, 1 Business Portal Customer, Analysis Cubes.
  • Microsoft Dynamics Employee Self-Service UsersThe additional cost for 1-49 users is $100.00 per named user.  This includes HRM Self Service Suite, Requisition Management & 1 Business Portal Employee.
  • Limited Point of Sale (POS) Device CALs.Cost of this is $299.
  • External Connector. The cost of the External Connector is $5,000. This license will allow any 3rd party individual or device to access the system database, provided that the individual or device user is not employed by the customer organization. Only one External Connector license is required for each system database.
  • SQL Runtime Edition and Database licenses. SQL Server 2008 Standard $190 // SQL Server 2008 Enterprise $350
  • SharePoint Runtime Edition.   Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise CAL (Named User) Server is included with first user - $200 plus requires Light User ($195)  (Get more info on Microsoft SharePoint)
  • A la carte functionality modules. Each edition of Dynamics ERP products includes specific modules in the user price.  There are other modules, such as Payroll, that are not included in the per user price but can be purchased separately (a la carte).  These a la carte modules are not included in the promotion.  What are the a la carte modules for Dynamics GP editions?
  • Third Party (ISV) software and functionality. At our company, we include some ISV products, such as Mekorma MICR checks, on all our sales proposals and feel they are an important part of a complete Dynamics GP implementation.  But this, and all other add on/ISV, have their own price lists are not included in the promotion.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM and CRM related Services or Components. Dynamics CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a different product and is not eligible for the promotion. However, Dynamics CRM has some pretty nice promotions of their own right now including $34 per user for Dynamics CRM 2011 online.  So you could use both the ERP and CRM promotions and get a fully integrated system for a very reasonable cost.  How does Dynamics ERP integrate with Dynamics CRM?
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, Microsoft Dynamics C5, Microsoft Dynamics XAL, Microsoft Apertum or Microsoft Small Business Financial (SBF). These are all separate ERP/Accounting systems and are not included in this promotion. I have never heard of C5 and Apertum and SBF is no longer being sold, so you are not missing much.

And a few other exclusions that are self-explanatory:

  • Offer cannot be combined with other offers and promotions.
  • This offer cannot be converted into cash.
  • All licenses need to be purchased for real customers and not for stocking purposes.
  • Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient.
  • This offer is non-transferable.
  • Offer available only through participating resellers. Reseller prices, terms and conditions may vary.
  • Public Sector customers are excluded from this ‘Buy 1, get 3’ offer. Learn about an alternate offer for Public Sector customers.

And of course the most important line in the fine print:
This promotion expires at the “end of business day” on Friday June 24, 2011.
(I would assume this is 5pm in Fargo, ND so anyone not in the Central time zone should calculate accordingly if you are the type to wait until the very last hour).  This is a locked in date, if your reseller (VAR) has to place your order on June 25th you will be paying full price, and no amount of, “the dog ate my deposit check” will change that deadline.

So if you are a prospective Dynamics ERP buyer that has been thinking, “sounds good, but what’s the catch?” I hope that this information clears up any speculation on the real value of the Dynamics ERP “Buy 1 Get 3” promotion.   There is no dangerous fine print.  You really do get 2 full users free. This promotion is just Microsoft’s way of making it more affordable for more people to buy Dynamics ERP products and thus grow their own market share.  You might as well take advantage of it while it lasts to get a strong, stable, full featured ERP software system, at a great price.

Next Steps:
Set up a Dynamics GP Discovery Call with CAL Business Solutions. 860-485-0910 x3002
Get more details on the Dynamics GP “Buy 1 Get 3” promotion at www.calszone.com/buy1get3
Request a Dynamics GP Quick Quote

By CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut & Massachusetts Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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