Since the latest version of project management tools, ‘Microsoft Project Operations,” is here, it succeeds Project Service Automation (PSA) and project planning tools, with a more evolved version of these tools with additional capabilities.
Although we have already shared an update on the new release in 2020 with news releases, Microsoft has also stated that it is committed to making it a frictionless migration for PSA users. You might have hundreds of questions about how this quick disruption will impact your current projects.
If you have already migrated to Project Operations and are curious about the benefits of the migration. In this blog, we will provide you with a major difference between the newly launched D365 Project Operations and PSA, so you have an improved understanding of what you got with the decision to make the switch from PSA to PO.
So, let’s get started.
Introduction to D365 Project Operations
Dynamics 365 Project Operations is the latest application that combines the capabilities of sales, resourcing, project management, and financial teams into a single tool to assist you in winning more business, completing projects faster, and making more money. In short, it offers everything you get in Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation (PSA) and Dynamics 365 Finance, which provide a comprehensive solution for managing project-based businesses.
For instance, Project Operations incorporates some of the project management accounting and expense management elements of D365 Finance, as well as Microsoft Project planning and scheduling capabilities (formerly unavailable in PSA).
This includes features such as:
- Project planning
- Resource utilization and optimization
- Forecasting (e.g., expected resources, time, expenses etc)
- Time and expenses tracking
- Project budgeting (current, expected, and how they compare)
- Business intelligence
After recent updates in its Wave 2 releases, D365 Project Operations is suited to more roles within the business than PSA, including:
- Account managers
- Project managers
- Resource managers
- Project accountants
Why did Microsoft create Dynamics 365 Project Operations?
Microsoft developed project operations because it wanted customers to have a single solution to manage everything, they need to effectively manage a project.
Here are several factors that motivated it:
- Users were confused about which Microsoft project management tool—Project, PSA, or Dynamics 365 Finance—would be ideal for them.
- There was some functional overlap between these programs.
- PSA users missed Microsoft Project’s mature project planning features.
- Many organizations serve their project business using a combination of PSA, Dynamics 365 Finance, and Project.
- Some have been working on integrating these items to bring their capabilities together.
- Project-based enterprises typically seek an end-to-end solution that covers the complete project cycle and meets project services demands.
Benefits of moving to Project Operations:
Today’s project-based services market is competitive. Businesses face many challenges in closing new deals, completing projects faster, and raising profit margins. Yet many of these companies use independent, disconnected systems for sales, collaboration, project management, and financials.
Project operations can provide a variety of benefits that you might not experience with PSA. Which are:
- You can get business insights to increase visibility across all teams, data, and processes, plus AI capabilities for proactive actions and recommendations.
- You can win more deals and accelerate the sales cycle with fast and accurate quotes, flexible pricing, and seamless transitions from estimate to execution.
- You can optimize your resources with intelligent and skills-based assignments, increase utilization, and foster collaboration across teams.
- You can deliver profitable projects on time and within budget with streamlined project management, time and expense tracking, and project costing and billing.
- You can simplify project accounting with real-time financial insights, compliant revenue recognition, and integration with Dynamics 365 Finance.
Project Operations and PSA differences:
Project operations and project service automation are solutions for managing and automating whole projects. They share similarities, but have many differences too, which you can consider finding out what’s new with the all-new D365 Project Operations. The differences between PO and PSA can be many, but here are the most relevant:
- Project Operations has a unified project management experience that spans from sales to delivery to finance, while PSA focuses on project delivery.
- Project Operations has a modern user interface consistent with other Dynamics 365 applications. PSA has a legacy user interface based on the Common Data Service platform.
- Project Operations has enhanced features for project accounting, invoicing, and revenue recognition, while PSA has limited features for these functions.
- Project Operations has built-in integration with Microsoft Project for the web, while PSA requires a separate add-in for Microsoft Project.
- D365 Project Operations covers both the front and back offices.
How to migrate from PSA to Project Operations
Project operations can be your best choice to get started with one of the rare tools that can help you gain valuable insights and find solutions that are easy to implement and use. For PSA users below, we have given them a quick road map to make their PO migration quick and simple.
- Prepare your PSA environment for an upgrade by resolving any data issues, disabling any custom plugins or workflows, and backing up your data.
- Update your customizations to cleanly import Project Operations by using the Upgrade Analyzer tool and resolving any conflicts or errors.
- End-to-end testing in development environments by initiating the upgrade in the Power Platform admin center and verifying Project Operations functionality and data integrity.
- Upgrade your production environment by repeating the same steps as in the development environment and notifying your users about the changes.
With the release of Project operations in 2021, release wave 1 plan. Microsoft stopped selling PSA from 1 October 2020 when project operations became available. Since then, no new licenses can be purchased, and it stopped renewing existing PSA licenses. Support and updates for PSA will also be discontinued in October 2024.
If you currently have active Project Service Automation licences, you can install and use Project Operations, which has all the features of Project Service Automation and more.
PSA users will not be faced with immediate changes, but they are given enough time between their two (CSP contracts) and four (Enterprise Agreement Contracts) to transition to project operations. As promised by Microsoft, users will have a frictionless data upgrade from PSA to PO.
PSA users can get help from partners like Soluzione. We are a Microsoft Gold Partner Software Development Company that has assisted hundreds of businesses with absolute tech solutions for their businesses. We will guide you through all the ups and downs, so you can make the switch at your own pace. And once you are ready to move, we will provide you with migration tools to execute the process seamlessly.
For more information, visit @solzit