What is The Microsoft Service Plan?
The Microsoft Software Service Plan is an annual subscription which helps to keep your organization up-to-date with your Microsoft Dynamics products. When investing in Microsoft Dynamics RMS or POS, enrolling in and sustaining the service plan is critical to the success of your retail organization. Because of business realities it is very important for business software to stay up-to-date with the latest security and compatibility updates. An active service plan ensures that your software remains patched with the latest updates, that you receive timely support from Microsoft, and that your investment is not diminished. With an active service plan not only will you receive updates, but you also get migration credits or free version or product upgrades in the future.
Select the service plan that best fits your needs. Your plan, along with the services your Microsoft partner provides, can give you the winning combination for helping you and your team succeed. Which service plan to choose? Business Ready Enhancement Plan (BREP) or Business Ready Advantage Plan (BRAP)? If Microsoft direct support and access to user forums is important to you, then chose BRAP. Otherwise go with BREP which costs a little less. The comparison chart is here
The annual cost of your service plan typically is 16% (BREP) or 18% (BRAP) of your protected license cost. It's important to understand that though you might have purchased your software at a discount, the protected license costs tracked by Microsoft always reflect the standard license cost. Check this service plan cost estimation tool
while keeping in mind that the standard list price of single Dynamics RMS license in the US is $1,190 (your "protected" price may be different because it depends on the number of factors).
If you missed the deadline of your service plan renewal you may need to pay the lapsed fees which is prorated back to your past renewal date plus 1% interest. The lapsed fees can total up to a maximum of three years so if you are past that date it is still at least 40% less expensive to renew your service plan than purchase new license.
Recent Updates to Dynamics RMS and POS 2009
Since introduction of Dynamics RMS 2.0 in 2007 and POS 2009 in 2008, Microsoft has worked to produce numerous service packs, hotfixes and feature packs. While the service packs and hotfixes generally focus on managing certain bugs in the system, the feature packs introduce significant product enhancements which may be compared to a new version release. Here's what available for Dynamics RMS as of Q2 2012:
- Service Pack 1 (11/22/2007)
- Service Pack 2 (6/2/2008)
- Service Pack 3 (4/12/2009)
- Feature Pack 1 (8/9/24)
- Service Pack 4 (3/2/2011)
- Service Pack 4 "Refresh" (5/2/2011)
- After-SP4 Hotfixes ## 21-25
- Feature Pack 2 has been released in August, 2012.
If you are unsure about whether your Dynamics RMS software is up-to-date, it's easy to check. Open RMS Administrator or Manager and go to the menu Help->About
. With all latest updates installed, your software version number should be 2.0.0160 (for the post-SP4 Hotfix #25).
For Dynamics POS 2009
, there is the following:
- Service Pack 1 (1/31/2011)
- Feature Pack 1 (11/3/2011)
- Feature Pack 2 for Dynamics POS 2009 is expected in Q1 2013
What's New in the Feature Packs?
Feature Pack 1 for Dynamics RMS
- Centralized purchasing – Create a master purchase order at headquarters for a supplier to deliver to individual stores.
- Landed cost – Automatically calculates the landed cost for each item received through purchase orders and inventory transfers.
- Ordering guidance – Provides valuable information when ordering or transferring inventory, such as item sales and order history, GMROI, inventory turns, and profit margin.
- Partial shipments – Receive partial shipments and process payments against them.
- Global vouchers – Offer customers the convenience and flexibility to purchase and use vouchers at any store in the chain.
- Voucher enhancements – Automatic voucher numbering, issuing vouchers for store credit, adding funds, and checking balance.
- Voucher accounting improvements – Proper accounting of vouchers as a liability until redemption.
Inventory Quantity Tracking and Reporting
- GMROI and Inventory Turns report – GMROI (Gross margin return on investment) is a key profitability evaluation ratio that analyzes the ability to turn inventory into cash above the cost of the inventory. View the income on every dollar spent on inventory.
- Inventory Valuation report – Track inventory valuation of stores, departments, categories, and specific items for a specified date range. Audit item price, cost, and quantity changes.
Feature Pack for Dynamics POS 2009 has the same type of updates as FP1 for RMS except for the multi-store features.
Feature Pack 2 for Dynamics RMS
New Features in Headquarters:
- Improved worksheet handling
- Manage store prices and sale prices from Headquarters
- Automatic item look-up codes
- Inactive stores
- Inactive cashiers
- Inactive tender types
- New report for tracking in-transit inventory
- Inter-store inventory transfer discrepancy management
- Support for multiple currencies in the purchase order workflow
New Features in Store Operations:
- POS task pads
- Automatic item look-up codes
- Gift receipts
- Inactive cashiers and inactive tender types
- Prevent sale of all inactive items
- Set custom back order deposits
RMS "New Version"
According to the latest Statement of Direction, Microsoft is intending to release the new version of RMS in 2013. The new product will effectively supersede both Dynamics RMS 2.0 and POS 2009. It will be built on a flexible and advanced business software platform shared with an ERP product called AX. For that next generation of Microsoft Dynamics RMS, Microsoft aims to address improved functionality with:
- Store management control;
- Role-based, touch optimized, customizable POS user-interface;
- Merchandising enhancements for loyalty, pricing, and promotion;
- Replenishment, assortment management;
- Alerts and monitoring for hardware, user-interface profiles, and data flows;
- Multi-channel capabilities:
- Catalog management, cross channel workflows,
- Integrated sales channel management,
- Social commerce;
- Services (payments, commerce, sites);
- Microsoft stack integration for Visual Studio, Office, and SharePoint;
- Localization for individual countries.
In advance of the new versions and product it is important to remember that the customers current on the Service Plan will be able to upgrade to the next generation RMS for no additional license costs
Please contact your current Dynamics VAR or Retail Hero
for more information about the Dynamics Service Plans and product updates.