Microsoft Power Apps vs
Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM


  • Power Apps vs Dynamics 365 - how the two can complement each other and reduce costs
    Microsoft Power Apps (purple) vs Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM (blue)

    Power Apps vs Dynamics 365 - how the two can complement each other and reduce costs

    Business leaders tend to think of Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM as two separate entities, driving a decision tree around using one or the other.

    The standard way of thinking is that Dynamics 365 CRM is for bigger companies, who are scaling up and need a heavy-duty, robust platform that will last forever.

    Meanwhile, they consider Power Apps are to be used by smaller enterprises for specific tasks and workflows that enhance general back-office work – and which can be bolted on or adapted as their organisation evolves.

    While there is some truth in this way of thinking, it’s not entirely 100% true. There are plenty of ways that Power Apps can be used alongside (or instead of) Dynamics 365 CRM, to both improve efficiency and reduce costs.

    This is particularly true as the licensing costs for Microsoft Power Apps are so much lower per seat than Microsoft Dynamics 365, by a factor of around 19x.

    License the functionality that you plan to use

    The way that I look at, is slightly more nuanced and depends on the functionality that is required by our end clients.

    A large enterprise will buy the full suite of Dynamics 365 with all of its advanced features. The companies & NonProfits that we work with, are not at that scale, and so this is the wrong 'default' option for them.

    This is where Microsoft Power Apps come into their own. If a smaller organisation needs a proper CRM platform (or other business application), but also has its own unique requirements, we can then build them the functionality that they need as a custom Power App.

    Going for the full Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise version would cost £78.10/month per seat versus Power Apps at £4.10/month. A massive difference, clearly.

    Simpler Requirements: Power Apps is the winner

    Many businesses are not ready (and don’t need) to go for a full-blown Dynamics 365 system. Where they have their own productivity processes, or are maybe still using spreadsheets, where they would be better served with automation, then it’s time for Power Apps.

    Power Apps are relatively easy to build, the costs are not high and often the biggest struggle for organisations is defining “how they work” as a business; extracting the core business processes that enable them to improve them. That’s where we come in.

    More Complexity: A hybrid system is often the answer

    For companies with more complex requirements, Dynamics 365 is often still not the only answer.

    In reality, many of our more complex clients end up with a hybrid system, with some users using (& being licensed for) pre-built Microsoft Dynamics 365 functionality, while the functionality required by other staff can be met via a Power App.

    In a hybrid set-up, even though not all of the requirements were be met by Power Apps, making use of them where possible will significantly reduce your ongoing costs.

    Plan for both immediate and future needs

    Overall, it is worth thinking of the two approaches like Lego: Dynamics 365 is like one of those giant Death Star models where you follow the instructions to build it exactly how it shows on the box, whereas Power Apps are more like the bricks that you use to build whatever you need or want.

    Microsoft Power Apps can definitely complement Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, it's rarely a case of either/or.

    Before deciding on your implementation approach, I always recommend a proper scoping workshop session or two, evaluating what is required, what would work now, and what might be required in the future.

    It can save you a ton of money over time.

    Contact Solutions Shared for a free discussion around whether Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, Power Apps, or both, would work for your business.