What's new and planned for Microsoft Dynamics 365 October 19 Release – Project Service Automation

Dynamics 365, Business Applications

Microsoft’s October 2019 release includes new features which are being introduced from October 2019 to March 2020 to Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform (PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Power BI).

This is our third blog in our series where we take a closer look at the new innovations from Dynamics 365. Let’s take a look at our favourite features that will enhance your project and service capabilities.

Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation

Microsoft will be focused on making improvements to make the modular offerings work together in a seamless fashion, across Microsoft Project, Project Service Automation, and Finance and Operations.

Leverage the best of Office and Dynamics 365 for projects

This update sees Project Online and Project Service Automation capabilities bought together into a singular experience on Common Data Service. Together, these two solutions are expected to offer a comprehensive set of capabilities for project-based organisations.

With this update, users will have the ability to better plan projects with rich task-scheduling capabilities and collaboration platforms. In addition, the Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation capabilities will extend the project-scheduling capabilities to provide configurable pricing and costing setup for human resources, resource scheduling and calendar management, time and expense entry and approval with tracking of project revenue and spend and generating billable project transactions for the project manager to review.

Here’s our favourite Project Service Automation Features:

Set up split-billing for project contracts:

With this feature, customers using the project-quoting and contracting capabilities of the Better Together or the current Project Service Automation solution will be able to set up multiple customers for each contract with a percentage split of the billings for each of those customers. This setup for billing will help in scenarios where there is a manufacturer or product vendor involved who is willing to pay a portion of the cost of customized implementation or value-add, as required by the customer.


Set up not-to-exceed limits for project contracts and quotes and enforce them during invoicing:

For time and material (T&M) project contract types, there is often a cap negotiated between the customer and the service provider (vendor) in order to prevent overages and inefficiencies in service delivery. With this feature, customers will be able to set up a cap or a monetary limit on T&M project contracts that will be enforced by the system during invoicing.


Set up billing and chargeability options for work breakdown structure (WBS) tasks:

In project organizations, it’s common to have different contractual agreements for different phases of work. For example, a vendor could negotiate a fixed-price billing setup for the prototype phase of a project and a T&M type of arrangement for the actual implementation. Certain tasks on the project could also be categorized as chargeable while others could be non-chargeable or complimentary. With this feature, it will be possible to associate project tasks to project contract lines, thereby subjecting them to the same billing method on that contract line. The feature will also allow for a project manager to mark certain tasks as chargeable, non-chargeable, or complimentary, which will then be enforced when recording sales values and creating invoices for the costs incurred on those project tasks.


Support for retainers on project contracts:

Retainer contracts are those that will allow the customer to have a predictable cash outflow. The customer will have a standard monthly payment that will be used by the services provider to draw down against for the cost of services delivered in that period. Any services in that period in excess of the retainer will be invoiced at the end of that period or pushed to the next period's billings until the end of the project. With this feature, a vendor will be able to draw up a contract that will have a set retainer schedule and retainer billings by period. These retainers will be used during invoicing to draw down against the cost of services delivered.


Point-of-origin-based project operations:

Projects from sales to pro forma invoicing can be originated in Project Service Automation or Dynamics 365 Finance. Projects initiated in either system will be visible in the other in a read-only fashion. This feature will allow customers to manage their projects in their system of choice based on divisional requirements. Our investments to remove duplicate project capabilities across Dynamics 365 Finance and Project Service Automation will continue and once we have feature-parity, the need to make a system-of-origin choice will be eliminated.


Revenue recognition for Project Service Automation projects:

Projects originating in Project Service Automation and being managed in the Project Service Automation app, there will be an out-of-the-box integration of that data to the Dynamics 365 Finance service industries module, which will then enable the continuation of the business process. Projects can be managed from sales to pro forma invoicing in Project Service Automation, and Dynamics 365 Finance service industries will enable the generation of a customer-facing invoice and revenue recognition


Take a look at the full release plan here.

Discover some of our other favourite features from the October release here.

Posted by Natasha Spurr