Migrating from Dynamics CRM or CRM Online to Dynamics 365

Migrating from Dynamics CRM or CRM Online to Dynamics 365

If you’re an existing customer of Dynamics CRM Online and you want to keep using Microsoft’s CRM software, you won’t have a choice about whether to migrate to Dynamics 365; you will have to do it. Because you’re already in the cloud, your software is continuously being upgraded by the cloud provider — in this case, Microsoft. Microsoft has, in essence, upgraded CRM Online to Dynamics 365. Your CRM Online subscription will expire, and for you to be able to continue using the software, you will need to switch to a Dynamics 365 license. If you don’t switch to a Dynamics 365 license, your CRM Online will eventually be disabled by Microsoft. However, there’s no reason not to switch licenses because, after all, you will want to be on the latest version, and benefit from the newer user interface, expanded features, and improved integration with Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is pretty much already Dynamics 365, in the sense that CRM Online is cloud based. This is the easiest of all the Dynamics 365 migrations, and it’s primarily a license change. To make the transition even easier, Microsoft has created a wizard to switch your user license plans, called the Switch Plans Wizard.

To migrate your license from Dynamics CRM Online to Dynamics 365, using the Switch Plans wizard, follow these steps:

  1. 1.Sign in to Office 365 at office.com with the account that has admin permissions.
  2. 2.Click the app launcher icon in the upper-left and click to select the Admin tile. The Admin tile appears only to people who have Office 365 admin permissions. If you don’t see the tile, then you don’t have permissions to access the admin center for your organization.
  3. 3.Click Billing. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. 4.Choose Subscriptions.
  5. 5.Select the plan you want to renew, and click the Switch Plans button.
  6. 6.Click the Buy Now button on the plan you want to buy


Talk with your Dynamics 365 authorized partner to learn about the various plans, and decide which plan is right for you.

After the license change, you will notice that the software looks slightly different. Menus and buttons are in different places, and some items may use different terminology. There’s definitely a learning curve involved in getting up to speed on Dynamics 365.

You will want to make the license change in a lower tier (development or testing) environment. If your organization has access to a user acceptance testing (UAT) environment, the license change can be applied there first. Users can train and test on the software before actual cut over, when the license is applied in the PROD (production) live tier.

If you’re running an earlier version of Dynamics CRM, one that is perhaps an on-premise version, your CRM software is (unfortunately) not already cloud based. The migration to Dynamics 365 will involve more steps. Confer with your Dynamics 365 authorized partner on developing an upgrade plan.