A Free Portal is Good, Right?

Free is Good, Right?

As prudent business people, we are always looking for the most value from our dollar and the idea that we can get something for FREE is often a relief – one less dollar spent to get our needs met!

Is free always good and will free really meet my needs? 

Take for example, the Free Portal provided with Dynamics 365.

Will the Free Portal meet my needs?

Follow a typical scenario where the path to a web portal is paved. Where do you fit on the road to a free portal, and will free meet your business needs?

With your free portal, you get a pre-set template based on the portal type you choose.  For example, you decide that Customer Self-Service is the portal solution you want.

Great – you now have a portal with the basic functions provided out of the box by Dynamics 365, in a pre-configured website design.  That was free.

Now, you want to make some changes to the basic portal and add your own customer self-service processes.  Your free portal is NOT meeting your needs.  Unless you have CRM Configuration, advanced CSS coding and scripting or Liquid Forms skills, you are looking at hefty development costs to make the changes that you need.  Your free portal is no longer completely Free.

Next, you want to change the design of the portal so it reflects your brand.  Once again, you are looking at extensive development costs to make the changes that you need.  In addition, since Dynamics 365 and Dynamics CRM was never meant to be a Website Content Management System, you are restricted in the design options and may find the portal never reflects your brand properly.  Your free portal is no longer completely free and may not be meeting your needs.

Finally, you delve into your Free Portal to find that only the live Production Portal is free, so any changes you make are being published in real time; ouch.  That’s no problem, you can purchase a Development Portal, which is NOT Free.

Let’s summarize:

Functional Development = Many hours of work, and Thousands of Dollars
Design Development = Many hours of work, and Thousands of Dollars
Portal for Development = $500/month

And that’s JUST to get you started.  If you see a future of adding more web portals to improve your Customer Engagement, then it's more development costs and potentially another portal template to purchase for Dynamics 365.

So, how free was that Portal after all?

Get the most value for your dollar AND the solution you need.  Know the REAL costs of a web portal.

For $14,995 (USD), you can get a perpetual license for The Portal Connector which will provide the right solution, with the proper technology, that will grow with your business needs now and in the future.  You will potentially spend that (and much more) just on development costs for your Free Portal, plus the design costs and additional portal environments.

The Portal Connector is the Right Solution:

  • Implement, configure and maintain the solution on your own with drag and drop tools
  • Speed up the time from Development, to Production

The Portal Connector is the Right Technology:

  • A web portal should be built in a Website Content Management System (not a CRM data system)
  • Visually build your forms, pages and templates so you can see what the end result will be
  • Customize your web portal according to your business needs 

Additional Resources: 
View a Comparison Chart for The Portal Connector and Power Apps Portals (the next generation of Dynamics 365 Portals)


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