External users demystified [takeaways from a webinar with Ben Vollmer]

External users demystified

Do your external users need a Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Power Platform license or not? What is an “external user?” The questions seem simple, but there are multiple points to consider.  Ben Vollmer, an industry veteran, provides practical insights to help you make an informed decision when defining your external user strategy.

Licensing Microsoft Business Applications to external users is a commonly misunderstood area of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Apps licensing guide. Ben Vollmer, along with Jakub Bajla and Eduard Kesely from Resco, brings some common sense to this topic by guiding you through the core concepts and providing real-life examples.

The term “external user” has been part of the Microsoft vocabulary for about 20 years. Despite its longevity, it’s often misunderstood.

External users are individuals who interact with a system but are not part of the organization that operates the system. Examples include customers accessing a portal to view their account information or caretakers accessing a relative’s medical records online.

The webinar starts by breaking down the terminology. Ben explains the difference between an external user and an outsourced user and explains what it means to be working “for you” or “on your behalf”.

Watch the webinar

Do your users need licenses? Important points to consider

Ben encourages viewers not to skip the details when considering whether a user can take advantage of external user access to Microsoft Business Applications or not. The details draw the fine line between being in-compliance and out-of-compliance with the Microsoft licensing guide. He suggests considering:

  • Who owns the license? 
  • What is the external user doing?
  • Multiplexing
  • Access to graphical user interface (GUI)
  • License reassignment rights

Good news: Resco supports all scenarios

If you use Resco, you can rest assured our products offer options to make sure you stay compliant with the Microsoft licensing guide – no matter which group your users fall into.

Ben Vollmer is joined by Eduard Kesely, Resco Head of Product. Eduard describes the three types of projects you can build with our Mobile App Development Toolkit:

  1. Anonymous External Users: These users access the app without authentication, receiving the same content universally. Typically this is for marketing purposes involving publicly available information. Setup involves creating a common user in the backend and customizing specific projects in Woodford which will be used for these types of users. (Usage scenario is for customers who need to access common information of the company)
  2. External (Portal) Users: These users log in to access CRM content tailored for them. This setup requires defining a security role in CRM and using Woodford to configure the project with authentication entities and registration methods. (Usage scenario is for suppliers of the company who are not part of the company and directly do not contribute to the business of the company)
  3. Standard User Project: A project for authenticated users, with unique content for each logged in user based on security role and permissions.  (Usage scenario is for contractors, seasonal workers, and sales representatives directly working on behalf of the company)
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For in-depth information about Resco and external users, please visit our Wiki: https://docs.resco.net/wiki/External_users

To discuss your specific scenario, please contact Resco at sales@resco.net.

Ben Vollmer, Strategic Advisor at Resco

Ben Vollmer

With a distinguished 16-year career at Microsoft, Ben held several leadership positions within the Dynamics 365 business unit. His extensive background spans consulting, sales, product development, and product management, covering a diverse range of industries and markets. Ben is recognized as an industry veteran, known for his pragmatic approach to solving complex business challenges.

Watch External users demystified with Ben Vollmer