When I watched the official CRM 2011 global release, I was interested that Microsoft were really pushing their on-line hosting, saying they had beefed up the amount of servers they had getting ready for the increase in the number of people in the CRM cloud.
For me it seems like Microsoft are replacing creating the operating system and basic office package and instead offering people the choice of Microsoft hosting their CRM solutions. I can see this type of solution becoming more popular because why do customers really need to buy servers to host CRM applications, especially now that microsoft has enabled some customizations of CRM in the cloud.
I read this article about some benefits of CRM-online
the top five benefits and see if they apply to you:
- Subscription-based pricing: You pay as you go, often on an annual basis, unlike conventional on-premise systems where you have to make a major up-front investment in licenses, hardware and software. You benefit from better cash flow and far greater IT flexibility.
- Lower overhead: Upgrades, maintenance, and system administration take place in the cloud and are managed by the vendor, so you don’t have to spend nights or weekends supervising a new version upgrade or a failed server. Studies find that cloud-based business software cost 50% less than on-premise software over a four-year period for a 100-employee company.
- High availability: Cloud software architectures are designed from the ground up for maximum network performance, so they frequently deliver better application-level availability than conventional, on-premise solutions.
- Security: For many companies, the level of security and availability, disaster recovery and back-up provided by a software-as-a-service provider far exceeds that which they can provide themselves.
- Ease of access at any time, and from anywhere: SaaS software is “always on,” making it easy to grow your business and support remote workers and locations, or support a highly mobile sales or service team, because people can access the cloud any time, day or night, from any browser, desktop, or mobile device around the globe, 24×7.
I saw this video from Software advice where they interview Brad Wilson from Microsoft who is discussing how customers will easily be able to switch from on premise to the cloud easily. This could be important factor in allowing customers to switch easily to suit their needs. In the previous video with Brad he said that the cloud offering my microsoft costs a third of the price of salesforce, that is a very big saving for a large company.