I like the blog entries from the CRM software blog because they are often focus on less technical aspects of CRM. They recently had an interesting article titled
Three Undeniable Reasons why Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a better choice for cloud CRM than Salesforce.com
The articles three reasons are these
- How much will it cost?
- Will your employees use it?
- Will it continue to evolve with changing technology?
They obviously come out saying that Microsoft is better than salesforce.com in all three areas. Although it’s a nice short article the areas it brings up can be looked at in more depth.
I think the small up front cost is a fantastic benefit to SME’s thinking about using a CRM system. The fact you no longer need to purchase servers, technical know how and expensive CRM licences breaks down the entry barriers for lots of small businesses. At the moment Microsoft are not only giving CRM away but they are paying people to take it, it doesn’t get much better than that.
There will of course come a time when Microsoft start to up the costs but I get the feeling it won’t be until the next release. The one areas I am a bit shocked by is the fact Salesforce haven’t really come back at Microsoft with a good offer of their own, perhaps they are waiting to try and buy back the users in a years time with a similar offer.
I was explaining to someone in the office one of the main benefits of CRM 2011 is the outlook integration looks and acts a whole lot better. He was wondering why this a major benefit, the way I see it is a lot of jobs involve employees using outlook for a lot of the day to correspond with clients, they also store emails/information, have the contacts in there. The beauty of CRM is they can still use outlook all day but it will now be filled with all account information, extra contact information and a link to the documents. Basically it will fore fill all their CRM needs to help them be more successful in their job (life is all about networking really). So the benefit of CRM 2011 is they can still use outlook and it will look and feel like outlook.
When I think of a standard look and feel I think of the Microsoft office products, everyone is comfortable with them. Although I would add that with every major release they hide buttons and things so I can’t find them.
The future is bright the future is Microsoft CRM Dynamics
I think this is the really exciting area of Microsoft CRM dynamics. Microsoft is really pushing forward with CRM (although sadly not the reporting side of it) and is making great strides with each major release. I think the leap from CRM 4 to CRM 2011 is vast. They have spent a lot of money getting CRM in the cloud and have plenty of servers. An important factor of the cloud offering is the fact they promise to it to be up more than 99.5 percent of the time.
Microsoft have also brought skype and have their eye firmly on integrating social media into the next release of CRM. This is one of the area where salesforce has the edge and I hear a lot of chatter about the chatter functionality in salesforce.com. It doesn’t seem that impressive (basically a chat feature from what I can tell) but Microsoft haven’t integrated any tools and this interconnectivity is import to organisations with regards to the home/ on the move networking.
The CRM community
I think Microsoft have helped generate a fantastic CRM community with their CRM wiki’s, CRM resources, CRM blog, forums, codeplex and the concept of CRM MVP’s. There is a vast collection of resources and the ability to ask questions to problems. Rarely is their problem which you cannot find an answer to by searching for it.
Excellent Partner resources
There are lots of great companies offering partners solutions for CRM, this means companies who want a CRM solution to be created or one to be modified can be done without the company having to invest in technical staff.