I don’t want to name names, but the rumors abound and “certain” nameless analysts and industry gurus are finally looking at Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a serious contender in the CRM space. What changed the minds of those who until recently had little respect for Microsoft Dynamics CRM? Two major related releases did the trick – the launch of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online in January and the launch of the on-premises version in February.
Microsoft has clearly upped the ante in its pursuit against Oracle and Salesforce.com. Given the early lead that Salesforce.com had established by offering CRM as a service, I suppose I can’t argue that until now, Microsoft was in second or third place. But the playing field is becoming more even with the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
But it’s not just about software. It’s also about strategy and intent. As far as intent, to be candid, Microsoft has clearly become more aggressive in their pursuit of market share. They’re countering promotional offers made by their competitors with even better promotional offers. Microsoft is making offers that are hard to refuse. And these offers are aimed directly at Oracle and Salesforce.com. As far as strategy, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM in The Cloud squarely addresses the current popularity of (infatuation with?) SaaS (Software as a Service) in general.
For example, Microsoft has discounted the per user/ per month pricing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online to $34. AND they’re offering Oracle and Salesforce.com customer $200 per user toward migration or customization services. (I should note that these offers are only available through June 30, 2011).
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one of the few CRM solutions that enables customers to get CRM how it best fits them, whether on-premises, on demand in the cloud, or a combination of both,” said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Product Management Group.
“Oracle and Salesforce have strong CRM solutions, but the aggressive pricing from Microsoft will cause buyers to give Dynamics CRM 2011 a serious look,” said Forrester Research analyst Bill Band.
“A serious look” is a great start on the road to a purchase decision. So if, my dear reader, you’re in the market for a CRM system, take a serious look at Microsoft Dynamics CRM. I can almost guarantee that you’ll love the familiar user interface.