Now that more organizations understand how business agility will be critical to their success, many are looking for a good CRM system to improve sales, customer service, marketing, and other customer-related data. If you’re currently evaluating a CRM solution for your business, we’d like to help by pointing out a few differences between Oracle CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
First, let’s define which products we’re discussing to ensure an ‘apples to apples’ comparison. Oracle’s CRM solutions include Siebel CRM (on-premise) and CRM On Demand (SaaS/cloud). Likewise, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is an on-premise solution, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is available via SaaS/cloud. If you’re doing research online, make sure you’re looking at the right comparisons because some websites try to compare apples to oranges (i.e., comparing the on-premise with the online solutions), which can create confusion. We also strongly recommend that you talk with a professional CRM expert before making any decisions or starting any implementations.
Total Cost of Ownership This should be the most important factor when evaluating a new CRM system. A cloud-hosted solution normally has a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than an on-premise solution. From a monthly cost perspective, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is less expensive than Oracle CRM On Demand ($44 per user/month vs $75 per user/month). But the monthly price is only part of the total cost of ownership for CRM, or any technology solution. There are other expenses that may be required to meet your needs, such as:
Maintenance and Upgrades – Regardless of which system you choose, regular maintenance and upgrades are recommended to ensure optimal performance of your system. For Cloud CRM solutions like Oracle CRM On Demand and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, upgrades usually don’t require action on your part since they are managed by your hosted service provider. This is one reason why cloud deployment has lower ongoing maintenance costs than an on-premise option.
Additional Features – It’s important to note that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online includes more features out of the box than Oracle CRM On Demand, or Salesforce.com. For example, you will need to pay an additional monthly fee to track orders and invoices, interoperate with SharePoint sites, and for offline access. These features are included in Dynamics CRM.
Training – Teaching your employees how to use the new system may be an additional expense, so be sure to ask about this. Keep in mind you may need to pay for more training when you hire new users, if there isn’t someone at your company who can do this.
Make sure you evaluate all the costs associated with a CRM system so you won’t get blindsided by unforeseen costs. In the case of these two SaaS/cloud CRM solutions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the clear winner when it comes to getting the most for your money.
On-Premise vs. Cloud Oracle’s on-premise solution, Siebel CRM, has a reputation for being overly complex with a high TCO. This is a source of frustration for customers, since it’s not always clear how the system interoperates with other applications. For example, if your office upgrades to Internet Explorer 9 or Windows 7, your Siebel CRM solution may have to be upgraded to stay functional. This is not a nice surprise for your wallet, plus it could take several months to complete. Oracle’s response to this has been to put these customers on a path toward either Oracle CRM On Demand or Fusion, their public cloud, which can function as both platform as a service and application as a service. In essence, they are steering their customers away from Siebel CRM toward more innovative technologies that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 already has in place.
As with Oracle CRM On Demand, you may need to pay more for additional features. The base on-premise Siebel CRM solution does not include marketing automation, lead management and campaign management features, which are included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
User Adoption and Outlook Integration Whether you choose the cloud or on-premise option, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a higher end-user adoption rate than Oracle CRM. This is mainly for two reasons:
Integration with existing applications – If you are already using Microsoft Office products, adding Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a no-brainer. Unlike other solutions, there are no third-party applications or additional costs required to connect your Office products with Dynamics CRM. It is the only CRM system that has a native Outlook client. Read more about Dynamics CRM and Outlook.
Familiarity – Since Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a similar look and feel to other Office applications that your employees are already using, it’s easier for them to incorporate it into their work day. This allows end-users to work more efficiently and be more productive.
Whether you’re looking to simply get the most bang for your buck, or use customer data to explore unchartered market opportunities, Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions are a better choice over Oracle CRM products. When Microsoft itself decided to switch from Siebel CRM to Dynamics CRM a few years ago, their CIO stated, it’s “all about agility and a shorter time to market.” If you’re ready to learn how customer relationship management can help maintain your competitive advantage and increase business agility without compromising your budget, contact OmniVue today.