Previously, Concentrix and a handful of other UK Microsoft Business Partners have offered their own cloud-based versions of the software, but they were hosted by the partners themselves, not by Microsoft.
The release of the cloud-based version before the on-premise version is also something of a turning point (the on-premise version of
Microsoft has invested a massive amount (literally billions of dollars) in cloud-based infrastructure. In the UK market alone there is a dramatic jump in anticipated cloud software usage within the next 12 months, and for CRM in particular.
So why are so many organizations going down the cloud computing route for business applications? Well, using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as an example, it offers instant access from literally anywhere there’s an internet connection. It can be deployed rapidly with low up-front costs, and is managed by Microsoft, so you don’t need high levels of technical skills or resources within your business. Microsoft also supports Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with a financially backed 99.9% uptime agreement. What this means is, if the product is unavailable for more than 0.1% of the time because of something to do with Microsoft, they’ll compensate you financially.
The pricing of cloud-based applications is also coming down significantly. The price of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in the UK will start off at only £22.75 per user per month. Compare this with SalesForce.com at around £45 per user per month; that’s a major drop – especially considering the extensive
In the past, one of the drawbacks of many cloud-based applications, CRM software included, was the difficulty in customising the products. Anything more than basic configuration would require an on-premise CRM solution, and it simply didn’t make sense to attempt complex customisations or workflows in the cloud. This put cloud-based versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in something of a dilemma.
By its very nature Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an extremely flexible product, so much so that it has led the way with extended CRM (often referred to as ‘xRM’, where the ‘x’ means ‘anything). And modern businesses need to extend the power of CRM to build strongly on other relationships.
So here’s another major step forward conicding with the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online: Microsoft has overcome the technical difficulties involved in cloud-based customization. Whether on-premise or in the cloud, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is easily configured and customized to support extended CRM scenarios.
By Concentrix Ltd: a