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Ryan Plourde, Crowe

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 vs. Salesforce.com: 5 Reasons Why SFDC Thinks They Are The Better Investment

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AbleBridge’s last blog post was focused on why Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 was a better investment than SFDC.  Turning the tables a bit, I’d like to share some common SFDC counter arguments against Microsoft Dynamics CRM. 

Here are some common objections we oftentimes run into:

SFDC - “Service, not software….”

AbleBridge:  Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online provides customers with a choice.  For some customers consuming and paying for the software as a service is ideal, for other customers, installing the software in their own environment and paying for the software upfront is a better option. 

SFDC – “We offer lower total cost of ownership than Microsoft Dynamics CRM”

AbleBridge:  Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011 will be offered at $34/user/month starting in January 2011.  SFDC Professional Edition is $65/user/month, Enterprise Edition is $125/user/month, Unlimited is $250/user/month.  Also Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online includes everything at one subscription price.

SFDC – “Microsoft doesn’t use Microsoft Dynamics CRM internally”

AbleBridge:  Microsoft rolls out more Microsoft Dynamics CRM users internally each quarter than the total number of SFDC employees.

SFDC – “Product gaps exist with reporting, dashboards, security, and territory management”

AbleBridge:  Feature for feature, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is more function rich in all these areas – at no additional cost.

SFDC – “Microsoft Dynamics CRM has extensive dependencies on other Microsoft products”

AbleBridge:  Absolutely.  Customers will utilize and leverage the investments in the Microsoft technologies they already own (such as Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and Word).  If this is important to the customer it’s one of the key benefits of choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

We’ve been competing against SFDC for the past several years and we’re very familiar with the product and their arguments against Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Involved with Microsoft CRM since its first release in 2002, it’s been exciting to witness the evolution of the product from 1.2 -->3.0 -->4.0 --> CRM 2011.  Today Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is a recognized CRM market leader.  And with the next major release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 right around the corner, Microsoft is poised to take the CRM market and SFDC’s market share by storm.

by AbleBridge, a Massachusetts Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

6 Responses to “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 vs. Salesforce.com: 5 Reasons Why SFDC Thinks They Are The Better Investment”

  1. jennifer says:

    KBS Training Institute offers Microsoft Dynamics CRM training for individuals to build professional career in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in this program we cover all the modules (Functional, Technical, Administrative)

  2. Tks…

    This information really helped me, I am sharing with a few friends….

  3. Ryan Plourde says:

    David, have you looked at Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online?

    The setup process is just as easy, if not easier than SFDC and ZOHO. We wouldn’t recommend an on-premise deployment if the company doesn’t have an IT guru available or doesn’t want to enlist the services of a consultant. An On-Premise deployment definitely requires more IT overhead than subscribing to CRM in a SaaS model.

    The new Import Wizard in CRM 2011 (and CRM Online) is very easy to use and updating data is a breeze. You can also now export data to Excel, update your data in Excel and have it automatically update CRM. In CRM 4.0, it definitely wasn’t straightforward and should have been easier. We can sympathize with you and would recommend you either upgrade to CRM 2011 or consider moving to CRM Online to take the IT infrastructure out of your equation. Microsoft will be offering “step up” licenses for On-Premise customers looking to go to the cloud, though probably hard to justify if you already own the licenses.

    We do a lot of migrations to MSCRM (from ACT, SFDC, Goldmine) and customer feedback around user friendliness is almost always positive, especially with the Outlook integration.

    Feel free to reach out (www.ablebridge.com) if you feel you might need some assistance. Best of luck.

  4. David Record says:

    What makes CRM so good? I’ve read about cost and the great things that CRM can do – so much so that I purchased licenses and SQL server. I have used SFDC. It was easy to set up. Easy to use and a great tool. It’s only drawback is cost. I’ve used ZOHO. Not as good as SFDC – but for a small business the price point was great and the functionality was acceptable. MS CRM is a huge pain to set up. Simple things like importing records are combersom. Updating data is next to impossible without the help of a consultant. Sure – I get having to build your own data maps (even though SFDC adn ZOHO) have prebuilt wizzards that take care of that for you – but updating records is truely a horrible process. In both SFDC and ZOHO you can reimport records and overwrite data – quickly and easily. This is not so in CRM. There are “tricks” to make this happen in CRM 4.0 and 2011 but updates aren’t possible (so I’m told) in earlier versions.

    Sure – CRM might be the greatest thing on the planet if you are an IT guru or keep a full time CRM consultant on staff, but if your a small to mid-sized business where your sales staff have the responsibility to manage their data – as far as I’ve seen MS CRM is huge waste of time and money.

    Again, I’m not endorsing any CRM platform. I’m just stating that I’ve used ACT, Goldmine, SFDC, ZOHO, and currently own CRM 4.0 of all of them CRM is the most difficult to program an least user friendly of the group.

  5. Ryan Plourde says:

    Mark, great rebuttal and agreed that cost should not be the driving factor in a customer’s decision. Over the past several years, doing a value and feature comparison of the two was a tough debate to win in favor of Microsoft CRM if customers were comparing apples to apples.

    SFDC is a great product but it also had a considerable head start on Microsoft CRM in the marketplace. And with the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online, in my opinion, the scales will (finally) tip toward Microsoft CRM as the better value for most customers.

    Your questions are great and on point, so I’ll try to address each one.

    Where is MS recognized as the CRM market leader and by whom?

    [ANSWER] Microsoft Dynamics CRM was recently recognized a Leader by two leading independent research firms:

    (1) Forrester (Forrester Wave Report: CRM Suites for Midsized Organization (June 2010) and CRM Suites for Large Organizations (June 2010)

    (2) Gartner (Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation (July 2010) and 2010 Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers .

    Here is a link for full press release: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/aug10/08-04dynamicscrmpr.mspx

    What is the 3 – 5 year total cost of ownership of Microsoft CRM Online vs. SFDC?

    [ANSWER] Since SFDC doesn’t have an “On-Premise” option (customer hosts their application / data) I am only showing a TCO for the online editions. Capitalizing the cost of licenses vs. an operational expense of on-going monthly subscription will be less expensive over the long term, however IT infrastructure variables will also need to be taken into consideration on a per customer basis when doing a TCO of on-premise vs. online deployment.

    TCO Microsoft CRM Online – $44/One Edition
    3 yrs – $15,840
    5 yrs – $26,400

    TCO SFDC – $65/ Professional Edition
    3 yrs – $23,400
    5 yrs – $39,000

    TCO SFDC – $125/ Enterprise Edition
    3 yrs – $45,000
    5 yrs – $75,000

    **Example uses 10 CRM users per company.
    **Not comparing Contact Manager, Group and Unlimited Editions. http://www.salesforce.com/crm/editions-pricing.jsp

    What is MS’s platform strategy? Where can I view a real time status of their resources?

    [ANSWER] Enclosed is a link to Microsoft’s recently published (September 2010) “CRM Statement of Direction”. This document gives a good background of the overall strategic direction of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and future planned releases.

    http://www.ablebridge.com/Collateral/Documents/English-US/crm2011/CRM_StatementOfDirection_September%202010_final.pdf

    Who looks after page response time, outages and all the other fun things that come with running your own infrastructure? How dependent is the customer on their MS partner?

    [ANSWER] On-Premise – (not a SFDC deployment option) The customer manages their own IT infrastructure. Microsoft Partners work closely with their customers to make sure their on-premise deployment meets the best practices and requirements of installing CRM within their environment.

    Online (same as SFDC deployment, hosted with Microsoft) 99.9% Service Level Agreement (SLA): backed by an industry-leading SLA, all Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers are covered by this operational policy. I don’t believe SFDC offers the same.

    How committed are MS to cloud computing and CRM in general? Or are they more interested in Windows, Office, Xbox, hotmail, Flight simulator etc etc?

    [ANSWER] Very committed, see CRM Statement of Direction link above.
    How many people do MS have dedicated to ensuring customer success? Where can I view MS customer success stories?

    [ANSWER] See http://crm.dynamics.com/en-us/Default.aspx for customer success stories. Also, the Microsoft Partner Network and ever growing Microsoft CRM user community gives customers options from a support, adoption and overall success standpoint.

    What else can MS integrate with, apart from Outlook? How about SAP, Oracle etc How easy is it really?
    [ANSWER] I would argue MS CRM has a more flexible and widely adopted architecture compared to SFDC. There are multiple integration options at various levels of the application and we’ve performed many integrations with 3rd party, non-Microsoft systems. With any integration project, it’s not a plug and play solution and would require cross platform definitions before embarking on any integration. Same as SFDC, or any other system for that matter.

    Does MS have an AppXchange equivalent?

    [ANSWER] Not yet, but currently planned to be released in January 2011. See CRM Statement of direction link or link directly to their current beta site (Microsoft Marketplace)
    http://dynamics.pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-US/Default.aspx

    What does MS have like Chatter? It completely changes the CRM game by bringing people and process together.

    [ANSWER] SFDC did a nice job with Chatter and I wish Microsoft CRM has something like it today. Microsoft could respond that SharePoint could be utilized in the same context but I personally don’t feel it’s a fair comparison. The concept of Chatter isn’t new so I have to believe Microsoft or another company will make a similar offering available in MS CRM in the very near future.

    What is the MS equivalent of the Salesforce native report and dashboard builder? It’s easy to use and gives users immense power to query and report on their data – a major driver of improving data quality.

    [ANSWER] SFDC definitely had a leg up on dashboards and analytics until now. CRM 2011 (see CRM Statement of Direction document) really focuses on dashboards and in line analytics. Compared to what SFDC offers today I believe it offers more features (real time, multiple drill downs, in line analytics, etc.) and will be more intuitive to the end users. Competing with SFDC on dashboards had been a losing battle for MSCRM so we’re very excited about the direction of CRM 2011 with dashboards and analytics.

    How are new versions and patches handled? Are they available in real time when released?

    [ANSWER] With CRM Online (hosted by Microsoft) scheduling new versions and patches are managed by Microsoft, just like SFDC. With CRM On-Premise (hosted by the customer) the updates are handled by the customer and are available once released by Microsoft.

  6. Mark Orsborn says:

    Interestingly Microsoft seem to be using poor sales tactics to promote dynamics by blatantly telling lies about what Salesforce can and can’t do. For example, one of my prospects was told last week by a MS reseller that MS Outlook integration was being discontinued – a blatant lie. Why are MS vendors resorting to such tactics? Is it because the product is completely inferior?

    Where are MS recognised as the CRM market leader and by whom?

    Like everything in life, you get what you pay for. So, if cost is the only driver (seldom it is where strategic decisions are being made) then at first pass MS may look cheaper per user per licence. What about the total cost of ownership over 3 or 5 years?

    Successful CRM implementations depend on adoption, which is driven by usability, and that’s more than just working with outlook.

    What is MS’s platform strategy? Where can I view a real time status of their resources?

    Who looks after page response time, outages and all the other fun things that come with running your own infrastructure? How dependent is the customer on their MS partner?

    How committed are MS to cloud computing and CRM in general? Or are they more interested in Windows, Office, Xbox, hotmail, Flight simulator etc etc?

    How many people do MS have dedicated to ensuring customer success? Where can I view MS customer success stories?

    What else can MS integrate with, apart from Outlook? How about SAP, Oracle etc How easy is it really?

    Does MS have an AppXchange equivalent?

    What does MS have like Chatter? It completely changes the CRM game by bringing people and process together.

    What is the MS equivalent of the Salesforce native report and dashboard builder? It’s easy to use and gives users immense power to query and report on their data – a major driver of improving data quality.

    How are new versions and patches handled? Are they available in real time when released?

 

 
 
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