Microsoft CRM 2011 Tops With Analysts: Nucleus, Gartner, Forrester

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Three independent research analysts recently gave strong validation that Microsoft CRM 2011 is setting itself apart from the competition in the CRM space.  As you read the reviews of these very different and independent analyses, you will see a common thread of productivity.  Productivity is what happens when users have familiar tools (like Outlook and Office), high adoption rates, and actionable intelligence.  Productivity is what ultimately leads to high ROI. 
Forrester:  Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 gives a 243% Return on InvestmentRoi
A recent in-depth review by Forrester Research focused on nine companies that have installed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.  They reviewed the productivity gains of sales and customer service, as well as the efficiency gains in marketing dollars spent.  The study concluded that the composite organization achieved a three-year NPV of U.S. $665,086, and that the payback period was just four months.  It is a large report and can be downloaded here.  Forrester's summary of benefits:

  • Increased sales productivity of 5 percent with the ease of use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM software and integration with Outlook leading to higher adoption, improved opportunity and lead tracking and routing, and a more accurate picture of its sales pipeline.
  • Customer service productivity savings from a better UI and documented processes.
  • Streamlined processes and operations leading to lower cost of sales as Microsoft Dynamics CRM enabled the composite organization’s technical consultants to shorten time spent on the proposal process by 10 percent.
  • Acceleration of sales conversion cycle by 50 percent and corresponding revenue gain as teams worked better together across different business systems, processes, and geographies.
  • Marketing cost savings of more than $200,000 (risk-adjusted over three years) due to more real-time insights and improved campaign management from better analytics.
  • Productivity savings of 16 man-hours per month due to the better reporting tools in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with data consolidation, reporting automation, and richer dashboard capabilities.
  • Improved customer service delivery with quicker response times, dialog boxes, and segmented levels of customer service through insights from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • Improved cross-sell collaboration within sales and customer service teams by providing access to reporting tools and other collaboration software such as Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
  • Lower costs and effort to customize the solution to unique requirements, including extended CRM
  • Ease of integration with other business technology systems, improving process efficiencies.

Nucleus: Microsoft CRM 2011 is "easier to use" than Salesforce and half the cost!
Nucleus Research recently rolled out its "Technology Value Matrix 1H11: CRM".  The report focused on international CRM software that was deployed both on-premises and in the cloud.  It focused on core CRM (sales, service, and marketing) and not xRM applications.   The 'Value Matrix' is based on "functionality and usability, the two core measures that Nucleus has found indicate an application's ability to deliver initial ROI and, ultimately, maximum value. "Nuc

Not surprising to those who work with Microsoft CRM every day, Microsoft was one of only two upper quadrant leaders in usability and functionality.  MSCRM rated highly in usability because of:

  • Office integration
  • Outlook integration
  • Role-based views
  • Personalizable interfaces

Nucleus also took note of Microsoft's aggressive pricing strategy, which Nucleus found "in many cases is less than half the average per-user price of". 
After highlighting the leadership positions at the top, Nucleus noted that other CRM Offerings "do not have compelling positions".
Gartner:  Microsoft CRM 2011 is leader in Customer Service Contact Centers
Gartner recently produced a report that looked at CRM in the customer service contact center.  Specifically, it looked at CRM business applications, contact infrastructures (CTI, chat, email, alerts, etc.), workforce optimization tools, feedback management and analytic tools. Gartner recognized Microsoft CRM 2011 as a leader in this space and noted their xRM expertise. "There are many scenarios across industries such as government, healthcare, higher education, real estate, and retailing where the flexibility of the system to support a range of interactions makes it a good shortlist product."

The Gartner report reiterated the Office integration and productivity theme of the other analysts. "The Microsoft Outlook look and feel, together with the integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Office, are commonly mentioned pluses of the system for customers."

Leadership in the Customer Service space reinforces Microsoft's commitment to deliver a comprehensive customer service solution.  Microsoft recently introduced a new version of its Customer Care Accelerator (CCA) for 2011.  This is available for download on the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace. 


The CCA helps customer care and contact center organizations provide a comprehensive and consistent customer service experience by combining data elements from disparate applications, such as mainframes, databases or websites, for display in a single-user interface.  These disparate data sources are surfaced in the CCA and tracked CRM to complete the 360 view of a customer to a Customer Service Agent.

Post by: Brad Koontz, Customer Effective

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