Recently, Lauren Carlson, a CRM Analyst for Software Advice, wrote a blog post in which she assessed five cloud CRM solutions that compete effectively with SalesForce.com. The first solution she profiled as being a great alternative for organizations not interested in SFDC was Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
In my opinion…
While her assessment of the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online covered the highlights of what makes it a competitive hosted CRM solution, she failed to mention one thing that I think is a key difference between Dynamics CRM and SalesForce.com. That difference would be the deployment flexibility that the Microsoft solution offers. With Dynamics CRM, you own your data; so if you start out with the hosted CRM Online solution and down the road, your business needs change and an on-premise deployment would be preferable, you can switch quickly and easily. On the other hand, if you start out with SalesForce.com and eventually want your data stored on your own servers, you will have to find a new CRM solution, which can result in a tremendous increase in time and cost, a learning curve for your employees, the challenge of promoting user adoption of a new solution, and the potential for data loss or corruption.
Aside from this omission, I think that Lauren Carlson does a good job of highlighting the strengths of Microsoft Dynamics CRM as an alternative to SFDC without glossing over some issues that would affect potential users’ choices.
Below is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM portion of her post:
Salesforce Alternatives | 5 Cloud CRM Systems to Consider
Here I recommend five alternative cloud CRM products that are worth testing out.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Analysts and end-users alike consistently rank Dynamics CRM among the top products available on the market. With the latest release of Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft has made a credible move onto Salesforce’s turf.
Dynamics CRM is a flexible system built on the .Net platform. It’s great for companies already committed to the Microsoft stack. The system has a familiar Outlook-like interface and can be easily customized to fit the needs of your organization. Also, Microsoft has an extensive network of partners, resellers and ISVs with expertise in developing customized and vertical solutions for specific industries.
Dynamics CRM 2011 makes some notable improvements over previous versions. My favorites include the improved UI and customizable dashboards. Users can navigate the system with fewer clicks and can personalize their view based on their role. The update also includes the built-in Dynamics Marketplace, a network of vendors that provides more than 1,400 add-on products and services.
One concern with Dynamics CRM used to be that updates only came out every three years. No longer. Microsoft recently announced bi-annual updates.
By Socius, a