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Crestwood Associates

Salesforce.com Shows Signs of Outgrowing Small-to-Medium Businesses; Should You Opt for Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online?

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You’ve probably heard of Salesforce.com, the cloud-only CRM service that has gradually grown in popularity and size. It is now positioning itself to move beyond its CRM offerings into a complete platform-as-a-service (PaaS) with a socially-connected system of tools. Their marketing term for this is the “social enterprise” that will supposedly help transform companies into social businesses. Nevertheless, many of these changes seem to suggest Salesforce.com is losing touch with the Small-to-Medium customer, like you and me.

According to Laurie McCabe the new Salesforce.com Winter 2012 release will introduce 150 new features, all of which will work together to paint a new social enterprise structure for businesses. With several new database components, the new Chatter social service, a data analysis tool, and ongoing app development for multiple platforms, Salesforce has been busy building its new technology through development and acquisition. But all of that, McCabe explained, adds up to a lot of separate components to buy.

Salesforce claims it will offer an “all-you-can-eat” social enterprise buffet, allowing businesses to get all of the components for one price. The catch is that they have yet to reveal what that price is and have said they will deal with it on a “case-by-case basis”.

If you’re like us, you aren’t exactly rolling in cash like many of the big enterprises that have been largely unaffected by the recession. You have a limited budget, and one of the most attractive features of the cloud is the transparency in pricing. No company wants to feel like they are being had by a salesperson. Cloud services are supposed to eliminate the complex licensing schemes, additional hardware costs, and costly upgrades that traditional vendors often still cling to so vehemently.

Perhaps that is why so many of us are turning to Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM online. Unlike the competition, Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 provide a stable set of components that work just as well offline as they do online. Furthermore, the subscription pricing is published right on the Office 365 website for small, midsize, and enterprise businesses. Dynamics CRM Online pricing is boldly shown on the landing page for all to see. I don’t know about you, but up front pricing goes a lot farther than someone telling me they’ll consider it “case-by-case”.

Just some food for thought as you consider moving to the cloud. If you have questions about Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365, please call or email us today.

Donna Krizik / Crestwood Associates LLC, an Illinois Dynamics CRM Partner

Ph: 847-394-8820 x43 Email: dkrizik@crestwood.com

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