Excel Formula To Calculate Percentage Difference Between Two Numbers Doc CRM Software – Comparing Microsoft Dynamics CRM To Salesforce

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CRM Software – Comparing Microsoft Dynamics CRM To Salesforce

CRM software solutions are an integral part of most organizations’ sales, marketing and customer service. Today, CRM software goes far beyond these functions to manage all business needs. This is what the folks at Microsoft have termed as xRM – (x) Any Relationship Management. Choosing which solution is right for your company is not easy and often companies compare different CRM offers. The two leading CRM software applications on the market today are Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.

There was a time when the choice between these two CRM software applications was more black and white. You see either software-as-a-service model (Salesforce) versus in-house (Microsoft Dynamics CRM) software being deployed.

Now that Microsoft has moved to the cloud with their software as a service model and Salesforce now has a development platform with its “Force” your options are now blurred.

Salesforce was founded in 1999 with the goal of creating an on-demand information management service that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Salesforce calls itself an “enterprise cloud-computing company.” Sales Cloud™ and Service Cloud™ are Salesforce applications for sales and customer service. Their approach to a cloud computing deployment model has led them to develop the force.com cloud platform that allows developers and users to build business applications on top of the Salesforce offering.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM, created with vast resources by the Microsoft product team, was designed with a long-term vision that will allow customers to use CRM with multiple Microsoft products and choose deployment options to meet organizational needs.

IT researcher Springboard found that Australia and New Zealand are already the most mature markets for SaaS applications in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to BRW magazine, the market in Australia and New Zealand is expected to grow 45% annually from $1.7 billion in 2008 to $US7.7 billion by 2012. The magazine also cited customer relationship management software as the most popular SaaS application. (35 percent) and that “Australian companies are using SaaS because it’s cheaper, rather than because it’s easier to use.” Only 9 percent cited “ease of use” as a reason for choosing SaaS.

Choice and flexibility

With a multitenant CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers any number of deployment options to suit your needs. On-demand, on-premise, and partner-hosted models are available for Microsoft Dynamic CRM. If your deployment needs change so can your CRM software deployment options as each deployment option is built on the same modern architecture and data model. For example, you can take your configuration and data hosted by Microsoft and move to an in-house or Microsoft partner web-based CRM software hosted model. The Salesforce platform offers SaaS through the cloud and you don’t own the software and configurations. If you want to change to an in-house solution you will need to move to another CRM application. You need to factor in the cost of getting your data from Salesforce. Depending on the level of subscription you purchased for Salesforce, your data is reported as being held hostage. Depending on your subscription level, you may need to upgrade your subscription to export your data.


Salesforce claims much lower costs, but Microsoft Dynamics CRM insists it’s not the same as comparable services. A-la-carte pricing that is in addition to potential price increases at contract renewals can significantly impact Salesforce’s total cost. When evaluating comparable online products between the two rivals, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is available for less than 50% of the Salesforce fee. The latest pricing in the United States is “Microsoft CRM [Online] Salesforce” runs $44-59 per user per month compared to $125 for the Professional Edition.

The entry price for Salesforce is cheap but if you want more functionality you obviously have to pay more. With Microsoft CRM you have access to the complete system from the moment you first purchase it. Your buying decision should not be based solely on price as its sole component in the decision making process. First-time buyers typically ask for help after 6-24 months. Personal experience from decision makers who buy first time only on price to repurchase second time around service. To determine in-house vs. hosted pricing you need to calculate over a 3-5 year period and not just 1 year.

Ownership of data

Salesforce, as a software-as-a-service provider, does not own the data collected by its customers. Instead, its data centers are outsourced to third-party companies Equinix in the United States and Singapore. With Microsoft CRM for in-house, and partner hosted options, customers have full control over the security and physical location of their data. You can swap and take your data between these options. Microsoft CRM Online hosted by Microsoft will be released in Australia in late 2010 and the data will be hosted in Singapore. Again, you will have the ability to move from hosted to in-house but the online model will have some restrictions around custom code. Salesforce customers must purchase the Unlimited Edition to access the development platform capabilities.

Ease of use

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed for easy user adoption due to its compatibility and compatibility with Microsoft Office and Outlook. Simply put, it is designed to reduce training requirements, reduce application switching and produce higher productivity. Microsoft CRM 5 or 2011 is very similar in GUI (interface) look and feel between the three product suites with the launch of its release name, Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. It provides users with an easy-to-learn experience and a greater chance of user uptake.

The Salesforce graphical interface is modern and should be easy to use for most users. Integration with Microsoft Outlook and Office, especially for MS Excel and Outlook, is reported to be not as strong as Dynamics CRM. Google Mail users will find Salesforce their favorite.

Both Salesforce and Dynamics CRM have similar modules that include sales force automation, customer service and support, marketing automation, document management, contract management, product inventory management and reports. Although each module for each product has its strengths and weaknesses, you need to evaluate each application module against your business needs (and not user preferences).

Often an organization shortlists three CRM applications to present to its users. Evaluation should not be based much (if at all) on users liking the look and feel of a graphical interface. Users of an organization tend to agree on a CRM application because we feel most comfortable with what we already know. If you ask a salesperson who has been using a paper diary for 30 years, what is good? A paper based or CRM system answer is always paper! Over the years I have seen three different systems put in front of users in various organizations and the CRM application chosen has never been a clear winner.

Currently, Salesforce has very easy to use business add-on products for core offerings built on its force.com platform. Microsoft has many ISV partners who have built add-on products to Microsoft CRM but it is not so easy to find these add-ons spread all over the world on different websites. Microsoft recently launched PinPoint which allows you to search globally for partner software solutions. Also, Microsoft CRM Dynamics Online doesn’t offer the same access to write custom code in the sandbox because Microsoft didn’t want outside code in its own application, but with Microsoft Azure, ISVs can implement their own code.

Access to CRM and email

Microsoft CRM is available either via a web browser, via a mobile device or via a plug-in to MS Outlook. Salesforce integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, or Google Apps. Salesforce will run on a mobile device, via a web browser and if you want some level of email (Outlook, Lotus Notes, or Google Apps) integration, but you still need to download and install the Salesforce Connector.

Scope and support

According to Wikipedia, Salesforce offers support for 16 languages, while Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers support for 25 languages. Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s ecosystem includes over 750,000 solution partners; 2,200 user groups, and 400 community web sites worldwide. Standard support included in Salesforce’s subscription fee allows for a 2 business day response time. With Microsoft, support depends on the license module used to purchase the software and the support offered by the Microsoft CRM partner. You can choose from ad hoc to dedicated support.

Futures and Investments

It is reported in the online publication The Inquirer.com that Microsoft will spend US$9.5 billion on research and development in 2010, making it the largest R&D technology spender in the world.

In 2008, Salesforce spent $63.8 million, or 8% of its revenue, on research and development, most of which went to expanding Salesforce’s cloud computing capabilities. Additionally, 91% of Salesforce’s revenue comes from subscription and support fees from their cloud computing services.

Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho, first made this point in April 2008 by noting disparities in R&D and sales and marketing spending by Salesforce. Using financial data for the last 12 months, Salesforce’s sales and marketing expenses of $605 million were nearly 5 times its research and development expenses of $131 million. Businessinsider.com reported that Google’s R&D spending of $2.8 billion was about 1.5 times its S&M spending of $2 billion.

There is no doubt that Salesforce is a leader in the SaaS market. The question will be whether the heavyweights Microsoft (with Azure and BPOS) and Google with its GoogleApps marketplace will be able to stay in the game as they begin to gain massive market share in the cloud.

SaaS vs. In-house

A note on SaaS vs. in-house deployment. “In 2009, within enterprise applications, SaaS represented 3.4 percent of total enterprise spending, up slightly from 2.8 percent in 2008,” said David Searley, vice president at Gartner. This market will reach $8.8 billion in 2010, according to company forecasts.

From a market perspective, most of the spending for SaaS is happening in the content, support communications, and customer relationship management markets. Collectively, they represented 65 percent of the global enterprise application software market in 2009. Many of the bad practices in the on-premise world are now moving to Sas.

The biggest example is shelfware. “Selfware-as-a-service is the concept of paying for a software subscription that is not accessed by the end user,” Cearley said. “This happens most often in large organizations, but it can happen to any company, especially one that has reduced its workforce, or oversubscribed to trigger a volume discount.” “SaaS may not have lived up to its initial grandiose promises — we estimate that 90 percent of SaaS deployments today are not pay-per-use — but it has reinvigorated the software market and added choice,” Cearley said. .

The first steps in choosing your CRM solution

Your first step in determining which solution is right for your company is to document your CRM needs. Second, do research to see which CRM applications are going to meet your needs. Third, bring in a CRM consulting firm and/or CRM vendor to discuss your needs and demonstrate their knowledge and application to you. Whether you go hosted or in-house, you should always arrive after going through the above steps.

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