Microsft Dynamics CRM Online a player in the social CRM space that deserves serious notice.A few factors make
Microsft Dynamics CRM Online is available in 40 languages. Regional data center development provides a universal experience for the user, be they in the United States, Asia or the Middle East. And it provides a price difference that makes Oracle look exorbitant and Salesforce.com quite pricey.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online fully integrates with Microsoft Office. That provides a level of content management to integrate with social components such as an activity stream.
These combined factors put the service square in the middle of the market for CRM offerings.
Here's a bit more about what's available with the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online:
- The service went through a four month beta test with 11,500 customers around the world.
- The company built out data centers in North America, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions for the launch.
- Microsoft Dynamics online is available at a monthly rate for $34 per person. That compares to Oracle and Salesforce.com, which charge $150 per person and $125 per month respectively.
- Microsoft is aggressively promoting Dynamics. It will provide $200 per user, which can be applied to services such as migrating data or customizing the solution to meet unique business needs.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online has a Microsoft Office interface, providing an experience that people are accustomed to using.
- For developers, configuration and customization with full .NET development in Windows Azure that provides integration with business applications.
Paul Greenberg is bullish about Windows Azure. But the authoritative CRM expert has a few overall reservations about Microsoft Dynamics CRM:
Most germane here, Dynamics CRM 2011, announced for 40 markets by year end in July 2010, is a solid CRM competitor in the market when it comes to traditional SFA and customer service functionality. However, it suffers when it comes to its integration of social channels, despite its proclamation of social "connectors," which are used to integrate Facebook, LinkedIn and other external social feeds. Frankly, by comparison to its competitors, not all that much to show. In fact, competitive feed integrators like Gist do a better job than what I've seen, and provide more value. But what can't be argued is its familiarity through the use of an Outlook user interface, or the solidity of its traditional functionality (minus of course marketing, which is as poor as many of their competitors, though companies like Oracle - see above - are starting to incorporate marketing into the suite quasi-effectively, at least).
It's sometimes easy to think that Salesforce.com has a lock on the social CRM space. This latest offering shows that Microsoft's might and productivity offerings should not be overlooked even though in some respects it has obvious shortcomings.