Zero2Ten - Choosing between Salesforce and Dynamics
BUILDING BUSINESS FAST
Choosing Cloud CRM
Securing long-term value
in a short-term world
Choosing Cloud CRM: Securing long-term value in a short-term world
According to Salesforce, companies that implement a Customer Relationship Management system experience, on average, a 27%
increase in revenue, backed by a 32% increase in sales productivity. The case for CRM software is compelling. But which is the
right CRM system for your business?
This white paper examines the need to balance short-term results with long-term value when evaluating CRM software. It looks
at how two major players in cloud CRM, Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics, stack up to meet the needs of the `On-Demand
generation’ and highlights the hidden costs that you should be aware of when evaluating your CRM application.
The rise of the On-Demand generation
Remember when the secret to successful customer relations was getting the right information, to the right people, in the right
place, at the right time? Remember when that became an expectation?
We live in a world where social media, wireless connectivity and mobile applications give us 24 hour access to information.
We expect to have it at our fingertips, and we expect it now. So do our customers, which means the potential pitfalls of processing
inconsistent or inaccurate information are vast. Welcome to the On-Demand generation.
Faced with proliferation of data and constant demands for information, not to mention safeguarding revenue and profitability,
a controlled Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy is more important than ever.
With the relentless pace of change, it’s easy to be tempted by a quick fix; the challenge for the CRM buyer is to select an
application that delivers short-term tactical results but that will also stand the test of time.
Here, we compare the two big hitters in the cloud CRM market, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com and ask:
“Which is the best bet for long-term value in a short-term world?”
User adoption, the key to short-term results
The success of CRM applications has always hinged on users’ appetite for adoption.
Unless CRM software is intuitive and consistent, users will revert to old habits.
Microsoft addresses this by asking: “Is your CRM as easy as email?” Microsoft
Dynamics CRM works natively with Microsoft Office suites, ensuring that people can
interact with CRM through tools they know and use every day.
Salesforce has also recognised this as a key strategy; the biggest selling application in
the Salesforce AppExchange is Outlook integration. The vendor is working on its third
Microsoft Office integration program in three years in a bid to offer symmetry.
“ We ultimately selected Microsoft
Dynamics CRM [Online] because our
salespeople spend their entire days
using Outlook. We knew it wouldn’t be
a burden on our employees to learn and
use and that has helped to drive a 100
per cent user adoption rate.”
Marc Chester. Vice President, Business
Development, Data Reduction Systems
With increasingly busy lifestyles and blurred boundaries between work, home and play,
the On-Demand generation wants to be able to blend business and personal worlds through a single device – whether that’s a
smartphone, tablet or PC.
Simple, transactional apps allow people to quickly perform repetitive tasks that connect seamlessly with CRM system processes.
In its latest technology wave, converging Windows 8 with Windows Phone, Surface and Xbox, Microsoft has recognised this need
for a consistent lifestyle experience across all devices. A strategy that should ensure predictable interaction with Dynamics CRM for
years to come.
Salesforce also recognises that tablet and smartphones are changing the way we work, but without its own device or operating
system relies on alliances with other technology providers, such as Google and Apple, to integrate with its CRM offering. While this
might seem risky, there is little doubt that providing a CRM solution that works with other hardware vendors will deliver value to
Salesforce as it tries to wrestle market share from Microsoft.
Keeping up with the Joneses: Social, home-working and other new demands
In 2011, Salesforce unveiled its vision for the social enterprise announcing its social collaboration tool, Chatter, along with other
acquisitions to enrich its platform and ecosystem, including Radian6 for social media monitoring, engagement and sharing tools.
Microsoft responded by acquiring Yammer, the market-leading social networking platform for business which it will integrate
natively with Dynamics CRM. Furthermore, with its Lync product, Microsoft extends the social network of Dynamics CRM through a
unified communications platform that includes Instant Messaging and Presence.
Organisations are under increasing pressure to provide seamless home-working capability across multiple devices. Microsoft
probably has the edge with its integrated “built to work together” platform. However, if Salesforce continues to invest and adapt
its rapidly expanding neutral platform offering, it could well be in a position to give Microsoft a run for its money.
Choosing CRM software: Securing long-term value in a short-term world
Total cost of ownership, the key to long-term value
While tactical customer interaction is powerful, we shouldn’t forget that CRM also has a strategic role to play. Choosing a good
enough, cheap enough, departmental solution for CRM may see a smart choice now. But if it is successful, your deployment is
likely to grow through other parts of your business, and your costs will grow with it.
While Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides comparable CRM functionality at 30 per cent of the subscription cost of its Salesforce.com
equivalent, you should also be thinking about the following costs which are often overlooked:
Prices for the cloud versions for each are widely published with Microsoft Dynamics CRM at £28.70 per user per
month and Salesforce.com, for it comparable and most popular Enterprise version, at £85 per user per month.
Both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com deliver their implementation services through partners:
Microsoft with its Gold partners, President Club members and the higher Inner Circle members and worldwide
award winners; and Salesforce through its Cloud Alliance Partner Program.
Both Microsoft and Salesforce offer upgrades, releases and technical support. Microsoft’s support is included within
the per user price and, depending on the package taken, this is also the case for Salesforce. The real cost of support
should also take account of the Premier support package from Salesforce or any add-on support packages from
Most cloud subscriptions come with a minimum contract term. Be sure to evaluate the cost of subscription
throughout the contract period, and understand the impact of cancelling user licenses you might not always need.
Any CRM system should be configurable to the unique challenges of your business. But as your business changes,
so should your CRM system. Be sure to assess the on-going costs of system configuration, and your need for
external expertise. Microsoft offers the ability for custom functionality to be ‘dropped in’ and unpacked into
Dynamics CRM and then removed as necessary, ensuring business process can be added and removed quickly
Both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com come with an initial database storage limit; you can expect to
pay up to $250 per GB, per month for additional storage for the latter.
The data in your CRM is your lifeblood. What happens when you want to take it out of your CRM system and move
it elsewhere? Be sure to challenge your CRM vendor for the costs of data extraction.
In order to realise the benefits of CRM across mobile device apps, you will need to pay an additional mobile
subscription fee. Be aware that this can be as much as your initial CRM subscription.
Microsoft and Salesforce.com both offer social media capabilities for CRM applications; be sure to check the
additional subscription costs of running these services and the long-term plans to include them in the core
As a business critical application, your CRM will need to exchange data with other applications throughout your
business. The costs of integration projects are not insignificant, particularly if yours originate from a range of
vendors. Whereas Salesforce.com provides an API for integration which will “do the job”, Microsoft Dynamics CRM
offers a full event-driven integration framework where developers can insert custom business logic and extensions
and build a high-scale and reliable integration service.
Extending your CRM strategy company-wide doesn’t necessarily need to be an expensive development
exercise. Both Microsoft and Salesforce offer online stores for customers to download pre-developed industry
or departmental add-ins to their CRM platforms. While the Salesforce AppExchange is specific to its specialist
developers, the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace supports applications developed by the extensive Microsoft
developer community, arguably providing a greater opportunity for innovation.
So, how do Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com stand up to the TCO test? While Salesforce.com promises lower TCO
over on-premise deployments, at least in the first year, it seems that for any cloud application, the true test of TCO is around 3
years and longer.
If CRM is a strategic choice, it must provide benefit over a long-term business plan. With this in mind, you shouldn’t discount the
possibility of an in-house deployment at a later date. It’s worth remembering that Microsoft Dynamics CRM gives you the option
to move from cloud to on-premise at any time to suit your and your customers’ changing needs. With Salesforce.com you are
probably making a long-term decision right from the off.
Find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 608 1445