Microsoft Dynamics CRM versus Salesforce

Written By: Eric Gjerdevig

from May 12, 2012

It’s common that our prospective Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers also look at  Many of them ask the question “What is the difference between Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.”  So, let’s take a quick look at Microsoft Dynamics CRM versus

The Salesforce application is an easy-to-use tool with pretty good sales force automation capabilities. The product also boasts strong functionality in partner relationship management and pretty good support for customer service. Where the solution is weaker, however, is in support for marketing, field service, customer analytics, and eCommerce.

The application is built on top of a modern architecture, allowing for robust scalability, reliability and availability, and openness to connect to other applications via Web services. However, the product is only available in SaaS deployment, so organizations selecting Salesforce must be committed to the SaaS deployment model. There are also challenges integrating with existing productivity software and line-of-business (LOB) applications.

Salesforce largely lacks industry-specific vertical solutions. Along these lines, the vendor relies on its partner ecosystem (AppExchange) to complement its shortcomings in the areas where the application is not robust.  Finally, according to Nucleus Research, “38% of customers are planning to or would consider moving to another solution.”

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM buyers have a full range of deployment options: on-premise, SaaS, on-premise hosted, or hybrid. The solution’s code base is the same regardless of deployment choice.  This makes migration from one deployment type to another relatively easy if it becomes necessary. Another big benefit is the native Outlook interface which makes user training easier. Outlook is the application most people live within all day long.  Where better to access your CRM data than right through that interface.

Microsoft is working with its extensive network of ISVs to develop industry solutions on the Microsoft Dynamics platform. You can check some of them out on our ISV page if you are interested.  Enterprise buyers will be attracted to Microsoft Dynamics CRM if they have made a commitment to a Microsoft infrastructure in order to lower their TCO in buying and managing business technologies. Buyers also like Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s usability, lower price, and its quick time-to-value compared with other CRM applications.

It’s worth noting that the Microsoft Dynamics CRM product has a very low total cost of ownership. Customers can take advantage of their existing IT investments and in-house expertise to help minimize the total cost of ownership.  This is because Microsoft Dynamics CRM is built on the scalable and secure .NET platform and utilizes standard Microsoft tools such as Microsoft SQL Server and Visual Studio. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online you also get 20 gigs of storage for free.

Finally, let’s compare the price between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.  Salesforce has numerous editions ranging in price from a few dollars per user per month to $250 per user per month. Each edition is the same underlying product, with specific features and functionality turned on or off. The most popular edition seems to be the Enterprise Edition which lists for $125 per user per month. The Professional Edition lists for $65 per user per month. Microsoft Dynamics CRM on the other hand is pretty simple.  It’s $44 per user per month.  Terms and conditions as well as a 12 month commitment are required by both products.