7 Big Reasons Why Microsoft Dynamics CRM Beat Out Salesforce as the Enterprise CRM Suite of Choice
In the recently published Destination CRM 2015 Market Leaders Report, Microsoft took over the “Winning” spot for Enterprise CRM Suite from the long-reigning champ, Salesforce.com. The ratings are calculated from industry experts and analysts who are looking primarily at the following criteria: functionality, five-year cost for maintenance, customer satisfaction and company direction.
#1: Development & Flexibility
One of the greatest strengths of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is that when it comes to development, they employ common, universal web standards such as Java, .Net and HTML. This means that businesses have the advantage of developing their own customizations based on their individual needs without having to rely on a single or specific type of programming language. And, if they don’t have the capabilities in-house to handle these customizations, there is an extensive network of trusted, experienced partners that can effectively handle their needs.
The biggest complaints with Salesforce in terms of development and flexibility are that it’s limited in terms of customizations and that the way the platform operates can lead to slower speeds for business processes. Since Salesforce is based in a multi-client cloud environment, resource are shared across different organizations. If there’s a single outlier taking up a lot of resources, it can impact other organizations that are completely separate. This means that developers have to create extra workarounds and heavier customization in order to overcome these limitations and ensure their own performance isn’t bogged down by the customization of others.
#2: Overall Costs
Cost is always going to be a concern for the majority of organizations and more importantly, so is value. In terms of features offered for the price, Salesforce is the most expensive SaaS CRM solution out there. While the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional suite costs $65 per user per month, the Saleforces Enterprise Edition costs $125 per user per month. And don’t be fooled by the Professional vs. Enterprise; the features in the Microsoft Professional edition are highly comparable to those found in the Salesforce Enterprise edition, and for nearly half the price. One of the best ways to highlight this is to the look at the core offerings of each edition. Salesforce offers only sales force automation as a core offering, while Microsoft offers a complete, robust CRM solution that includes case management, basic marketing and customer service as well as sales force automation. And when it comes to add-ons, Salesforce offers more expensive and less robust features than Microsoft.
#3: Getting Stuck With Salesforce
Since Salesforce uses its own proprietary programming language – Apex – users of the platform can’t customize it any other way. This means that any customizations or app integrations have to be done with Apex – not .Net, Java, HTML or anything else. When you’re forced to use a proprietary programming language, you’re greatly limited in terms of flexibility. This leads to many users being “stuck” with Salesforce; they’ve invested so much time and money into using their proprietary code that switching to something universal would mean starting from scratch.
#4: Integration with Outlook and Other Microsoft Technologies
Since Microsoft has many common technologies that businesses already employ such as Outlook, Office and Exchange, they’re the clear winner in integrating those technologies with CRM. Even though some organizations choose to use Salesforce, they’re still working with Outlook, Office and Exchange. These organizations will find integration to be more difficult and limiting in terms of functionality.
#5: Salesforce Hidden Costs
Think you’re just paying the standard Salesforce subscription price? Think again. Salesforce has developed a reputation for hidden costs, which don’t reveal themselves until you’re deeper into the buying process and ready to lock in. Below are some of the hidden costs:
- Add-on Pricing – Salesforce sells all add-on functionality at an additional cost including features such as Mobile, Offline Access and Knowledge Base. Most of these features are built in to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and/or available at a lower cost.
- High Storage Costs – Additional storage for Salesforce can be as high as $250 per GB per month, while Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is just $9.99 per GB per month.
- “Premium” Pricing – Salesforce’s Professional Edition, which starts at $65 per user per month, is very lightweight. Most organizations that are looking for robust features and functionality will find themselves being upsold to the Enterprise Edition, which starts at $125 per user per month. Compare that to Microsoft, which offers a complete CRM solution starting at $65 per user per month with far more features than the Salesforce Professional Edition.
Businesses can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a development platform, which is one of its greatest benefits. As businesses grow and evolve, they can rely on the fact that Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be customized and extended to meet their changing needs. You can customize views, business entities, fields, forms and more without even coding; this means that you can implement your changes faster and get your business up to speed without having to worry about slow development times. Although Salesforce allows you to customize and add features as well, the Intranet and private hosting options offered by Microsoft allow for greater flexibility with 3rd party and custom app integrations.
#7: Deployment Options
You can choose to deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM in a number of ways:
- Private Hosting
- SaaS (multi-tenant hosting)
- On-Premise Hosting
- Cloud Platform – You get to choose between Azure, the vendor cloud, public or private
Salesforce only allows one method of deployment, and that’s an on-demand, multi-tenant hosting solution. In being stuck with the SaaS model of deployment, you may be committing your company to higher total cost of ownership in the long term. In addition, you don’t have the complete control and security afforded with having your IT environment completely in-house. This can be a real deal breaker for government and other organizations with sensitive data that they can’t risk sending over the internet.