What is it, and what can it do for you?
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the tech giant’s answer to Salesforce.com, possibly the most widely known customer relationship management (CRM) suite around these days.
Where Dynamics particularly differs from Salesforce is when it comes to its apps. Where Salesforce built technology from the ground up for its own offering, Microsoft was able to utilise plenty of its existing applications.
But what it does is basically the same as Sage, Salesforce, or any other CRM platform you care to mention: it provides sales, service and marketing capabilities for your business; on-premise or in the cloud.
As of 2013, Dynamics CRM eliminated the process of ‘app-flipping’ – where a developer buys the source code for another app, gives it a redesign and markets it as a new product. Instead, it now provides one unified platform for customer data, meaning sales teams don’t have to waste time accessing lots of different apps.
It also now offers a fully functional version of the platform on iOS and Windows 8, though not Android.
Logging on brings up a dashboard showing current leads (for sales), an update on your latest campaign (for marketing) and the status of any open service cases (for service).
Dynamics CRM 2013 is designed around the controversial Windows 8 tiled layout, but the big plus is there is much more room to display relevant data, and the navigation is pretty straightforward, with each tile clearly labelled and producing a dropdown menu reminiscent of Windows.
A big plus with Dynamics is the aforementioned Microsoft technology available thorugh it. For instance, you can click on a telephone number to contact a customer via Microsoft Lync or Skype.
When it comes to pricing, Microsoft knows it is behind Salesforce in market share, and so prices Dynamics accordingly: it claims a user would only pay $65 per month for its CRM service, compared to $125 per month for Salesforce.