Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a Leader, say Research Firms
According to two independent research and advisory companies, Gartner and Forrester Research, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions packages. Heating up the competition in the CRM solutions market, Microsoft Dynamic CRM offers both online and on-premises versions for its customers. Customisation according to needs, cost-effective solutions and ease of integration with other Microsoft products is what makes Dynamics CRM suite attractive to businesses seeking optimal CRM systems.
Dynamics CRM in Gartner's Magic Quadrant
Gartner Inc provides Information Technology (IT) research and advisory services. In its proprietary research tool called "Magic Quadrant", Gartner offers a snapshot of a market place where vendors are evaluated according to various criteria and placed in a specific quadrant. The four Magic Quadrants are:
- Niche Players
According to the Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation Report, for June 2010, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been placed as "Leader".
Microsoft Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, provided as Dynamics CRM, enables efficient Sales Force Automation, in which all aspects and data of a sales process are computerised. This includes a customer management system keeping track of interactions with customers.
Gartner evaluated Dynamics CRM according to criteria such as quality, customer satisfaction as well as MS CRM pricing, when deciding to place it as a "leader".
Microsoft Dynamic CRM in Forrester Wave Report
The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites Customer Service Solutions, July 2010 report commends Microsoft (MS) Dynamics CRM as a leader for providing flexible and strong solutions. Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration with other Microsoft products and frameworks, gives it an edge.
Features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM
The popularity of Dynamics CRM increased after the release of version Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. Subsequent versions have seen addition of more features and capabilities. Microsoft CRM 4.0 implemented hosted Microsoft CRM solutions, which are Dynamic CRM online. The latest version due at the end of 2010 is Dynamics CRM 2011 which creates parity between the online version and the on-premises version.
Let's take a look at some distinguishing features of Dynamics CRM.
Dynamics CRM Online
- Dynamics CRM is a client-server application based on the Internet Information Services (IIS) web server. The client can be a typical Microsoft Internet Explorer browser or can be used via integration with MS Outlook.
- Apart from the on-premises traditional implementation in an office, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is available for those seeking to utilise cloud deployment, where a virtual global office network is set up via the Internet. Dynamics CRM online has been available only from Microsoft CRM 4.0. Dynamics CRM Online is also referred to as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Live.
- Mobile devices can also be used to access Dynamics CRM Online.
- A large network of Dynamics CRM partners can provide customised solutions catering to the various needs of their customers. The ability for innovation is a point of strength for Dynamics CRM.
- Dynamics CRM is based on the .NET platform. This allows customisation ability and flexibility. The product, Dynamics CRM, along with the platform, .NET, gives developers the power to build specific solutions according to need. Dynamics CRM consulting firms can build applications and functionalities with specific customers in mind.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration with existing Microsoft products such as Outlook, Internet Explorer, Sharepoint and Windows Mobile is an advantage. In Dynamics CRM Sharepoint integration, the data from the CRM application can be pulled to work in conjunction with MS Sharepoint.
- MS CRM 3.0 switched from Crystal Reports to MS SQL Reporting Services.
- Microsoft CRM 4.0 offers multi-tenancy, where multiple organisations can be hosted in a single server.
Along with the traditional on-premises version, where the Dynamics CRM package is implemented in the physical workspace, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 started offering Microsoft Dynamics CRM online or Microsoft Dynamics CRM live.
Dynamics CRM partners can offer hosted Microsoft CRM solutions for their customers. Dynamics CRM 2011 is set to offer enhanced features in hosted Microsoft solutions, which will put it on par with the on-premises version. While in Dynamics CRM 4.0, customisation was limited in the online version, Dynamics CRM 2011 is set to change that by allowing partners to build packages and offer them to customers online.
In fact, Microsoft officials recommend an approach where users first try out Dynamics CRM online and then opt for the on-premises version. Microsoft is releasing the online version of Dynamics CRM first, followed by the on-premises version. This way, customers can choose whether to work online or to implement it in the office, after using of the Dynamics CRM online.
Dynamics CRM Licensing and MS CRM Pricing
The licensing for Dynamics CRM depends on the edition that is purchased as well as other factors.
Some factors that affect Dynamic CRM licensing are:
- MS CRM addons
- Number of users requiring access
- Type or mode of access required
The Dynamic CRM 4.0 Server editions included Workgroup Server, Professional Server and Enterprise Server. The Workgroup Server replaced the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Small Business Edition. The Dynamics CRM Professional Server edition requires that client access be bought on a per-user basis. Each user needs a Client Access License (CAL).
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Certification
Those seeking to acquire Microsoft Dynamics CRM certification needs to take the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) training and exams. MS Dynamics CRM training and certification can enable professionals to pursue a career as a Dynamics CRM consultant, building and implementing Dynamics CRM solutions for customers.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Download
Dynamics CRM download can be accessed from the Microsoft Website at www.microsoft.com . The version on offer for download is Dynamics CRM 4.0 for Microsoft Office Outlook. Microsoft CRM Demo or trial version for Dynamics CRM 4.0 can also be downloaded from the Microsoft website.
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