The CRM market is a crowded one. With giant vendors such as SAP, Oracle, and Salesforce.com, everybody has got their work cut out to get to the top. Microsoft is a giant in its own right, but their Dynamics CRM product isn’t the most widely used CRM solution on the market by a long shot.

They’ve been trying to change that for the last 10 years, and are starting to make a real impact.
One reason for Microsoft Dynamics’ rise is very simple; it is a good product. We’re used to Microsoft’s almost unbeatable knowledge of enterprise and business processes, and Dynamics CRM is a product that can be used by a range of businesses – small/medium enterprises to large corporations. According to Paul Greenberg in his CRM Watchlist, “they have core functionality in two of the three pillars of traditional CRM – sales and customer service, only lacking marketing, something that most other companies (though not Oracle) lack – though not for much longer.”

Stepping up to the plate

Dynamics CRM has been seen as somewhat of an underdog in recent years, but this is beginning to change. Competitive prices and gigantic marketing investment (e.g. advert placement on the Lotus Formula One cars) has ensured that Dynamics CRM is taking its place as one of the top CRM solutions on the market. It is reported that Microsoft have achieved 30% year on year growth

So why are companies choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

  • Loyal customers:Dynamics CRM customers are a loyal lot, and so are Microsoft fans in general. There’s now reportedly more than 2.25 million CRM users.
  • Familiar features: Microsoft Dynamics interface won’t be strange to anybody who uses other Microsoft products such as SharePoint, or even the basic Office package. This means that companies can improve how their staff utilise the systems more easily.
  • Integration with other products:If your business uses other Microsoft products, Dynamics can integrate nicely with them.
  • Cloud capability: Dynamics is designed to be used on the cloud, but it can also be installed as an on-premise solution. This flexibility helps bring customers with different priorities. According to some statistics, around 60% of new customers have chosen CRM online.

Challenging the top

Microsoft are beginning to challenge the top 3, and their focus on the social side of CRM is essential to ensuring that they position themselves well for the future. Ignoring this aspect would be suicide, despite Salesforce.com seemingly having claimed the ‘social enterprise’ tag for themselves.
With the introduction of Yammer and Skype in the 2012 update, Microsoft are clearly on a mission to become social. Improving enterprise collaboration and communication are key to their marketing plan, and the Skype function means that Dynamics CRM users can open voice & video communication directly from the dashboard, making the process much more streamlined.
The added inclusion of Microsoft Office 2013 compatibility, and embedded Bing maps, along with improved cross-browser support, highlights that Microsoft are keen to continue to develop Dynamics CRM alongside its other products.
The Microsoft CRM train was trundling along nicely for a while, and is now beginning to pick up speed. Watch this space.
For consultation on your CRM system, contact us by calling 0203 489 6190.