Microsoft Invites Salesforce.com Customers to Give Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online a Try

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 6, 2010 — Microsoft has issued an ‘Open Letter’ to Salesforce.com customers inviting them to switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

The letter was posted in the Western regional edition of today’s Wall Street Journal, complemented by a news release, and coincided with the start of Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce.com customer conference. With the letter, Microsoft aims to convince attendees that its customer relationship management (CRM) solution offers more value, said Jamie Fiorda, group product marketing manager for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.



December 05, 2010
Michael Park, corporate vice president of sales, marketing, and operations, Microsoft Business Solutions.

“We need to aggressively get the word out and inform customers that they have a choice. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is a great solution to consider,” said Jamie Fiorda, group product marketing manager for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “It’s important that we communicate the value of our product, and how we differentiate on productivity.”

In the letter, Michael Park, corporate vice president of sales, marketing, and operations, Microsoft Business Solutions, encourages Salesforce.com customers to ask themselves:

  • In this economy, how can I justify paying two to three times more for an enterprise CRM system than I need to?*

  • Having access to the most up-to-date information is critical to my business; why doesn’t Salesforce.com provide real-time access to data and dashboards, refreshed whenever I need it like Microsoft does?

  • Microsoft works great with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office; why does Salesforce.com want me to start from scratch when it comes to productivity tools for my people?

As part of the letter, Microsoft announced a “Cloud CRM for Less” offer. Now through June 30, 2011, Microsoft will rebate eligible Salesforce.com and Oracle customers up to $200 for each user to make the switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The offer can be applied for services such as migrating data or customizing the solution to meet unique business needs. Full terms and conditions can be found at CloudCRMforLess.com.

“Customers are looking for increased user productivity, better integration with existing tools and technologies, and more flexibility and affordability when it comes to their CRM systems,” Fiorda said. “We want them to consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Customers who have made the switch to Microsoft have increased sales performance, boosted customer satisfaction and improved marketing effectiveness.”



December 05, 2010
Marc Chester, vice president of business development for Data Reduction Systems.

He said thousands of companies, including Century Payments, Data Reduction Systems, and IGH Solutions have found that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is easier to use, adds value to the technology investments they’ve already made, and delivers greater business insight. Stories have been appearing for weeks at DontGetForced.com, where Microsoft customers share how they’re benefiting from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

For example, Data Reduction Systems, an information management solutions company, saved more than 50 percent in user costs and reached 100 percent user adoption after switching to Microsoft, said Marc Chester, the company’s vice president of business development.

“Microsoft Dynamics CRM has really made our lives easier over here,” Chester said. “It’s nicely integrated into Office, and that means that all the things we used to do manually now take seconds. That’s what made us believers and is the reason why we chose the solution.”

Saving customers money is a key pillar of Microsoft’s value proposition with Microsoft Dynamics CRM – mid-sized and enterprise businesses in particular have reported significant savings when they switch from Salesforce.com’s premium offering, Fiorda said. But cost savings isn’t the only benefit.

For IGH Solutions, a specialist in cutting-edge printing techniques, one of the biggest draws to Microsoft Dynamics CRM was its ease of integration, said Drew Climer, business technical specialist for IGH.

“Salesforce.com could not integrate with our back-end, and we struggled to share customer data,” Climer said. “With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we can take our reports, Excel sheets, and apps and combine them into a centralized tool under Outlook. We’ve put CRM at the center of our IT business systems infrastructure.”

Because employees were already familiar with Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Dynamics CRM was able to increase efficiency instantly, he said.

Climer also said that Microsoft Dynamics CRM was a solution that offered businesses the flexibility to meet their needs – not the other way around. “More often than not, you have to develop your business processes around your technology solutions,” he said. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM works with you while serving as a solid foundation. I’ve worked with CRM solutions for 15 years, and this is the best tool out there.”

Fiorda expressed confidence that the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will put Microsoft in an even better competitive position against Salesforce.com. Chester, whose company has been testing the beta of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, agreed.

“Out of the box it offers even more than what 4.0 has, which we’re still using and pleased with,” he said. So I’d say to someone looking for a CRM solution right now, ‘You’re coming on board at the right time.’ The interoperability is really great, the application looks and feels like Microsoft Office, and the user experience is going to be one your employees will embrace.”

*Comparison based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online versus Salesforce.com Enterprise Edition.

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