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Forced or Not? You know the price

With Legacy applications, deciding about expected returns on IT investment has always been a tough task due to numerous cost components involved (Software installations, hardware investments e.g. servers, storage devices, maintenance, training etc.), longer deployment period spread across several financial quarters and nature of benefits achieved. By nature of benefits, I mean, that IT investment not only gives a measureable financial benefits but a majority of benefits are non-financial but crucial too.  Also, the legacy packages come with lot of tools/features which are rarely used by organizations. Does cloud computing add a new insight for decision making?


In a recent interview with Forbes Asia, Paul Maritz (CEO, VMWare)1 said that under-hyped thing about cloud computing is the efficiency and simplification that it will bring.  For the first time, we are starting to get some objective metrics with which we can measure IT.  We can measure our own IT with external benchmark.
While browsing through pages of some leading cloud-based CRM players, a sentence on Microsoft Dynamics CRM website caught my attention: "Don't get forced, Get what Fits".2 Certainly, an aggressive marketing strategy from Microsoft Dynamics over Salesforce.com.  On its website, Microsoft Dynamics has put a comparison chart to compare its offering with other major cloud CRM Players (Salesoforce.com and Oracle CRM On-Demand)3. The comparison chart shows that for Salesforce.com Professional edition charge is $65/user/month plus other charges like Mobile, Multidimensional knowledge base, offline access, visual workflow etc.  Oracle CRM on Demand charge have been charging $75/month/user plus other charges for Mobile sales assistant, Contact on demand, partner relationship management etc. As it is MS Dynamics website, they have certainly put their offerings as the best deal ($44/user/month).  My point here is not to evaluate which of these packages is the best one, but to discuss representation of IT investment in very simple components.
Although it can't be concluded that Cloud based packages provide better returns on the investment keeping data security issues and regulatory policies in view, it certainly puts itself as one of the viable options for decision makers in the organization.
2. http://crm.dynamics.com/online/default.aspx?fbid=Bm5MCQ5BFqU#right-value
3. http://crm.dynamics.com/en-us/price-comparison


Though its a year old campaign, its good that we have a blogpost here. MS CRM was in news around March/April 2011 for its very tag line.

Microsoft launched this interesting campaign, obviously to compete with Salesforce.com and to convert Salesforce.com customers to Microsoft CRM Online.

On one hand I believe it was a cheap Marketing done by microsoft, however the product is competetive. On the other hand, it seems no marketing is cheap marketing that gets it working. I read about a couple of companies shifting for a better experience; Century Payments is one of those.

Which is better, will always remain a personal choice of a user!

To Marketers out there, "Make Your Own Space!"

Salesforce had more socialized compared to CRM Dynamics and Oracle-On Demand CRM.With the growing Social Networking across globe, it is important for Business to understand the social needs of their customer. SO i feel Salesforce has all the necessary Social features for Business. I agree salesforce might have forced their customer to opt in for its Force.com services Earlier(Before 2 Years).But now itz other way round.Business are running to get CRM Licenses from Salesforce.At this point of time, we have to agree Salesforce CRM is far ahead of anyother CRM Competitor. Salesforce has all the necessary features."You Name it..They have it".

It looks more like commodity pricing where every product is up for sale at a few bucks more or less than the competitor. However, the point NOT to be missed here is to know what is every product's USP, which market segment are they targeting, and what is their roadmap. That would clearly differentiate one from the other, if not just a broad comparison of the features offered.

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