Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online-Office 365 Bundle Targets Salesforce
Look out, Salesforce. Microsoft just launched a new online sales productivity bundle to compete with Salesforce’s flagship product, and it is offering it for almost half the price during a promotional period. In addition to Microsoft Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management), the offering includes both Office 365 and its Power BI product.
"The importance of combining powerful productivity tools with business applications is something that Microsoft Dynamics has recognized all along," said Bob Stutz, corporate vice president, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a statement announcing the new product. "We have been building our products to work seamlessly together from day one, and this new offering makes it even easier for our customers to benefit from this combination of solutions."
Competing on Price
Redmond is offering the service for $65 per user, per month, through June 2015. Current Office 365 customers can upgrade to the bundle for $45 per user, per month. According to Microsoft’s numbers, the offer costs almost 50 percent less than a similar combination of offerings from Salesforce.
Salesforce’s competing product, the Professional CRM edition, matches Microsoft’s Sales Productivity bundle at $65. However, it lacks both an office suite and business intelligence product similar to what Microsoft is including in its bundle. Salesforce, meanwhile, is rumored to announce a new cloud analytics service at its upcoming Dreamforce conference scheduled to begin October 13 in San Francisco.
In addition to widely used applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel, Sales Productivity will also include other enterprise productivity tools, including Outlook, Lync, Skype and Yammer for social collaboration, the company said. Despite Salesforce’s position as the market leader in CRM software, enterprise clients may decide to switch to the Sales Productivity bundle thanks to its integration with these and other Microsoft tools.
“To me, this looks like Microsoft doing what Microsoft does best and finding a way to bundle its existing technology in a way to wear down any resistance to adopting a new product,” Matt Mullen, senior analyst of social business at 451 Research, told us “In essence, [the company is] utilizing the same techniques that were previously so successful in ensuring that SharePoint popped to a greater or lesser degree in almost every enterprise.”
According to Mullen, the appeal of an all-in-one bundle that combines office productivity applications with a CRM offering stems from the time savings such an offering provides to sales teams. “Organizations want their sales professionals spending as little time as possible updating CRM records or buildings sales collateral,” Mullen explained. The bundled solution allows sales reps to spend more time actively selling to customers and prospects, he said.
Microsoft also offers on-premises deployment of its CRM product, in contrast to Salesforce’s cloud-only approach.
Salesforce, meanwhile, recently announced that it would be expanding its offerings with new applications for mobile platforms. The company launched Sales Cloud1 and Service Cloud1 Tuesday, both of which the company said are designed to help sales reps connect with clients and prospects.
Posted: 2014-10-09 @ 8:21am PT
Whether customers want to put all their eggs in one basket and opt for a key business application purely due to a bundled price, over choosing the best fit for the business based on needs remains to be seen. Microsoft here is comparing to the most expensive on the market, Salesforce, when comparing with other CRMs. Microsoft Dynamics itself is often expensive in comparison. Check out independent CRM review site G2 crowd for comparisons.