Search online for CRM or Customer Relationship Management and you are likely to come across the two main contenders within the CRM arena: Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce CRM. There are many similarities between the two CRM solutions but there are also some important differences which you should be aware of before making your choice.
1. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform has a propriety .Net Framework which can be customised to meet the individual needs of organisations.
2. Salesforce developed their CRM as a web application from the start and it benefits from design features that are optimised for web browsers. One example noted by CRMSwitch is a Save button on the top and bottom of the edit screens, which prevents the dreaded scroll all the way to the top of the page after entering data into a web form.
3. The Microsoft Dynamics user interface is familiar to users of the popular Microsoft Office software suite, giving users a more intuitive understanding of the system. The more recent releases of Dynamics CRM have been given a Windows 8 “Metro” interface makeover, again keeping the application consistent with the other Microsoft products. The Salesforce interface, while optimised for the web, will take the user more time to come to grips with as it is a completely new experience.
4. A big feature of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is its compatibility with a multitude of devices, most notably mobile platforms. It is also compatible with all major internet browsers (i.e. Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc). Salesforce CRM also supports all the major browsers but there are some notable features not supported in certain browsers, plus Salesforce also falls short when it comes to mobile devices as they do not seem to promote support on mobile devices outside of their own “Salesforce1” app. Ideally users should be able to choose how to access Salesforce and not be forced to use a standalone application (which seems to have mixed reviews on its App Store page, siting security issues and missing features).
5. Another benefit that Microsoft Dynamics CRM gives is using one of the world’s most popular database technologies as its backend: Microsoft SQL Server. Using this means that the customers database can be backed up and transferred from online to on-premises systems easily. Salesforce CRM databases are made in Oracle in a multi-tenant fashion, that way Salesforce has a smaller amount of instances to manage. To achieve this however they had to architect the database in a specific way in order to give the scalability and security that multi-tenant systems require.
6. One of the most important features of any CRM system is the Reporting functionality. Built upon Microsoft SQL Server’s own SQL Server Reporting Services, Microsoft Dynamics CRM made the reasonable decision to base its reporting systems on this. Merely requiring Microsoft to make an integration layer between the two in order to utilise the underlying technology. Salesforce by comparison had to start from square one when creating its reporting engine and have had to make multiple improvements to bring it up to the standard required.
7. In order to customise Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Software Engineer will use Visual Studio and .Net, both of which are widely used within the IT industry. Therefore amendments and customisations can be made easily and quickly. Salesforce created its own customization tools, Apex and Visualforce, and unlike .Net, Apex is limited in scope (albeit purposefully). This somewhat limits the number of people who will be knowledgeable in these tools.
8. The final area of notable difference is email integration. As Microsoft owns the ever popular Outlook email client, they have been able to integrate email into CRM more extensively than any other CRM solution provider. Salesforce provide an add-in for Outlook that provides some integration but it is cumbersome to install and use and does not have the depth of functionality that the Dynamics CRM Outlook client has.
For more information contact Bridgeall.
 – Salesforce vs. Microsoft Dynamics CRM – An Evolutionary Tale – http://www.crmswitch.com/crm-industry/salesforce-microsoft-crm-evolution/
 – Support for Tablet Browser, CRM for Tablets, and CRM for Phones with Microsoft Dynamics CRM-http://support.microsoft.com/kb/3019557
 – Salesforce1 on the App Store on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/salesforce1/id404249815?mt=8
 – The database architecture of salesforce.com, force.com, and database.com – http://www.dbms2.com/2011/09/15/database-architecture-salesforce-com-force-com-and-database/