Salesforce.com has experienced explosive growth over the last several years, typically because of its ease of use and limited need for internal support via its hosted offering. Microsoft is directly competing with Salesforce.com with the announcement of Dynamics CRM Live, which will allow customers to host their Dynamics CRM environment. Dynamics CRM also competes with the on-premise SMB players by offering advanced customization capabilities and tighter integration with the Microsoft family of products. This includes:
Microsoft's business proposition in the SMB market is simple – Dynamics CRM is easier to implement and support than the traditional CRM players. Business models need to change on a regular basis to adjust to market realities and opportunities. In order to stay relevant, CRM needs to be able to be altered to help organizations to take advantage of these market changes. Microsoft has focused on making CRM easier to use for the end user and providing CRM administrators with a flexible set of tools for extending CRM to support key business processes – from workflow to reporting and analytics to custom fields and screen design. Over time, we expect Microsoft to continue to develop more advanced business process tools that model common organizational processes, making it even simpler for customers to leverage best practices.
It's not clear who will be competing with Microsoft in the CRM market over the next five years. We have seen incredible consolidation in the CRM market since 2000, and market experts expect this trend to continue. What is certain, however, is that Microsoft is committed to the CRM platform and market and will continue to invest in the development of the product to make CRM easier to use and simpler to implement.
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