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Microsoft CRM and Siebel CRM On Demand evaluated

Expert William Band gives a brief overview of Microsoft CRM and Siebel CRM On Demand.

Could you give me a quick comparison between Microsoft CRM and Siebel CRM On Demand?
Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand has achieved success in the market by offering the same benefits as other CRM Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions: quick time-to-value, usability, and low upfront costs. This value proposition is attractive to both small and medium-size business (SMB) buyers and smaller units of enterprise-class organizations. Its primary functional strengths are in the areas of sales force automation (SFA) and customer analytics. Basic functionality is provided for most other CRM functional capabilities, but it lacks capabilities in eCommerce and partner channel management. The product has a defined presence in five industry vertical editions: wealth management, insurance, automotive, life sciences, and high-tech.

Microsoft is trying, through its 3.0 solution, to exploit its desktop applications strength in large enterprises and promote its now-more-robust business applications to this sector. Buyer interest in Microsoft solutions is high in the SMB market and is growing in the enterprise segment. Enterprise buyers will be attracted to Microsoft Dynamics CRM if they have made a commitment to a Microsoft infrastructure in order to lower their TCO in buying and managing business technologies. Buyers also like Microsoft Dynamics CRM usability and its quick time-to-value compared with traditional CRM applications. The product provides basic capabilities in sales, customer service, and field service but is weaker in marketing and customer data management. Partner channel management and eCommerce capabilities are not offered to any appreciable degree, and there are no industry-specific solution sets.

During the last 18 months, Microsoft has been preparing the market for its own "CRM on-demand" option. Microsoft Live uses the same code base as the soon-to-launch on-premise CRM application, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, codenamed Titan. Both the hosted and on-premise models of the multi-tenant-based Titan were expected to launch at the same time in mid-2007. Now the plan is to launch the on-demand service first then roll out the on-premise component to partners and customers in late this year. Announced pricing for Live CRM is aggressive, but the product is not yet generally available.

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