Microsoft scales up CRM to thwart Salesforce.com, Oracle

But the release's usability, not scalability, may prove to be Microsoft's trump card

Microsoft announced the availability Wednesday of Dynamics CRM 2011, the on-premises and partner-hosted version of its CRM (customer relationship management) software.

The new release can scale up to 150,000 concurrent users in a single instance while maintaining fast response times, "once again raising the bar for performance and scalability in the CRM industry," Microsoft said in a statement.

While vendor boasts about product performance are a staple of many product announcements, Microsoft's decision to highlight the benchmark shows it wants to win deals in the largest enterprises at the expense of competitors like Salesforce.com and Oracle CRM on Demand, both of which are delivered as SaaS (software as a service).

Microsoft has a SaaS product as well, CRM Online, which is based on the same code as CRM 2011, and released the latest version last month. But Microsoft and its partners can tout the scalability of the on-premises version when competing for business with customers that may be on the fence regarding SaaS.

To one observer, however, usability, not scalability, is the main selling point for Microsoft's latest CRM products.

"All vendors today have the ability to support huge user bases with very fast response times," said Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research, via e-mail. "That's mostly thanks to beefed up hardware offerings -- what a difference a decade makes. Recall that 10 years ago the ASP vendors floundered because they couldn't field enough horsepower economically to make a cloud-like architecture work."

"But take nothing away from Microsoft, they've arrived in market with a powerful offering and, most importantly, an offering that pays attention to the ways that people work," he added. "The company spent a lot of time and effort on the UI and for me that's the story."

The software's features include "role-tailored" user experiences, a native Outlook client and various dashboards and BI (business intelligence) tools meant to help workers do their jobs better.

CRM 2011 also takes a cue from Salesforce.com's AppExchange with the integrated Dynamics Marketplace. The online catalog contains more than 1,400 software and services offerings from partners, and is also available to CRM Online customers.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Topics: business issues, Internet-based applications and services, applications, Customer Relationship Management, Salesforce.com, Microsoft, software, internet, Oracle
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?