Microsoft aims at Salesforce.com with CRM offer

Redmond slices prices temporarily in hopes of cutting into Salesforce.com's ample lead

Microsoft is hoping to lure business away from Salesforce.com with a new offer that allows customers to buy Dynamics CRM Online seats for US$34 per user per month for the first year of service, a roughly 25 percent drop from the current $44 monthly charge.

The offer significantly undercuts Salesforce.com's Professional edition at $65 per user per month, and its Enterprise edition, which costs $125 per user per month. Microsoft made the announcement Thursday at the start of a European road show that kicks off in London.

It's just the latest attempt by Microsoft to boost sales of CRM Online. In July, it launched a promotion that gives partners a 40 percent fee on new CRM Online subscriptions, up from 18 percent.

Microsoft has a long way to go before it catches up with Salesforce.com, which reports having more than 82,000 customers. Dynamics CRM has 23,000 customers in total, but Microsoft does not reveal how many of them are for CRM Online, according to a spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, this week Microsoft will also discuss plans for a number of its Dynamics ERP (enterprise resource planning) products.

It's hoping to sell Dynamics AX into large enterprises via a new connector for SAP systems that enables "two-tier" ERP implementations. An enterprise's new division or branch office would use Dynamics instead of adding more SAP licenses under such a scenario. Rival NetSuite has pursued a similar strategy.

In addition, Dynamics AX for Retail, first announced earlier this year, will be available in 22 additional markets by February 2011, and Dynamics NAV partners will gain new tools in December for developing vertical offerings, Microsoft said.

Part of the vendor's value proposition for Dynamics has been the applications' proximity to widely adopted Microsoft technologies like SharePoint and the Office suite.

In recent years, competitors such as Infor and Epicor have moved to align their software with the Microsoft technology stack, offering customers similar types of integration scenarios. Epicor made a number of related announcements earlier this week.

This presents a mixed situation for Microsoft, said Altimeter Group analyst Ray Wang. On one hand, the company benefits by having multiple vendors bet on its technology, he said.

But in turn, "the impact on Dynamics is that it needs to sharpen its focus," such as determining which verticals to specialize in, he said.

For its part, Microsoft is confident that it can give ERP customers a better user experience with its technologies than any other vendor, a spokeswoman said.

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

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags applicationsMicrosoftenterprise resource planningsoftware

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

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?