Microsoft partners confident about Salesforce customer switch

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Microsoft partners confident about Salesforce customer switch

Microsoft partners were today confident the software giant would succeed in enticing Salesforce customers to switch to its newly launched Dynamics CRM Online suite. Customers could choose to buy Dynamics CRM as a software-as-a-service from Microsoft, as a hosted service from resellers or running on a local, on-premise server.  

A “pretty excited” David Goad, managing director of eSavvy, said he had been working on the beta since September and has signed up several early adopters.

He said Cudo the discount website, used the service as a B2B interface to help drive automation to find deals.

“I think Salesforce should be nervous,” he said.  “Microsoft comes to market at a fraction of the cost. And, it’s flexible.

"We can offer it through Microsoft, partners can host it locally or customers can use it on-premise and go back and forth.

"That’s the beauty of the product,” he said. “With Salesforce, only Salesforce can host it,” he said.

Microsoft has offered Salesforce.com and Oracle customers up to $249 cash rebate if they switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as part of the today’s release. The service was available at a promotional price of $42.25 per user, per month for the first 12 months of service.

It also touted stronger integration with Office and Outlook, while a Microsoft-hosted version was made available to countries outside of North America for the first time in three years. Previously, only partners could host the product in Australia.  

Independent software vendor Connect2Field's Steve Orenstein said the launch would create greater cloud awareness. 

“The more cloud platforms that are available in Australia the better,” he said. “And, it gives us another avenue."

Orenstein said Microsoft was now giving an alternative.

“Until now customers had to run [CRM Dynamics on their own servers] or find a suitable host. Now they can access for a small fee,” he said.

Salesforce touted its customer base which includes Telstra, Australian Air Express, and Flight Centre in response. 

 "Salesforce.com is honoured to serve thousands of customers in Australia.

"Microsoft still bases its CRM on desktops, proprietary systems and Outlook. That’s a snapshot of history – not a social app for today's mobile, open world,"  a spokesperson said. 

Salesforce consulting partner System Partners was unphased.

Salesforce has about a "12-year head-start in the cloud technologies area starting in 1998," Maarten Baaij, sales director at System Partners, told CRN

“There’s a whole community living around [Salesforce]. It’s like starting a new Facebook."

Premier Salesforce consulting partner Sqware Peg took a wait-and-see approach.

"It is too early to comment on this new release, however, as with most new developments in the cloud space, it will be interesting to see what impact, if any, it makes," said Adrian Jones, Sqware Peg country manager.

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