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When Microsoft first acquired Great Plains in 2000 to enter the business application software space, we had some concerns, but were also very excited about the acquisition. At the time, we were implementing Great Plains and Siebel Systems and had a good picture of the challenges of implementing stand-alone business applications. We believed that Microsoft had an advantage that no other company could match, as it rolled out future versions of its Dynamics business applications. To the extent that the business application could seamlessly leverage the other Microsoft software that so many customers already considered part of their everyday computing life, Microsoft offered a value proposition that was unmatched by any competitor. Through the years, we have used this single licensor value proposition to position Microsoft’s business solutions products against competitor’s products from Oracle, SAP, SAGE, and Salesforce.com. While we have believed in the value proposition and won many deals as a result of prospects believing, we have always felt that Microsoft could do better.
Salesforce.com was launched and thrived with no such value proposition. Their timing was impeccable and they took advantage of competitors’ aging, difficult to sell, and often expensive solutions. Interestingly, their value proposition aligned with the benefits of a SAAS solution and more than anything, the ease with which customers could get started. They gained market share and became a formidable player in the CRM space.
Last week I participated in Microsoft’s launch of its CRM 2011 product. Watching Steve Ballmer introduce the product, I reflected back on my expectations, over ten years ago, and realized they were perhaps too high. I also realized that they had not changed. Microsoft has one means of changing the landscape with regard to the highly fragmented business application space and that will only happen when it creates business application software that fits 100% seamlessly into the rest of the software that it creates. Well my friends, it been a long time coming, but we have finally arrived. CRM 2011 is a game changer and I for one don’t think it’s too late to change this game. Check it out!
By Alan Kahn, Managing Director at InterDyn AKA a New York Microsoft Dynamics Partner
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Has Arrived is a post from: CRM Software Reviews at the CRM Software Blog
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