I have had the pleasure to work with Dynamics CRM since its 1.1 version. I can be honest—I didn’t feel cheated when Microsoft skipped the 2.0 release, and although it has been a late bloomer in the CRM market, it has gained significant traction over the last few releases and manages to land in the right (top right, to be specific) quadrant according to Gartner year after year.
Software, like clothing, seems to have trends, and CRM has been subject to these software fashion trends. CRM software is fashionable again, and innovation in social media, cloud computing, big data, and mobility have all provided a renewed focus for Microsoft to innovate with Dynamics CRM. Product release cycles are shrinking, and deployment is becoming faster. At the same time, customization and integration of systems are becoming easier. Mobile applications are making it easier to access information and mine data analytics, and business intelligence is making it easier to gain better business insights. Marketing automation software is another category that has emerged rapidly as part of the expanded CRM offering. Vendors are integrating their data with CRM software to provide a deeper level of customer insight. Future versions of CRM will have a richer feature base for marketing automation.
It’s now easy to purchase and own CRM through an Office 365 subscription and even easier to integrate it with all the familiar tools, like SharePoint, Outlook, and Lync. This creates a connected and powerful user experience that only Microsoft is able to provide. Through Microsoft’s cloud offering, partner-hosted and on-premise model Microsoft Dynamics is available to organizations on their specific terms. In addition to being an effective sales, marketing, and service automation solution, Dynamics CRM is a powerful platform that allows you to orchestrate and automate business processes.
System ownership costs are accrued in the form of infrastructure costs, software use rights, implementation and customization, training, support, and maintenance. As CRM consultants and architects, we spend most of our time helping organizations implement, integrate, and extend Dynamics CRM’s capabilities. Dynamics CRM provides a rich set of tools and features for any organization to customize its system. It is a .NET-based enterprise application with an n-tier architecture. Complex software components make up this platform, including a database, a web services layer for integration, workflows for business process automation, forms and dialogs for data entry, and a reporting infrastructure for business insight.