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Salesforce.com unfazed by Microsoft® CRM

Microsoft has ventured into CRM (Customer Relationship Management), a field which generally was Salesforce.com’s play field. Microsoft has gone after CRM with reduced prices, a better development model, easier configuration and customization and a native outlook interface which makes training easier. Its major card is its low pricing and Salesforce’s customer base. It is offering services within the price bracket of 46 dollars to 59 dollars per user as compared to the 65 dollars starting price of Salesforce. Google in comparison to Salesforce is providing storage space between 5Gb and 20 GB, whereas Salesforce offers 1 GB space for all of its packages.

Salesforce in a statement tried to play down Microsoft’s new venture. However Microsoft’s offer comes with a 2 year licensing rider. Microsoft’s CRM’s advantages are a wide range of deployment options–SaaS, on premise hosted or hybrid compared to Salesforce offering only SaaS deployment; more user space low total cost to organization , more vertical solutions due to extended network of pre existing solution partners, easy configuration and customization through web services and solution capabilities. Salesforce has limited or no vertical functionality, twice the price, limited per user storage space.

Microsoft is also providing integration to a pre existing suite of back office ERP systems like Dynamics AX, GP, and NAV unlike Salesforce’s inability to provide a service at par with this. Its advantages over other CRM solution providers are that it allows you to work from Microsoft Office and Outlook, keeps your data secure, and provides a one stop solution for all your customer data information.

Salesforce Takes Advantage from Microsoft Stunt

The new trend of the tech companies is to aim at their rivals’ events with guerilla marketing. Just like that salesforce.com ‘biggest confab was no different from others,but the company managed to give it a twist at least one attack back on the attacker.

Salesforce.com is an enterprise cloud computing company whose headquarter is situated in San Francisco, USA that distributes all kinds of business software on a subscription basis. Salesforce also hosts the applications offsite. It is best known for its Customer Relationship Management that is CRM products which is no match with other cloud computing companies.

It also has a foundation known as The Salesforce Foundation which is the company’s charitable enterprise. It aims to donate employee time, software and equity to charities as well as organizations. Salesforce’s CRM solution is basically divided into several broad categories that are Sales Cloud, Service Cloud Small Business Communication, Financial Services, Healthcare, High-Tech, Public Sector, Retail, Edition and Price and AppExchange. Salesforce also offers other activities or services on the Force.com Platform, Chatter and Jigsaw and many more.

In san Francisco, outside the famous Moscone Center, people in blue suits carrying blue umbrellas rode around on Segways carrying an advertisement directly out of Microsoft, which is busy in showcasing its markets that the industry calls as cloud-based software in competition against Salesforce’s. The ad had a gray-haired man which symbolizes a corporate technology buyer which is presumed to be something like the offering by Microsoft because it works the way he does.

The ad’s tagline read “I didn’t get forced,” in a play on Salesforce’s name.

As a swift move Microsoft’s stunt backfired this Wednesday morning when Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff, in a keynote speech, brought the man who appeared in the ad on stage.

As a twist Benioff feigned an apology to the fake customer and begged him to shift to Salesforce’s technology, which he eventually agreed to do. This enthralling counter-stunt elicited cheers and a partial standing ovation from the crowd of thousands of Salesforce customers and its partners.

After the speech in a casual interview, Benioff said the model Microsoft selected for the attack ad turned out to be a friend of his. After having a view at the ad–a version of which ran in The Economist–Benioff hired the man to appear at his own conference.

The moment he spotted the add in the magazine – The Economist, he said to himself that Microsoft will pay for this and as result Benioff’s antics came after Salesforce Wednesday said it will acquire San Francisco start-up Heroku—which will compete with Microsoft for creating an influence among developers of Web-based applications that cost for $212 million in cash. Amid an escalating war of words between the two companies in the field famously known as cloud computing.

In another revenging interview Benioff called Microsoft as “an empty suit when it comes to the cloud,” when asked a Microsoft spokeswoman to comment, she bluntly declined to say anything.

Microsoft v/s Salesforce.com-CRM Battle Open now

On 12th July, 2010 during the opening of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft Corporation proudly raised the curtain from the latest capabilities that are coming forth in the next generation CRM solution. It was announced that the CRM5, now christened as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will be publicly available from September, 2010 onwards.

Further to streamline the solutions distribution and discovery they announced the launch of Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace by Sept,2010.This online catalogue can be deemed to be Microsoft’s answer to Arch rival SalesForce.com.The later have been in the business providing similar service to Dynamic Marketplace in the form of its AppExchange store for quite sometime. Arguably quite successful the store sells more than 1000 applications and software’s as of now.

The Dynamics CRM 2011 of Microsoft looks promising with increased Microsoft Outlook functionalities that include a latest contextual CRM Ribbon for the Outlook portion, whereas the analytical portion can boast of its ability to create and store inline charts in a drill down intelligent manner.

The online catalogue is intended to make it easy for the partners and collaborations to sell the products easily. Even the customers will be benefited in the sense as they will have an integrated platform to search and locate industry specific applications. The Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace will be integrated within the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 giving one the option to search for an application directly from within the CRM solution searched, itself.

It would definitely come as a relief to the Microsoft loyalists who up till now had to use the suppliers Solution finder Search tool to find third party sellers who sold add-ons and applications but could not down load them directly online.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will further deliver ‘The Power of Productivity’ through familiar, intelligent and connected experiences for customers and partners,” said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “For customers, it offers new levels of user productivity and collaboration that meet their specific business needs with a low total cost of ownership. For partners, it unlocks new opportunities and provides a single development environment for cloud-based and on-premise deployments. Together, this new release raises the bar in the CRM market.”

However Tim Barker, who is SalesForce.com s vice president, is seemingly unimpressed by the launch. He goes on to claim that there is absolutely nothing novel about Microsoft’s latest pet. It is just following the footsteps of more successful predecessors. According to him the ‘new’ Microsoft Appstore has got nothing new, because of its uncanny resemblance to the iphone App store and the salesforce.com App Exchange, both of which are extremely popular.

The Microsoft team is off course of different opinion. It is quite confident that the September launch will cause a revolution in the CRM arena. Even Jason Hunt, Avanade CRM and xRM evangelist voices his conviction that the latest features will enable Microsoft to produce and customize efficiently the CRM solutions to match up with the customer’s need and enable them to conduct their respective businesses more productively.

Hailed as a tool to garner global CRM audience for Microsoft, Dynamics CRM 2011 has a lot of responsibility to shoulder.

CRM 2011- Microsoft’s Application store

Microsoft Corp is taking up a mark from rival CRM (Customer Relationship Management) trades Salesforce.com with its upcoming release of CRM 2011. CRM 2011, formally CRM 5 will be released this September as online offering for publicbeta. This was according to a statement which corresponded with the company’s World Wide partner conference on July 12. Microsoft is describing the Marketplace as “an online directory that will make solution discovery more efficient for the clientele. It will also provide an easy way for associates to market and distribute decision to Microsoft Dynamics CRM as well as ERP consumers.” To support the new release, a market place web page will be added where partners can put their complementary applications built around the program, up for sale.

A new Dynamic Market place

Among the innovative features expected in the forthcoming release, the Market place is the most prominent one. The Dynamics Market place which widely resembles Salesforce.com’s Appexchange will go live that month as well.

Microsoft is planning to release an online version of the CRM 2011 before the end of 2010 after which it will release a software-only product. The company officials are evading the question of when the software version of the product will be officially out but according to sources, the year 2011 is their target.

New features expected

The CRM product is getting a range of updates consisting of roll- tailored interfaces which can be customized to correspond to a users job functions and improved merging with Outlook, Office and Sharepoint.

The new release according to Mr. Brad Wilson, General Manager of Microsoft CRM, “Unlocks fresh opportunities and provides a single advancement environment for cloud-based and on premises deployments. Together, this new release will help to raise the bar in the CRM market.”

Stiff competition from Microsoft

Given Microsoft’s accomplishments in the enterprise, analysts are predicting that it may give Salesforce.com a run for its money come September. But one thing is for sure, the list of features and the number of updates accessible through CRM vendors’ increases with each release. SalesLogistix CEO, Mr. David Taber recommended that content managers and other CIOs use a checklist for weeding through vendor offer. He suggested this while assessing the CRM solution. In an article onCIO.com, Mr. Taber stated the 10 components of a solid CRM proposal.

Sales.com has been giving its clients a chance to purchase, download and install applications through its partners using its AppExchange store, which it redesigned and streamlined in the year 2009. AppExchange currently has more than 1,000 apps. Till now, it has been guiding its consumers who are looking for third party add-on for its CRM and ERP products to use its Solution finder search tools. But is not a site where consumers can actually go download and install codes. The new market place will allow partners to post codes for which customers can actually buy, download and install.

Much more to be done.

Generally, Microsoft has a lot of work to do before it overthrows Sales.com. The latter is the leading sales automation software in the world, with figures of up to US$885 million in allied application revenue in the year 2009, according to latest report by analysts firm IDC. The IDC figures are exclusive of “service revenue derived from consulting, training, and systems assimilation that is detached from the right-to-use license,” according to reports.

Four Social Networking Rivals with the Goal for Workforce Improvement

These days, social networking is being integrated into different media. Press, sports, the arts, education systems and consumer sites are only some of the examples. It is not surprising that business companies will start to use it as well. Imagine the possibilities of this idea. There will be little to no need for company memos that get lost, newsletters that are rarely read and important announcements that do not get acknowledged in time. That is why many systems are applying social networking into programs that can be used by enterprise-level companies.

Microsoft has become more familiar with SharePoint 2010 because they have finally added some social networking tools which include the Wiki and blog assimilation, tags and micro-blogging into its SharePoint MySites features.

While the social section of the Web is spreading out from Twitter and Facebook into businesses, enterprises are adjusting and focusing on the improvement of communication, sharing of information and connecting the global workforces using social media.

The Big Players

Aside from Microsoft, their big rivals like IBM, Cisco, Google and Salesforce.com are also diving into the fray. These social networking sites as well as collaborative competitors have made the differentiation from SharePoint as their goal. The four big name competitors include IBM Lotus Connections, Cisco Quad, Google Buzz and Sales Force Chatter.

Lotus Connections is the name of IBM’s version of their very own software for social networking purposes that was purposely created intended for the success of certain businesses. Their goal is to aid the companies in uniting workers, partners and customers using online social tools so that any individual who actually decides to use Twitter, Facebook, and other instant messaging sites or tools will make use of. Its system will have similarities to profile pages, activity feeds, document posting, communities, sharing, wikis and blogs.

Cisco Quad is named after a quad on a college campus. It has the goal of setting itself apart from Microsoft by making use of its unified communications tools like the VoIP, video as well as some WebEx Connect tools for the online presence, so that it can turn into a highly effective social networking site programmed with enterprise-level policies and security parameters. Cisco also has plans of integrating this on iPhones and iPads through applications.

Google Buzz can be seen on Gmail and has a similar interface to Facebook so you can share photos, videos, status, updates and links with your friends and co-workers. It has a greater integration with Smartphone than its competitors, with its Buzz mobile web application to its Buzz layer in Google maps for mobile.

Sales Force has a collaboration platform that they ended up calling, Chatter. It has a look akin to Facebook and features that are found in Google Buzz and some others. Still, it is designed so it can be used with Sales Force’s business portfolio applications and also financial and human resource applications like Oracle and Microsoft. The good thing about Chatter is that it brings in more customers to Salesforce.com’s rising ecosystem.

This will make everything so much easier for companies. This is not only good for productivity but also for the morale of the workplace. Advancement, especially in the technological sense helps the mindset of employees and the whole workforce. With these new programs, the big move forward will be done faster than it would have five years ago.

Microsoft Sued by Salesforce.com

Patents are one of the most important yet ambiguous parts of software and technological innovations that are existent in the present. Different people are applying for patents so as to have the full and only right of using the said method or technique in the field of web functions and the like. The importance of the said patents were greatly seen in the latest sues filed by Microsoft and Salesforce.com with each other.

Microsoft sued by Salesforce.com under the violation on the intellectual property rights. The company is said to have used some of the Microsoft’s methods and software which are under the said in intellectual property of the Microsoft. But, with this, Salesforce.com also filed a case against Microsoft on charges on patent issues and violations. The said case filed by Salesforce.com was brought upon by the earlier case filed by Microsoft.

Issues

Salesforce.com filed a case against Microsoft in the US District Court of Delaware. According to the submitted complains made by Salesforce.com, Microsoft has violated patent rules and agreements over some of the tools that Salesforce.com have patent over. Some of the tools and products that have been used by the Microsoft illegally are Sharepoint collaboration software and .NET platform. These two products are said to be breach of the Salesforce.com patents. These patents are said to be violated by Microsoft. By using these products, the Salesforce.com gets to have the chance to sue Microsoft for this.

David Boies who is a famous lawyer for his role in the case of the US government antirust ruling against the company of the Microsoft and also the representation lawyer of Oracle against SAP, is part of the legal team of the Salesforce.com to take judgment on the said case.

Salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff called Microsoft patent thief and hooligans. The effects on the Salesforce.com and Microsoft are both inflicting and heavy that both companies are feeling the burden of this case.

Allegations

With the allegations made by Saleforce.com against Microsoft, Microsoft seems to have a different version of the story. According to Microsoft, Salesdorce.com was actually the one who used nine of the patents that Microsoft has. Salesforce.com breached the said patents and used these nine for their own good. And thus the case still continues.

With the Microsoft having to sue the Salesforce.com earlier than the latter filed against Microsoft, some are saying that Microsoft is having the edge to win. But whichever wins, there is one thing that both companies wish to happen and that is to finally close the case and decide which company wins. With the continuous cases, expenses are also made from these. And thus portion of the supposed to be income of both companies are lessened.

There are other companies fighting for the patents of their companies. One of these cases is the case of Apple against HTC. There is also a case of twelve other companies who are fighting for the same thing- patent. Patents seem to be the source of technology-based company’s war and cases.

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Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003