Talking Dynamics

Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft

Microsoft Dynamics 365: Available 1st November, Cheaper Than Salesforce

At this year’s Dynamics UG Summit, Microsoft has announced more concrete details about its all in one CRM and ERP solution, Dynamics 365. They have revealed that it would be available for release on 1st November, and that it would, in effect, start a price war with Salesforce by offering more flexible pricing than on offer in the traditional CRM marketplace.

A new era?

With Dynamics 365, Microsoft is aiming to usher in a new era of business agility to help boost productivity and performance.

On Tuesday, the company announced that Dynamics 365 will be available to customers worldwide beginning November 1, with the aim of going head to head with Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and other CRM technologies. Microsoft only currently has around a 4% market share when it comes to CRM, so as we suggested in a recent post, this move could really help to increase the corporation’s business.

The missing Link(edIn)

Now, it’s a little bit easier to see exactly why Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for more than $26B. Dynamics 365 includes new applications that analyse the data in Microsoft documents, the CRM/ERP system, and social media like LinkedIn to provide sales leads and business insights for marketing campaigns.

What this essentially means is that through channels like LinkedIn, sales professionals will be able to look at Dynamics 365 to explore potential new opportunities and revenue streams straight out of LinkedIn.

Flexible pricing

Dynamics 365 won’t just be more comprehensive than any existing Dynamics product, and – so Microsoft claims – any of their competitors, it will also be more cost effective.

Microsoft’s Cloud VP Takeshi Numoto wrote a recent blog post sharing his thoughts on pricing. He suggests that Microsoft’s subscription plans will bundle popular configurations for users, rather than making all businesses buy every aspect of the product per user.

Numoto suggests that this “could save four to five times the cost of traditional CRM providers.” For reference, a Salesforce license can cost as much as $300 per person per month.

AI wars

Another great feature of Dynamics 365 will be Cortana, Microsoft’s AI built on Azure cloud technology. When Salesforce launched Einstein in recent months, its own AI which pushes smarter and predictive analytics to Salesforce users, the reviews from users was mixed.

Microsoft, however, are proud of their AI technology. According to Numoto:

“With so much attention on artificial intelligence and the promise it holds, it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. When it comes to business process – and your business – Dynamics 365 delivers the intelligence you need to transform, now, backed by decades of research and investment.”

So, it looks like Dynamics 365 could be big, cheap and effective. Could this be the revolution for CRM and ERP that Microsoft Office was for office productivity?

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