The latest version of Microsoft’s popular Dynamics CRM software offers flexibility and functionality for firms from the very small to the very large, says local partner Roger Strain of Liquid Thought.
“MS Dynamics has always had a massive advantage in the market because of its integration with Outlook and its incredible ease of use,” says Strain. “The traditional problem with CRM systems has always been to get people to use them, but Microsoft has found a way to leverage a program that 90% of businesses are using all day anyway. Version 4.0 is even more user friendly, but also adds a lot of powerful backend functionality and options.”
One new feature of the software is that it provides a choice of hosted and self-service options, says Strain. “Businesses can now choose between hosting their own software on-premises or using a remote access service, either from a hosting service provider or directly from Microsoft using their CRM Live site. Hosting the software yourself means it is slightly more customisable and some people feel more comfortable maintaining ownership and looking after data security themselves.
"On the other hand, a hosted option can be extremely cost-effective and easy to use for many businesses, especially as there are offline and remote working options built in.”
Strain says Microsoft Dynamics CRM has traditionally been pitched at the middle market, “but it’s been enjoying increasing success in the enterprise market as well. The largest local implementation we’ve done has been for 3,000 users, and the largest international implementation so far has been for 10,000 users. Version 4 now offers unparalleled enterprise scalability with all the benefits of a centrally managed infrastructure, combined with the ability to customise implementation for even the smallest
The ease of implementing and customising the software is a unique feature of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, adds Strain. “Nobody else offers configuration and customisation that is this easy. 99% of the time we’re able to configure the standard product to meet anyone’s requirements without writing a single line of code. That can save months or even years of development in some cases, and hundreds of thousands of rands.”
Strain says the latest release of the software has been in development for over two years and has benefitted from an unparalleled R&D budget in this industry.
“Microsoft has really thrown a lot into this release, and it shows. Our customers like knowing that the product has this kind of backing, as well as the fact that it integrates so seamlessly with other products like Outlook and Excel.
"At the same time, it’s important to have local knowledge, expertise and implementation support to make sure that every business is able to make it work for them.”