Salesforce vs Dynamics (Part III): MS Integration
As both a Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics certified partner, Datix Inc., has a rare, unique insight into two of the most popular CRM systems on the market today. In light of this, we have been conducting a four part series on our blog in which we have been comparing and pitting these two powerful pieces of software against each other, in order to help you determine which would be the best CRM for your business. Considering the fact that both Salesforce and Dynamics received flashy updates this year in order to better equip themselves against the other, particularly in features like email integration and mobile capability, it is harder than ever to decipher all of the marketing talk to figure out what you really need out of CRM and which vendor will help you achieve that. Our updated ‘Software Showdown’ series is designed to help you start picking the best 2015 CRM system for you. Our evaluation series has been designed to include key factors that business are often looking for for their CRM system: reporting functionality, CRM mobility, and more.
In the first part of our head to head series featuring Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM we looked at reporting capabilities, and in the prior section we shined a light on mobility. In the next section of our Best CRM showdown we will evaluate how each product integrates with common Microsoft staples, like Sharepoint and Outlook. To read the full comprehensive report download our guide to the right.
Review the Salesforce vs Dynamics CRM series here:
- CRM Mobility
- Microsoft Integration
- Comprehensive Overview
- We've also **added a development comparison**
Comparing Microsoft Integration - Salesforce vs MS Dynamics CRM
The right tool for the right job
As we've mentioned repeatedly throughout this series, comparing Salesforce with MS Dynamics CRM is not an apples to apple comparison. Deciphering which is the best for your organization is really about using the right tool for the right job (and figuring out the exact goals of said job). And in terms of MS Integration, it's intuitive to to assume that Microsoft's heavily invested in CRM product would integrate with other Microsoft products better than a competitor. However, when deciphering the best CRM for your organization there are always many factors to consider. With that being said, Dynamics CRM is clearly going to offer more in this category than Salesforce.
Salesforce stays afloat
You'd be hard pressed to find many that would expect Salesforce to provide a better Microsoft integration experience inside of their CRM than Microsoft would in theirs. However, despite the two CRM's many constructional differences, Salesforce does an adequate job of integrating with Microsoft Outlook, especially after the CRM rivals announced in 2014 that they would partner up to integrate Salesforce with Microsoft productivity tools . If your business currently utilizes Outlook or the Office suite, there's really no reason to fret or worry about how they might integrate with Salesforce. The software has been fully integrated not only with normal Office tools and Outlook email functions, but also with the Salesforce1 Mobile App, employees with Windows phones will have full access to the mobile platform and all of the benefits that come with that mobility. The user experience is not cumbersome and is fairly intuitive. In fact, many will find that the process of using the systems together works exactly how they would expect and should be fairly happy with how the products integrate on an interface level. But wait, there's more: during this year's Dreamforce conference Salesforce announced a deepening partnership with Microsoft. It may be hard to believe, considering the two vendors are fierce rivals in the CRM universe, but the two companies have recognized how many customers rely on both systems to boost productivity and increase the engagement of sales teams. Consequently, Salesforce looks to become even tighter with MS products, including Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync), Delve, OneNote and the new Windows 10 system. Users will now be able to create notes within OneNote and associate them with Salesforce records and leads, views sales accounts and customer availability within Delve all inside the newly re-imagined Salesforce Lightning interface.
If your organization is considering Salesforce for its superior mobility, or more flexible reporting capabilities, then you don't have to start pumping the brakes simply because the system doesn't have the integration qualities with your current MS programs that Dynamics CRM inevitably has. However, it is worth mentioning that if your organization is heavily involved in the utilization of other Microsoft products; like Sharepoint, and a you need a CRM product that will really connect with all of your Office productivity tools, integration may need to become a stronger part of your consideration. New Salesforce Lightning Integration features like Skype for Business and Delve Integration will not be fully rolled out until next year, and are still in the testing stages in comparison to the robust integration features available with Dynamics.
Dynamics CRM takes the cake
It almost goes without saying that Microsoft is the clear winner when it comes to Microsoft integration. Anyone who has used the modern Microsoft suite is already familiar with the signature tiled navigation and display at the top of the software. Once added to the organization, Dynamics CRM becomes just another added tile to the Windows dashboard; making flipping between programs and applications within the system seamless and intuitive. Additionally, almost every program within the system has features from the Microsoft software embedded into each application. This means that employees operating inside of Dynamics CRM have an effortlessly easy way of merging calendars, dates, times, contact info, etc. All of these essential functions can occur as if they were inside of a single program (... because they essentially are). You don't need to rely on additional integration features and the hassle of updates and learning new interfaces like you might with a Salesforce implementation and integration process.
That's what really makes the Dynamics CRM integration with the rest of the Microsoft products so great. Microsoft has truly invested in creating synergy across all of their programs and then placed Dynamics CRM right in the middle, as it draws datas and functions from the surrounding and supporting programs. It truly does feel as though you're really using one single Microsoft software program instead of three when navigating between CRM, Sharepoint, and Outlook with Dynamics. If that's the kind of tightly integrated experience you believe your company is looking for, and you already rely heavily on Microsoft programs like Sharepoint, you might want to consider Dynamics more heavily for your CRM investment.
However, if your business isn't as concerned with how easily your programs and CRM system fold together, and reporting and mobility tools are higher on your checklist of CRM features, there's a good chance that this item could fall lower on your list of organizational considerations. What is always key is to note the ever-evolving landscape of CRM providers. We've made it clear over the updated series that new upgrades and versions of features have made the Salesforce vs Dynamics showdown more difficult than ever. As Salesforce catches up with Dynamics in terms of MS integration, Dynamics will develop a brand new mobile app that aims to steal Salesforce's mobility crown. As always, it is about knowing what business processes your specific company wants to support and which software will target these needs most effectively.
What should you do?
Pick the right tool for the right job. Consider the items from the past three categories we have now covered; which of these elements are most important and relevant to your company? Try ranking them. Microsoft integration certainly is more important to some than others, just as some companies with a large travelling sales team may be looking for the CRM which provides the same experience on a mobile device as on a desktop. No one company is the same as the other, and it is ultimately up to you, the project manager and your team to decide what your businesses wants to get out of your CRM software.
To get the comprehensive review of Salesforce vs Dynamics CRM download the report at the top of this page.
For more information about how to pick the right CRM system contact an expert on our team today. We specialize in helping companies fit software to their business and have years of experience with assisting businesses by modeling their processes and then closely aligning software solutions to both decrease costs and increase revenue.