Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online takes aim at Salesforce.com

As a Microsoft Partner we are privy to a lot of promotional offers for their products. Some are good, and others are like “who cares”. This latest offer is actually a pretty big deal. Microsoft recently announced a target increase of 95% for Dynamics CRM Online. This was great news for us, but with one quarter of their fiscal year gone, we had seen little activity on making this happen… until now. Microsoft just launched their “Sales Productivity Promotion for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online“. I seldom post about promotions as they are not often compelling enough for me to want to write about them, but this one seems worthy.

dynamics logoBasically, if a customer buys Dynamics CRM Online for $65/user/mo, Microsoft is throwing in the enterprise level Office 365 and Power BI. For businesses that already have enterprise level Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online and Power B.I. can be added for $45/user/mo, which is the same total cost. According to Microsoft, “The easy to adopt, easy to use Microsoft solution for sales productivity transforms sales teams into top performers that are highly connected and collaborative by surfacing the right information at the right time, no matter where they are, so they can engage their customer in meaningful ways”. Well this is true even without Office 365 or Power BI. Interestingly, with the exception of small businesses, these separate products are usually considered and purchased by different parts of an organization. Dynamics CRM Online is usually driven by the marketing or executive level, while Office 365 is generally driven by I.T. so it will be interesting to see how this offer that crosses multiple decision makers will play out. But the value is hard to argue. The wildcard is Power BI, a $20/user/mo product as a standalone, that I do not think has taken off as much as Microsoft had hoped. By throwing it into this offer, they may find users more willing to explore it, and sing its praises.

This is yet another direct assault on Salesforce.com, the competition that Fred Studor, general manager of Dynamics product marketing at Microsoft, is obviously referencing in these statements he made about the offer “Users were just intolerant of having to get out of an application to go into another application. They didn’t want to have to get out of their sales app to go into a social app, to get out of their sales app to get into a marketing app. And even within marketing, to have to get into multiple pop-ups. It just created a lot of usability confusion.” “It’s CRM for everybody. Whether you need it for sales, whether you need it for marketing, whether you need it for service, whether you need it for analytics, whether you need it for social. We have basically integrated all these components to really blur the line between the classic silos of sales, marketing and service, just as examples. This is a really valuable opportunity for both our customers and, quite honestly…a lot of Salesforce.com customers who are waiting for this functionality. If those customers are close to renewing with Salesforce and really want the value of Office 365, Dynamics CRM and Power BI, they should let us know.”

So will this offer work to spur Dynamics CRM Online? To be honest, we have not experienced heavy concerns over the subscription cost, particularly with current Salesforce users where their recurring cost is so much higher to begin with.  There are other challenges to moving Salesforce.com customers off of that platform, even when they desperately want to move. However I can definitely see this impacting small and midsized businesses, which is great news because frankly Microsoft had not done a lot to promote Dynamics CRM Online to that segment, so far preferring to focus on enterprise. This offer, when combined with one of our RapidStart deployment plans, brings CRM into the budget of a lot more businesses. So, yes, I expect this will have significant uptake. We are of course happy to help anyone who want to learn more about the program which runs through the end of June 2015, which also happens to be the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year where all of these CRM goals are expected to be attained.

Here’s the offer details from Microsoft:

Eligible customers: Customers who already own or purchase Office 365 Plan E3 or E4 are eligible to receive a discount on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional & Power BI for Office 365 and successor offerings.

Eligible Geographies: Every market where Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service is available.

Effective dates: Oct 8, 2014 through June 30, 2015.
Offer terms:

  • The following price points are described at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/sales-productivity-promo.aspx. Prices stated in this offer may be modified without notice, please refer to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/sales-productivity-promo.aspx for the applicable price at the time of subscription:
    • $45 USD for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional full USL license & Power BI for Office 365 and successor offerings;
    • $65 USD for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional full USL license & Power BI for Office 365 and successor offering & O365 Plan E3.
  • Minimum purchase quantity of 5 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional and 5 Power BI for Office 365 and successor offering Subscriptions
  • Each promotional license must be assigned to a user to whom an Office 365 Plan E3 or E4 and a Power BI for Office 365 and successor offering license has been assigned
  • Office 365 must be acquired at the time or prior to requesting this promotion
  • Promotions can be cancelled at any time.
  • No discount on Basic plan, Essential CAL, and subscription add-ons
  • This promotion is available through the Microsoft Online Subscription Program
  • This promotion cannot be combined with any other discount on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional & Power BI for Office365 and successor offerings.
  • This offer cannot be converted into cash.
  • This offer is non-transferable.
  • Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient.
  • Eligible EA customers should contact their Microsoft Representative for pricing options

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