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Substance vs. Style: Why we’re shifting focus to Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Since announcing our designation as a Salesforce Partner, Catapult has taken part in several Salesforce implementations and projects. Our work with Timia Capital is just one example. However, going forward we’ve decided to shift our focus completely to Microsoft Dynamics 365. This decision is based on the question of substance vs. style. In other words –  it’s not about what they do, but rather how they do it. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce: Substance

I’m often asked which CRM software is the best. It’s like asking which is a better make of car, Audi, Mercedes or BMW. Opinions vary but everyone can agree they are all finely-tuned feats of engineering and a pleasure to drive. That’s precisely how I feel about Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce – as CRM solutions go, both offer incredibly good capabilities. Or as the author Malcolm Gladwell put it in a famous TED talk, when it comes to choice and happiness, there is no perfect spaghetti sauce, only perfect spaghetti sauces.

Both platforms are great at sales management and automation and both have the usual CRM concepts (contacts, accounts, leads, opportunities, activities, etc).  “Dynamics CRM truly does compete with Salesforce. It is enterprise, world-class and mid-market. It is whatever you need it to be” says my partner, Catapult VP of Client Development, Jeff Bacon.  The similarities do not stop there. Pricing is very similar, as is the ease of configuration and set up. Both are fully deployed in the cloud, and both are becoming more and more capable each year thanks to the significant investment that both Microsoft and Salesforce put into their platforms.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce: Style

As explained above, there are a lot of similarities between the two platforms in what they do.  Where the two platforms start to differ is in their “style”; the experience of using each platform, the way it feels, the way they do what they do. And, critically, the support which they offer.

My own belief is that that Salesforce is oriented more towards “marketing-first” organizations; often B2C companies. These are companies who actively prospect customers online using targeted content, web analytics, and sophisticated engagement tools.

On the other hand, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 has powerful ERP integration capabilities, making Dynamics 365 ideal for companies looking for a platform that will enable them to flow data easily between the back and front office and track the customer experience from start to finish. This recent article from TechTarget agrees “With the ERP-CRM integration, Microsoft may have a leg up in the Salesforce arena, where Salesforce has dominated in CRM but hasn’t grabbed a foothold in the ERP space.” The introduction of a “common data model”  across the Dynamics product suite is further evidence still of Microsoft’s commitment to, and understanding of, the value of breaking down data silos and old ways of thinking. As a consultancy that focuses on both ERP and CRM solutions, this turns out to be important. Like, really important.

Even better, the integration with Outlook, Office 365, Power BI and PowerApps, is incredible and continues to get better.

In terms of the support that both platforms offer – we’ve had a fantastic experience with Microsoft. While Salesforce has just started to build a partner channel in the past few years, Microsoft has been cultivating their partner channel for decades and is very committed to it. Moreover, as a customer first organization that puts customer requirements and vision at the heart of what we do, we’ve gotten a lot of support from Microsoft and can appreciate their customer and partner engagement model.

Onwards and Upwards with Microsoft Dynamics 365

The Catapult team is incredibly excited to be working with Dynamics 365. As Senior CRM Consultant Monica Heir said upon its release, “Microsoft Dynamics 365 is like Christmas for us!” And with a roadmap full of new features and functionality , it looks as if it’ll be Christmas all year round!

You can read more about our decision to focus on Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the MSDynamicsWorld article  “Two partners speak: Why they chose selling Microsoft Dynamics 365 over Salesforce.”

If you’d like to find out if Dynamics 365 is the right fit for your business, contact your Microsoft Dynamics Certified Partner. If you don’t have a certified partner Catapult would be happy to discuss your unique business needs with you.

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