Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support. CRM can help reduce costs and increase profitability by organizing and automating business processes that nurture customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Ensure Security and Business Continuity
Enhance Staff Productivity
Improve Customer Service
Low quality of customer service
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a customer relationship management software package developed by Microsoft focused on enhancing the customer relationship for any organization. Out of the box, the product focuses mainly on Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service sectors, though Microsoft has been marketing Dynamics CRM as an XRM platform and has been encouraging partners to use its proprietary (.NET based) framework to customize it. In recent years, it has also grown as an Analytics platform driven by CRM.
The CRM Solution can be used to drive the sales productivity and marketing effectiveness for an organization, handle the complete customer support chain, and provide social insights, business intelligence, and a lot of other out-of-the-box functionalities and features. As a product, Microsoft Dynamics CRM also offers full mobile support for using CRM apps on mobiles and tablets.
As of writing this tutorial, the latest version of CRM is CRM 2016. However, in this tutorial we will be using CRM 2015 Online version as it is the latest stable version as well as frequently used in many organizations. Nevertheless, even if you are using any other versions of CRM, all the concepts in the tutorial will still hold true.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is offered in two categories −
CRM Online is a cloud-based offering of Microsoft Dynamics CRM where all the backend processes (such as application servers, setups, deployments, databases, licensing, etc.) are managed on Microsoft servers. CRM Online is a subscription-based offering which is preferred for organizations who may not want to manage all the technicalities involved in a CRM implementation. You can get started with setting up your system in a few days (not weeks, months or years) and access it on web via your browser.
CRM on-premise is a more customized and robust offering of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, where the CRM application and databases will be deployed on your servers. This offering allows you to control all your databases, customizations, deployments, backups, licensing and other network and hardware setups. Generally, organizations who want to go for a customized CRM solution prefer on-premise deployment as it offers better integration and customization capabilities.
From the functional standpoint, both the offerings offer similar functionalities; however, they differ significantly in terms of implementation. The differences are summarized in the following table.