Customer Relationship Management Blog

Microsoft CRM vs Salesforce – Review and CRM Comparison

In this article, we compare and contrast the key differences between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and

With the latest revision of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the race between Microsoft CRM and Salesforce has grown even tighter. If you are considering the investment into Salesforce CRM and you haven’t looked at Microsoft CRM, first consider the information below.

If you are a business that utilizes Microsoft Office applications, including Microsoft Outlook, choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM over is a probably the way to go.

Here are the key differentiators that make Microsoft Dynamics CRM the better investment:

1) Value Matters CRM 5.0 TCO Total Cost of Ownership of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

  • Microsoft CRM Online – $65/user/mo. – one version, includes everything
  • Salesforce Professional – $65/user/mo. (Very LIMITED functionality)
  • Salesforce Enterprise – $125/user/mo. (Salesforce most popular, and the only version that Compares to MS CRM 2013)
  • Salesforce Unlimited – $250/user/mo.

2) Hidden Costs – aka, the Salesforce Tax

  • MS CRM Online – $54/user/mo. – one version, includes everything
  • Salesforce – Data Storage (5GB) – $1,000/year
  • Salesforce – Mobile $50/user/mo.
  • Salesforce– Knowledge Base – extra $/user/mo.
  • Salesforce – Customer Portal – extra $/user/mo.
  • Salesforce – Partner Portal – extra $/user/mo.
  • Salesforce – They have no SLA available. Microsoft CRM has a 99.9% uptime, financially backed SLA.

3) Office Experience

  • MS Dynamics CRM Online is a true Microsoft Outlook application, not just a plugin
  • Salesforce is repealing Outlook features; for example, users can’t manage opportunities and leads anymore
  • Salesforce doesn’t have a concept of a fluid user interface for Leads –> Contacts –> Opportunities

4) Dashboards

  • Microsoft CRM inherits security and data privileges…Salesforce does not.
  • Microsoft CRM allows charts, lists, iFrames to be displayed…Salesforce only reports
  • Microsoft CRM dashboard data is real time…Salesforce has a lag of 30-60 minutes

Microsoft CRM allows for unlimited data refreshes. Salesforce limits refreshes.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dashboard

5) Inline Analytics

  • Microsoft CRM offers Inline Analytics…Salesforce does not have a parallel offering
  • Salesforce users must leave their task or process…open reports or dashboards..and hope that they don’t get distracted

6) One-Click Drill Down

  • Microsoft CRM Online reports offer One-Click drill down…Salesfoce does not have a parallel offering
  • Salesforce users can click on a static image of a chart to pull up the full report. From the full report they can drill down…7-15 clicks vs. 4 clicks with Microsoft CRM

7) User Interface Customizations

  • Microsoft CRM offers a new drag and drop capability for end users that is easy to user
  • Salesforce offers User Interface personalization…but users can’t revert changes
  • Salesforce personalization features are for power users and administrators only

Need to decrease the number of users? Salesforce does not allow the number of user subscriptions purchased to be decreased during the subscription term.

Now this does not mean that Salesforce is not a good solution but consider the above we do believe that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is a much better investment, at a much lower cost for pretty much the same functionality.

Free On Demand Webinar: Microsoft CRM vs Salesforce

Join us for our free On-Demand Webinar (replay) as we explore the points outlined below – and hope to provide you valuable insight about this top-rated CRM solution. We hope that our comparison with will help you on in your CRM evaluation.

What Mobile Express Does and Doesn’t Do

Admin Tips for MS Dynamics CRM Mobile Express


This document provides information about the installation, configuration, and management of Mobile Express.

This document has been written for IT professionals who are responsible for deploying server-side components into their Microsoft Dynamics CRM environments and who need to know the procedures to follow in order to successfully implement Mobile Express. This document also provides additional information for system administrators who need to know how to customize their users’ Mobile Express views.

This article focuses on the deployment of Mobile Express and assumes that you either already have a functioning Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment or will be installing Mobile Express at the same time as a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

To install Mobile Express, you must have administrator permissions on your Microsoft Dynamics CRM server. To configure Mobile Express, you must have the System Administrator or System Customizer security role.

The ability for Mobile Express to access information through the Internet depends on your Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment being configured as an Internet-facing deployment (IFD). If your current system is not exposed to the Internet, users will be limited to accessing Mobile Express from within your corporate network.



What Mobile Express DOES do:

Mobile Express is a new feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that lets your users access CRM data and capabilities from a mobile device. Mobile Express runs in a mobile Web browser, such as Internet Explorer Mobile or Safari, on a Web-enabled mobile device. Because Mobile Express lets users stay connected remotely, they can access and use Microsoft Dynamics CRM when they are in the office, travelling, or at a customer location.

Mobile Express works well for:

  • Occasional access to your organization’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment.
  • Always-connected environments.
  • High-speed networks.
  • Completing a broad range of common CRM tasks.

What Mobile Express does NOT do:

A few things to note that Mobile Express does not do:

  • Mobile Express is not a smart client and does not store data locally; it is mobile Web browser-based and users must have an Internet or intranet connection to access customer information. There is no locally stored data option for offline use.
  • Mobile Express does not synchronize. Changes you make to your Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment through Mobile Express are immediately stored in the CRM database.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Evaluation

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 - Free Analysis PDFClick here to access and download our Free Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Analysis.

Topics addressed include:

  1. vs Microsoft CRM
  2. Pros and Cons of SaaS vs On-premise CRM
  3. Crucial User Adoption Factors
  4. Total Cost of Ownership of Microsoft CRM

Free TCO Price Calculator for CRM Projects

Free CRM TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) Calculator ToolClick here to access and download our Free CRM TCO Calculator Tool.

With this tool, you will be able to identify the key TCO line items that are relevant for any CRM implementation. We have also included data for comparing CRM software systems such as Microsoft CRM,, SugarCRM, Sage CRM, Sage SalesLogix and more. You will be able to view the 3 Year and 5 Year Total Cost of Ownership for both SaaS (Online/On-Demand) and Licensed (On-premise) pricing models.

TCO line items include:

  1. Annual License/User price
  2. Support
  3. Hardware (incl. Server and Users)
  4. Implementation
  5. Staff
  6. Network
  7. Mobile
  8. and much more.

Free CRM Tool to Compare Software Systems

Free Excel CRM Comparison Tool - Comparing 10 of the Top CRM SolutionsClick here to access and download our Free Excel CRM Comparison Tool.

With this tool, you will be able to identify the key similarilites and differences between 9 of the top CRM systems, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage SalesLogix, GoldMine, Sage ACT!, Pivotal and more.

Comparison Topics include:

  1. Key CRM Features
  2. Pricing (Licensing, etc..)
  3. Available Modules (e.g. SFA, Marketing, Service, etc)
  4. Feature Details (Sync, Call Center, Quoting, E-commerce, Lead Management, Security, Workflow, and much more.
  5. Hardware and Network support (Microsoft, Linux, etc…)
  6. Industry/NAICS

Microsoft CRM 2011 Review Webinars

Join us for our webinar series as we explore the points outlined below – and hope to provide you valuable insight about this top-rated CRM solution. We hope that our comparison with will help you on in your CRM evaluation.

Recorded Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Webinars registration


Related Topics:

Download: Windows Phone 7.5 client for Dynamics CRM – Be … – Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile is a Windows Phone 7.5 app which brings Activity Feeds to your mobile device. Activity Feeds enable a user to follow and listen in on important activities that take place around the people, …

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile « Traction Consulting Group – http … – Recently, we have had some questions regarding the mobile capabilities of Microsoft CRM 2011. I did a little digging and found the following tidbits: The mobile enhancements are scheduled for Q2 2012. It is an extra charge …


Capsule CRM vs Highrise CRM – Comparison and Review

Capsule CRM vs Highrise CRM – Small Business CRM Comparison and Review

The full contact management feature set is available across both editions of Capsule.

Pricing is differentiated by the maximum number of users, maximum number of contacts, the maximum number of opportunities, maximum number of cases and maximum storage capacity.

Highrise offers the full contact management feature set across all three editions. Yet each edition is limited by (a) the maximum number of users, (b) the maximum number of contacts (c) the maximum number of opportunities and (d) the maximum storage capacity.

Capsule vs Highrise: User Interface and Experience

The screens within Capsule CRM are simple and uncluttered. The primary navigation is found via the tabs across the top of the screen: (a) dashboards, (b) contacts/companies, (c) opportunities (d) cases.

Users also have access to recent records.

Users can create new records and activities, carry out searches and open system settings directly.

Highrise CRM provides a very simple user interface. Their screens appear to be very similar to Capsule CRM. In terms of getting around the system, the primary navigation is via the sidebar: (a) welcome area, (b) latest activities, (c) contacts, (d) tasks, (e) cases, (f) opportunities and (g) recently viewed items.

Users can the Add a contact / Add a task buttons and the search bar – appearing across the top of the screen.

The Search is limited to the record name. This is a major downside with trying to create a filtered call list. There is a filterable list view in the main pane though. And there are simple tabs within each record view.

There is also a record-specific sidebar on the right side of the screen to show additional information for a record, e.g. email address, contact, phone etc.

Capsule vs Highrise: Managing Contacts and Companies

Capsule supports both B2B and B2C business models; and contacts can be people or organizations.

Users are able to add multiple contacts to an organization at the same time. The tabbed sidebar provides access to the following features: (a) summary information, (b) attachments, (c) opportunities and (d) cases. Summary contact information is made available in sidebar where background notes and tasks can be added. Contextual information displayed in main panel, while opportunities, notes and cases are added in the main panel. Google Maps integration is available for address details; this is viewable in a separate tab.

Highrise supports both the B2B and the B2C business model. Contacts can be either people or organizations. The limitation is that they cannot be converted from one to the other.

Custom fields can be added to the end of the contact form. Customizable but not very user friendly.

Users can import contacts from a .CSV file, Excel file, Basecamp (which is a sister product for project management), Microsoft Outlook or Sage ACT.

Highrise CRM includes basic tabs for notes, contacts (only for company records) and opportunities within contact record view.

The right hand side sidebar is for upcoming, contact-specific tasks and additional information.

There is Google maps integration for addresses, yet this is very difficult to view without opening up the full map.

Highrise also provides a daily digest email.

Capsule vs Highrise: Managing Tasks and Activities

Capsule CRM provides basic calendaring activities. Users can subscribe to iCal for Apple and Outlook 2007 sync. Capsule also offers basic task management – including the due date and the task category. Completed tasks appear with strikethrough format. The task category can be customized. Completed tasks and events are tracked in contact/company history.

Highrise CRM provides only very basic capabilities for task management.

Event and calendar management is not provided as a standard out of the box function. On the other hand though, iCalendar support is provided for Apple iCal and other applications that support the iCalendar format.

Customers can also purchase Highrise Backpack – an additional cost service that provides calendar and notes capabilities

Interestingly, tasks can be created by email through a DropBox account (also very similar to Capsule CRM)

The latest activity screen provides a simple overview of latest activities and upcoming tasks

Capsule vs Highrise: Managing Document Attachments and Mail-Merge

In Capsule a range of attachment types can be uploaded within the contact / company module. Interestingly, explanatory notes can be added to documents.

Document Attachments can be uploaded from the user’s desktop. Format options include PDF, Word, Excel or PPT.

Highrise users can create mail-merge lists. Yet in order to carry out a mail-merge itself, the user is required to export the list to Word, for example, and then carry out the merge from there.

Capsule vs Highrise: Managing Opportunities

Capsule offers basic opportunity management capabilities: (a) capture value, (b) description, (c) estimated close date and (d) stage. Unfortunately, sales stages are not provided out-of-the-box; these can be configured in settings though: (a) name and (b) probability of closing

Capsule provides a list view of current opportunities as well as a Dashboard of current opportunities with graphical components along with a sliding timeline.

Sales Opportunities can be managed through guided processes that are known as Tracks.

Highrise provides very basic opportunity (deals) management capabilities. Three sales stages are available – pending, won, lost.

Those stages are not customizable, the opportunity category list can be customized.

It is noteworthy that once created, notes and attachments can be later added to opportunities.

Capsule vs Highrise: Managing Cases and Knowledge Base

Capsule CRM offers basic ticketing / case management capabilities with summary case information. Capsule uses guided processes, called Tracks, in order to progress forward. The Case status is not supported out-of-the-box though; this can be added though as a custom field with a drop-down.

Highrise includes very basic case management capabilities. The Case status is either open or closed. Users can track the case name and description, and once captured, attachments, tasks and contacts can be later added. Additional free text can be added as background information.

Highrise provides no knowledge base.

Capsule vs Highrise: Dashboards

The Capsule Dashboard tab displays active tasks and recent updates. A specific dashboard for sales pipeline is also available; this is a visual pipeline forecast. Pipeline by stage chart; conversion rate data; pipeline by tag; and upcoming opportunity tasks are also available. There is no support for additional dashboard or dashboard components. It is noteworthy that Dashboard components cannot be edited.

Dashboards are not available within Highrise. Instead, users have a welcome and getting started area.

Capsule vs Highrise: Searching

The Search feature in Capsule allows users to search against all fields including custom fields from search facility in the primary navigation bar. This does not search against attachments though. There is no advanced search; thus no query building opportunity within the system.

The Sidebar at top of the Highrise screen allows users to search against record names.

Contacts though can be filtered in the contact list view.

There is a separate search function for notes, emails and comments.

Capsule vs Highrise: Managing List Views

List capabilities are available in Capsule CRM contacts, opportunities and cases. There is a set of systems views available for each record type and custom views can be created based on standard as well as custom fields for each record type. Lists can be filtered or created by using tags.

Highrise provides basic list management capabilities through the use of tags and filters. Records can be tagged individually or as a group. Interestingly, filters can be based on individual tags or multiple tags. Problematically, when tagging a record, there is no easy way of seeing the different types of tags available to the user. For example, users start typing the name of the tag and are then prompted if an existing tag exists in the system already.

A number of standard system filters are provided out of the box: (a) recently viewed contacts, (b) recently added contacts, (c) recently imported contacts, (d) contacts without notes for the last 30 days, and (e) people without tags.

Capsule vs Highrise: Integration Options

Microsoft Outlook integration not provided by Capsule directly, yet customers can use iCal for Apple iCalendar or Microsoft Outlook 2007.

Capsule uses a DropBox account for email routing. Here’s how it works: Emails that are received from contacts are forwarded to the DropBox email address to attach to the Capsule contact record. Outbound emails are also copied to the DropBox address.

Capsule CRM integrates with MailChimp in order to perform mass email services.

Other Capsule integrations include: (a) FreeAgent (PCB), (b) Freshbooks (remittance management), (c) Kashflow (accounting),(d) Wufoo (online forms), (e) Xero (accounting) and (f) Zendesk (support desk).

It is noteworthy that all Capsule integrations require a subscription to the paid version.

In Highrise, Email integration is achieved through a DropBox account – very similar to Capsule CRM. Inbound emails are thus forwarded to the DropBox account to attach to their contact record in Highrise. Outbound emails are CC’d to the DropBox account in order to link.

Highrise Calendar and task integration takes place through iCalendar.

Highrise also integrates with other solutions from 37 Signals – including Basecamp (project management), Backpack (calendar and activity management) and Campfire (collaboration management).

For Social integration, adding Twitter account details to a contact record will import the contacts Twitter profile picture and their tweets will appear in the Highrise twitter tab.

Capsule vs Highrise: Mobile and Offline Availability

Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox are all supported by Capsule CRM.

Capsule offers no offline access. Thus there is no offline client for Capsule.

Capsule provides an HTML 5 beta client for mobile devices – iOS3+, Android 2.1+, and BlackBerry OS 6.

Highrise is browser agnostic; claiming to function on all modern web browsers.

Offline not supported for Highrise.

A persistent iPhone client is available for free. This includes dashboard, contacts and tasks.

There is no Android, Blackberry or Windows Phone support directly, but a number of third-party solutions provide such support at a cost.

Capsule vs Highrise: Customization and Security Options

Capsule CRM offers very limited customization / configuration / personalization. There is a range of skins/themes available, and the company logo can be added to start up screen. Custom fields can be added to the following 4 modules: (a) contacts, (b) companies, (c) opportunities and (d) cases.

There is no profile-based security available within Capsule.

Highrise provides very limited customization and security options. User groups can be defined and the sharing of records can be limited to specific groups.

Basic custom fields can be added to the end of contact forms. Customers can upload their logo onto the splash (start up) screen. Users are able to change the color scheme of the application and these settings apply to all users.

Highrise provides 128 Bit SSL security.

Capsule vs Highrise: Storage and Data Import

Storage is limited by the edition of Capsule CRM. The free version supports up to 250 contact records and 10MB of file storage overall. There are unlimited opportunities and cases.

The Professional edition of Capsule supports 50,000 contact records and 2GB of file storage per user. There are unlimited opportunities and cases.

It is noteworthy that additional storage can be purchased on a case-by-case basis.

Data can be imported through standard file formats such as CSV files.

In Highrise, data storage is limited by edition. The Basic version supports up to 5,000 contact records and 5GB of storage per company. The Plus version supports up to 20,000 contact records and 15GB of storage per company. The Premium edition supports 30,000 contacts and 30GB of storage.

Data can be imported from a variety of sources including .CSV, Excel, Basecamp, Outlook or Sage ACT!

Download our Free SugarCRM Assessment

Sugar CRM - Free CRM Assessment PDFClick here  to receive our Free Sugar CRM Evaluation PDF.

With this evaluation, you will be able to identify the key enhancements within Sugar CRM.

Topics addressed include:

  1. Calculated Fields
  2. Favorites and Favorites Dashlet
  3. Twitter and Social Media integration
  4. Reporting (filtering, scheduling)
  5. User interface improvements (there are many!)
  6. Sugar Mobile 1.0 details
  7. and much more.

Free TCO Calculation Tool for CRM Projects

Free CRM TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) Calculator ToolClick here to access our Free CRM TCO Cost Calculator Tool.

TCO lines include:

  1. Annual License/User price
  2. Support
  3. Hardware (incl. Server and Users)
  4. Implementation
  5. Staff
  6. Network
  7. Mobile
  8. and much more.