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  • Enterprise IT, News - Written by on Friday, June 1, 2012 15:31 - 3 Comments

    Microsoft beats SF.com to another CRM deal

    news Microsoft announced this week that its Dynamics CRM solution had beaten rival platform Salesforce.com to another Australian deal for CRM delivered through a web browser, with the company picking up work at local conferencing services provider Redback Conferencing.

    Redback is a company headquartered in Sydney which delivered teleconferencing, web conferencing, videoconferencing and webcasting solutions to Australian companies. The company lists organisations such as the College of Law and the Royal College of Pathologists on its website as customers. In a statement published this week, Microsoft said that the company had grown by a rate of 1,400 percent over the past three years and was forecasting to hire an additional 30 to 40 people over the next two years, as its business continues to grow.

    Previously, Redback’s sales team had been using Microsoft’s Outlook platform to track their prospects and clients. “However, this system became problematic as each department had different records of calls and requests from the same clients,” Microsoft’s statement said. “With no central repository for information it was impossible to share information or actions across the business and no actual customer relationship process existed.”

    Redback Conferencing marketing manager Sara Gonzalez added: “We realised that we were creating all these campaigns and generating leads but had to track this manually in spreadsheets. This process became time consuming with information getting lost and becoming less of a priority which resulted in the company not being able to measure the return on investment.” Because of this, the company started looking for a CRM platform to centralise its data, eventually looking in detail at Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM Online and Salesforce.com. Eventually it settled on the Microsoft option, with implementation assistance from partner Markinson.

    Redback said: “We chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for the Outlook integration, familiarity and ability to customise the platform – it does everything we need and we know that the system will grow with us. We did review Salesforce.com but we didn’t see the need for all the additional services. In the end, it was our comfort in Microsoft, familiarity with Outlook and the value Markinson brought that led us to choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.”

    Now, whenever Redback runs a marketing campaign, usually generating between 50 and 150 leads, the leads are submitted into the new CR platform, which automatically deletes duplicates and generates a customised lead form. This is then fed into the sales process. Ian Whiting, CEO, Markinson, said: “The beauty of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is that, without the need for an infrastructure build, Markinson was able to quickly deploy a relationship management solution that has the capability to grow and change with the Redback Conferencing business.”

    Another productivity benefit, according to the company, is the customisable dashboards allowing sales reps to measure sales leads and track and compile information for existing and potential new customers. “We’ve grown quickly and the Dynamics CRM system does all the tracking and measuring for us,” said Gonzalez.

    Salesforce.com does not currently appears to be having a great time in Australia. I am now receiving a regular stream of notifications from Microsoft telling me that the company’s Dynamics CRM platform is beating Salesforce.com to customer after customer. And it’s not just Microsoft. We’ve also seen a slew of major Australian companies signing up to Oracle’s cloud CRM package, and even Australian vendor Technology One is signing up Australian customers for its own CRM software.

    Meanwhile, I’ve heard next to nothing from Salesforce.com about Australian customers over the past year. I don’t know whether it’s just that Microsoft and the other vendors are communicating their wins better, or whether the truth is that its rivals really are handing Salesforce.com its ass right now locally. The company’s Cloudforce conference is coming up in Australia in several weeks. Perhaps we’ll find out more then.

    Image credit: Robert Scoble, Creative Commons

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    1. Posted 01/06/2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Interesting take on the Australian CRM market. Would be interested in understanding why Salesforce is struggling in AUS. I stil find it hard to believe.

    2. Posted 02/06/2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Mate, maybe they’ve dropped you off their press release email distribution list? Perhaps their PR hacks have dropped the ball. Dynamics is a good product, but it appears to win most deals on price and in environments that are already entrenched MS customers. The Microsoft guys actively position themselves as the cheaper or lower priced alternative. They spin a value message relative to SFDC. But in a hotly-contested space (Oracle on June 6 will announce a major ramping up of their Cloud app efforts and Sugar CRM just won over IBM from that dinosaur Siebel), you’d have to rate SFDC as the leader and the innovator in Australia and elsewhere.

    3. Posted 03/06/2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      A press release as the basis for analysis of a market with dozens of vendors? And rate of press release emission as a metric of market success? Now THAT’s journalism.
      Why not at least seek out an analyst’s opinion on market share?

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