New Interview with Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager Brad Wilson: The Cloud

This video interview with Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager Brad Wilson is titled, “What percentage of customers are deploying in the cloud?” The title is a bit misleading since Wilson primarily focuses on the customer’s power of choice between on-premise (on-premises) and cloud deployments, as well as the ability to seamlessly transition from one to the other. If your company is looking to deploy a Dynamics CRM solution, or you are considering changing the deployment model of your current Dynamics CRM instance, you may find this video useful.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager Brad Wilson discusses cloud and on-premise deployments of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft’s commitment to the cloud provides Dynamics CRM customers with flexibility. In the video, Wilson reiterates that customers have options in deployment models, and can choose that which is best suited for their company. Larger companies with sound IT resources may be better off with an on-premise solution. Smaller businesses with a limited infrastructure could benefit most from a cloud solution. Businesses can choose to deploy a hybrid solution as well. “I want to make sure the technology is embraced by a wide range of companies, and then they decide how they want to ultimately deploy the technology,” says Wilson.

Another aspect of the cloud Wilson is embracing is the trial capability. Customers can engage first through a free, cloud-delivered CRM product trial (with no reduction of functionality). This allows any business to make a smarter investment, having tested the product first. Wilson states, “Giving people a choice, letting people make that decision, is our fundamental strategy.”

It is a simple process to move between the cloud and on-premise for Dynamics CRM customers. Additionally, a company that has purchased Dynamics CRM software in the past can be moved to a cloud solution as part of their software assurance (SA) agreement. According to Wilson, the goal is to be as open and flexible as possible for the customer base. is a Microsoft Certified Partner, and as such, we can help you through all stages of the software lifecycle. provides services such as customizations, application hosting, and consulting. With a handful of deployment models to choses from, can help you identify, launch, and maintain the best possible business solution.

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CRM Checklist

 Here is a brief but useful list of questions to consider when comparing the merits of hosted versus on-premise CRM implementations:


How quickly are you looking to deploy a CRM solution?

What is your total CRM budget?

Do you have the in-house IT resources to support an on-premise solution?

What kind of customization are you expecting from your CRM application?

Can you securely manage in-house datacenters?

Will your company be growing, say over the next five years?

Are you targeting top customers effectively?

How quickly are you responding to new customer inquiries?

How could your salespeople be better managing customer relations?

How can you improve your customer-support services and retention activities?

How easily can you generate reports?


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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 – Partner Hosted Model

The Partner Hosted Model of Microsoft CRM 4.0

Partner Hosted Model imageMicrosoft CRM is available in two slightly different hosted models. One is served up and hosted by Microsoft. Microsoft calls this product CRMLive. The other is served up by Microsoft hosting partners and is called the Partner Hosted Model. Although both offerings are essentially the same product, there are key differences between them.

Without getting into too much detail, the primary difference between the offerings is FLEXIBILITY. CRMLive is what it is and you don’t have too many options. With the partner hosted model you have maybe too many options. Unlike the rigid CRMLive offering, the partner hosted model allows the customer to pretty much do anything they want. From dedicated hardware, to a place for custom code or plug-ins, anything is possible. Additionally, Microsoft does not control the partner hosted model and partners are allowed to get creative and create value for their hosted offering anyway they see fit. Obviously the reporting of the license usage is a must for all partners but apart from that, they are free to provide value anyway they see fit.

Similar to CRMLive having a Pro and ProPlus offering, many partners have the same or similar product offerings. In addition to the Pro and ProPlus offerings, many partners offer hosted vs. host only models, dedicated environment options, and month to month commitments are available. Setup fees and hosting rates vary depending on many variables.

Pricing ranges from $35.95 to $55.95 per user per month in the shared hosted model with limited setup fees for 12 month commitments. For a month to month commitment the recurring costs are still between $35.95 and $55.95, but the setup fees are higher.

In the host only dedicated environment the customer must purchase the CRM licenses and provide them to the hosting company. This will allow the hosting company NOT TO charge them for the CRM subscriber access licenses. This translates to approximately $14/user less per month. It is important to note that the host only model does indeed require a dedicated server.

The other nice thing about the hosted model is that you can leverage it to mitigate your CRM risk and pain. CRM can be a risky proposition. Hosting allows you to ease into the product then make informed and better decisions down the line. Typically there is no cost to move from one model to another. And, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the product never changes, regardless of what model you select. Whether you host or install on-premise, the product operates exactly the same. The users have the same two interfaces which are Outlook and Internet Explorer and the CRM administrators are also presented with the same tools to customize/configure the product.

Last but not least most hosting partners hosting Microsoft CRM also host the other core Microsoft services such as Exchange, SharePoint, Unified Communications, etc. The important thing here is to understand how to leverage the licensing, which in the hosted world is referred to has subscriber access licenses.

Would be happy to answer any questions and provide more information on any of the above.

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