The Microsoft Big Easy Offer Has Returned for a Limited Time

If you need additional Microsoft server or end-user application licenses, there is no better time to buy than during the Big Easy Offer 10. For the next few weeks (until May 31, 2013), Microsoft is offering rebates on the vast majority of server and application licenses for small to mid-sized business (SMBs). A portion of all eligible purchases will be returned to you in the form of subsidy checks that you can redeem at an authorized Microsoft Partner.

The Microsoft Big Easy Offer 10 applies only to on-premises licenses. It does not apply to Microsoft Online Services such as CRM Online or SharePoint Online. For those of you who have moved into the Cloud, Microsoft offers a similar program, the Cloud Easy Offer, with similar terms.

You can use your Big Easy Offer rebate checks to hire a Microsoft Partner to setup and configure new hardware, educate system admins, or train new users. You can also redeem the subsidy checks to purchase innovative tools, such as xSign DocuSign Integration for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, that make Microsoft technologies even more powerful.

The Big Easy Offer applies to the purchase of one to five new server licenses, or five to 200 user licenses. You will want to read the full terms and conditions of the Big Easy offer here.

The product you choose and the number of licenses you purchase determines your subsidy amount. You can use the Big Easy subsidy calculator to estimate your savings.

Click here to take advantage of the Big Easy Offer 10 with xRM.

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DocuSign and xRM Take the Stage at Convergence 2013

Come for the excitement of Bourbon Street; Stay to hear how DocuSign is making businesses around the world more efficient and how partners like xRM are building innovative solutions using the DocuSign API.

Convergence, Microsoft’s annual conference for the Dynamics Community, is heading to New Orleans March 18-21. Each year, Convergence provides partners and customers in the Dynamics Community a chance to interact, discuss new trends, and explore innovative solutions introduced by Microsoft Partners.

DocuSign: Electronic Signatures and Online Digital SignaturesAs a Convergence sponsor, DocuSign is hosting its own breakout session on Thursday, March 21, 2013, called Still Signing Contracts on Paper, Are You NUTS? How DocuSign eSignature Transforms Sales. The session will highlight the business benefits of going paperless for signing all contracts and other important documents.

In addition to promoting its signature service, DocuSign will highlight the work of its partners who have used the DocuSign API to create new solutions.

“The combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and DocuSign enables sales teams to close deals, improve productivity, and accelerate revenue,” said Matt Malden, chief product officer, DocuSign. “Companies are able to immediately capitalize on opportunities by DocuSigning straight from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.”

During the session, xRM chief information officer Owen Scott will take the stage to discuss how xRM implemented DocuSign as its eSignature solution and how that decision helped make the entire organization more efficient.

xSign DocuSign Integration for Microsoft Dynamics CRMScott will also highlight the new integration solution that xRM, a DocuSign partner, created using the DocuSign API. The solution, called xSign™, integrates DocuSign®, Microsoft Dynamics® CRM, and Microsoft SharePoint® into a cohesive document storage, delivery, and tracking system.

“The DocuSign API made it possible for us to create just the system we needed to solve our business need,” Scott said.

Using the API, xRM developers built xSign, a tool that integrates DocuSign functionality directly into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. xSign allows users to retrieve existing documents from SharePoint, populate fields with data from CRM, and configure and send the documents using DocuSign Envelopes. xSign also sends the DocuSign tracking information to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

“We use xSign internally, and it has transformed our business,” explained Scott. “Our old system of faxing contracts for signature seems so quaint in comparison, like we were using Morse code.”

xSign is compatible with on-premises and partner-hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 deployments.

Read more about xSign.

To catch all the latest news about DocuSign and the company’s session at Convergence 2013, follow them on Twitter @DocuSign.

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Did You Know that the Cloud is Green?

A study produced by the independent analyst firm Verdantix, which was recently released by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), indicates that by switching from an on-premise solution to cloud computing, a company can significantly improve business process efficiency while reducing the carbon footprint of its IT operations.

Here is a brief summary of the findings of the Carbon Disclosure Project Study 2011—Cloud Computing—The IT Solution for the 21st Century:

  •  “US businesses with annual revenues of more than $1 billion can cut CO2 emissions by 85.7 million metric tons annually by 2020 as a result of spending 69% of infrastructure, platform, and software budgets on cloud services.”
  • “US businesses with annual revenues of more than $1 billion can achieve economy-wide savings in energy alone of $12.3 billion a year by 2020.”

The CDP study analyzed 11 different multinational corporations from a variety of different industries; each had been leveraging a cloud computing solution for at least two years. Some of the corporations surveyed in the study were Boeing, Dell, Citigroup, and Barclays Capital. The report also includes recommendations on how to maximize cloud computing investments.

You may be thinking, “Since my company does not bring in revenues of more than $1 billion, does cloud computing really reduce my carbon footprint?” The answer to that question is a profound, “Yes!” This CDP study is not the first of its kind. In 2010, Microsoft produced a study (with Accenture and WSP Environment & Energy) called “Cloud Computing and Sustainability: The Environmental Benefits of Moving to the Cloud.” The study found that businesses with cloud deployments featuring about 100 users reduced their carbon emissions by more than 90 percent.  For medium-size deployments of about 1,000 users, carbon emissions were reduced by 60 to 90 percent. For large deployments of about 10,000 users, carbon emissions were reduced by 30 to 60 percent.

“Cloud Computing and Sustainability” cited four key drivers behind cloud computing’s reduced environmental footprint:

  • Dynamic Provisioning—reducing the over-allocating of infrastructure
  • Multi-Tenancy—the flattening of overall demand peaks, making fluctuations more predictable
  • Server Utilization—virtualized server infrastructure balances compute and storage loads across physical servers, thus boosting utilization rates
  • Data Center Efficiency—cloud providers can significantly improve the power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratios of their data centers, allowing them to run servers at optimal utilization and temperature

It may come as a surprise to many, but the information and communications technology (ICT) industry accounts for approximately 2 percent of global CO2 emissions, according to Gartner, Inc. To illustrate how cloud computing can lead to a more sustainable ICT industry, Rob Bernard, Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Strategist, uses a helpful metaphor:

“A data center essentially gets computing applications to carpool or take the bus instead of sitting in their own individual servers…but unlike mass transit vs. private vehicles, there is no tradeoff for convenience and on-demand availability.”

Among the fiscal benefits of implementing an xRM cloud strategy, your business can significantly reduce its carbon footprint. xRM.com offers a number of application hosting services, all of which can be tailored to meet the needs of your business. If you are interested in our services at xRM, we invite you to follow our xRM call to action.

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xRM.com Stands Out at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recognized xRM.com as a key contributor and innovator in taking Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the cloud. He did this during his keynote address this year at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC).

You may be wondering, “What is the Worldwide Partner Conference?” The WPC is the annual gathering of the Microsoft partner community. Tens of thousands of Microsoft partners spanning 130 countries attend the WPC every year to learn what the future has in store for the Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft uses the WPC to present its partners with a roadmap of its goals and plans, as well as to report on progress made in the previous year and recognize partners for their achievements. For Microsoft partners, the WPC provides an opportunity to network, collaborate, and get the inside scoop on Microsoft’s latest product innovations.

At the WPC 2011, Microsoft reaffirmed its commitment to the cloud. Mr. Ballmer also recognized the profound impact Microsoft partners have on Microsoft’s success in realizing cloud technology. With this in mind, he cited xRM.com.

“I believe you can understand we’re all-in [on cloud technology] and we want partners who really push with us—partners like xRM.com. xRM.com is a partner that’s worked with us on a win for CRM with the LA public schools—70,000 employees all moved to Microsoft CRM through the work of xRM.com.”

Mr. Ballmer is referencing our work with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). By leveraging the xRM concept, we were able to design a business solution that met LAUSD’s practical needs while improving user adoption and reducing expenses. For more details, please read our xRM.com-LAUSD Case Study.

We are thrilled about receiving recognition for our work, and we continue to push forward by finding innovative and effective methods of meeting the needs of our customers. xRM.com prides itself in creating tailor-made business solutions. We offer a variety of services at xRM.com, and they all revolve around the Microsoft ecosystem. If you are interested in leveraging an xRM platform, we invite you to discover the xRM process.

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A Taste of the Future: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Kirill Tatarinov, President of Microsoft Business Solutions Division, provided a glimpse into the future of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online while delivering his keynote speech at the Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 in Los Angeles this past week.

During Mr. Tatarinov’s address, he reaffirmed Microsoft’s commitment to issue service updates to CRM Online twice a year. Microsoft will be rolling out the next version of CRM Online before the end of the 2011 calendar year. This version will include the Office 365 add-on (previously discussed in our xRM.com Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog, “Office 365: Just Getting Started”).

The upcoming service update will also include significant enhancements to CRM Online’s enterprise capabilities. Improvements will be made in areas such as disaster recovery, federated identity, and security.

Mr. Tatarinov seemed most excited about the inclusion of new social capabilities in CRM Online. “We’re adding those capabilities in a way that improves productivity. It is not useless chat that we’re adding to the product, it’s actually something that helps people be more productive,” said Tatarinov.

Varun Krishna, Group Product Manager at Microsoft, provided a taste of how these social capabilities will enhance productivity in CRM Online. Watch Day 2 of the WPC 2011 keynote to see the demo. The presentation begins at the 1:35:10 mark of the video.

tasteofthefuture

Mr. Tatarinov returned to explain that a successful business is a dynamic business. A business that can anticipate change and evolve properly not only has the best chance to survive, it has the greatest opportunity to thrive. Microsoft’s guarantee to update CRM Online twice a year ensures that it will remain relevant in an ever-changing technological environment.

As a Microsoft Certified Partner, xRM.com embraces the model of the dynamic business. In the xRM concept of one platform, many applications, we understand that we live in a technological world that is rapidly changing. Your business’ needs are unique and changing. Therefore, the business solution we design for you will be unique to your company, yet capable of growing with you. We can provide that level of fit because of the versatility and stability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Microsoft .NET Framework, and the xRM concept. Discover the xRM process, and take your first step towards becoming a dynamic business.

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Connect Microsoft Dynamics CRM with AX, GP, and NAV

If you use any applications in the Microsoft Dynamics product family, you might like to know that Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) products (Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, and Dynamics NAV) using a free connector. The Connector for Microsoft Dynamics by Microsoft Dynamics Labs seamlessly synchronizes data between CRM and ERP databases using scheduled web-service-to-web-service integration. This creates highly reliable, fault-tolerant data sharing. Modifications can be made to the Connector to match your company’s specific needs, including setting the integration schedule and synchronizing additional fields.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Customer Relationship Management), is used to manage business contacts, track leads, and accomplish numerous tasks in the areas of sales, service, and marketing. Microsoft Dynamics ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) applications provide sophisticated analyses and reporting on topics such as accounting and finance, manufacturing and supply, project management, human resources, etc. The Connector for Microsoft Dynamics creates synergy between these products, giving you a more rounded, more powerful Dynamics experience. This interoperability is an example of the result of the long-standing, ongoing design philosophy of building applications within the Microsoft .NET Framework.

Requirements

  • Connector for Microsoft Dynamics Feature Pack 5
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 with Update Rollup 5 (or any subsequent update rollup for CRM 4.0) or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
  • (optional) Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 with Service Pack 1
  • (optional) Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 with Service Pack 4 (or any subsequent service pack) or Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010
  • (optional) Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2
  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Small Business Server 2003 , Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium, Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard , Windows Vista, Windows XP

The Connector for Microsoft Dynamics is free assuming you have active Software Assurance (SA) agreements for the relevant Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP products. You must order the Connector through a Microsoft partner to obtain the installation key. xRM.com is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with Gold competency in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). We provide expert consulting regarding the setup and configuration required for the successful deployment of this and other tools in business solutions centered on Dynamics CRM. Please read more about what we do at xRM.com. For inquiries, please visit our xRM call to action.

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Edit Multiple Records, Part 2: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM lets you edit multiple records simultaneously. This can save you a great amount of time in certain tasks.

The previous blog entry, “Edit Multiple Records, Part 1: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011”, described a quick and easy method of writing the same change to multiple records using the Edit function that was recently updated in Dynamics CRM 2011.

This blog entry describes a more advanced method that is useful for making heterogeneous changes across multiple records as opposed to the homogeneous changes made by the Edit function. This method also gives one a feeling of omniscience because all of the data is laid out and plainly visible in a single Excel spreadsheet.

The basic steps of the process are these: export the Dynamics CRM records you’re interested in, edit them in Microsoft Excel (2003, 2007, and 2010), and import them into Dynamics CRM.

Note: This procedure requires no permissions beyond the default security roles. It can be performed in all deployments models: on-premise Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and the partner-hosted Microsoft CRM model.

1. Navigate to the view of the records you wish to edit. For the purposes of this walkthrough, we will use some Lead records from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM sample data. Navigate to Sales > Leads and choose the All Leads view (see below).

Check that the columns you wish to edit are included in the view. Only the included columns are exported. If your desired columns are included, skip ahead to step 7. Otherwise keep reading and we’ll tell you how to add them.

2. Click Advanced Find in the Data section of the ribbon (see below). You can see in this image how the new ribbon automatically adjusts to a narrow window, replacing the Data section with a Data button and dropdown menu to economize space.

3. Click Edit Columns (see below).

4. In the Edit Columns window, you can add or remove columns, change the properties of a specific column, and reorder the columns using the green arrows. For the purposes of this walkthrough, we will click Add Columns (see below).

5. Check the boxes next to the fields you wish to edit that are not already included in the grid. For the purposes of this walkthrough, we will check Job Title. (See below). Click OK and click OK once again as shown in the above image.

6. Once you have added the columns you need, and added any filters to your Advanced Find query, click Results to perform the search. (See below.)

7. Once the results appear, verify that all fields you wish to edit within each entity are represented in the columns. If so, click Export Leads located in the Data portion of the ribbon (see below).

8. When the export window opens (see below), check Static worksheet with records from this page and check Make this data available for re-importing by including required column headings. Click Export.

9. In the File Download dialog box (see below), click Save and choose a location for your template. The file type will be XML Document.

10. Once you have opened the XML Document in Excel, you can start editing fields (see below). Highlighted boxes are examples of sample fields that have been edited for this walkthrough. Boxes you edit in Excel will not be highlighted. After you have edited the necessary fields, save the XML Document and close the file.

11. Import your edited records into Dynamics CRM 2011. Navigate to Workplace > My Work > Imports and click Import Data in the ribbon (see below).

12. When the window opens (see below), click Browse… and find the XML Document you saved from Excel. When done, click Next.

13. Choose if you want Dynamics CRM 2011 to allow duplicate records in CRM (see below). Next, choose which CRM user will be the default owner (see image for details). Click Submit.

14. To verify that your sample data was imported successfully, navigate to Workplace > My Work > Imports (see below).

Better Excel integration and a new ribbon for commonly used functions are two examples of the many year-over-year improvements featured in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. xRM.com can help you utilize the plethora of new features in Dynamics CRM 2011 through our formal CRM Online training. If you are interested in researching a Dynamics CRM solution for your business, please visit our xRM call to action.



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Reminder – CRM Online offers expire June 30, 2011

Microsoft has two great incentive programs that will run out at the end of June 2011—next week.

First, all new CRM Online organizations enjoy a discounted subscription rate of $34 per user per month (23% discount from $44) for the first 12 months.

Second, new CRM Online organizations licensing at least 15 seats receive a $200 rebate for each license! You can use the funds to offset licensing costs, purchase consulting services from xRM.com, or fund other projects. There’s a maximum of 250 rebates and a two-year commitment. Read the Cloud CRM for Less terms and conditions for the official details.

Combining both offers brings the effective cost down to $30.67 per user per month for two years. To put it another way, if you activate by June 30, 2011, you save $4,800 on every 15 seats.

Contact sales@xRM.com to activate your Dynamics CRM Online subscription right away.

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Practice Makes Perfect—Sample Data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Have you recently upgraded or subscribed to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011? Perhaps you are still growing accustomed to the solution. Maybe you need to demonstrate a feature to a colleague or a customer.

You may find sample data to be an effective teaching or practicing tool, as it can help you to familiarize yourself with the product, learn the functionality of various features, and test Microsoft Dynamics CRM configurations and customizations, without affecting real production data.

This blog entry shows how you can install or uninstall the default sample data provided by Microsoft as well as how to create your own sample data. This applies to all deployment models of Dynamics CRM 2011, including on premises, partner hosted and CRM Online 2011.

Standard sample data is installed by default on all deployments of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011. It is not installed by default on partner-hosted or on-premises deployments, but the default sample data set is available for System Administrators to install if desired. The default sample data set contains multiple records for each of the following entities.

  • Account
  • Article
  • Campaign
  • Case
  • Contact
  • Goal
  • Lead
  • Opportunity
  • Phone Call
  • Subject
  • Task

Below are three walkthroughs that will show you:

  • How to Install and Uninstall Standard Sample Data
  • How to Create and Import Your Own Custom Sample Data
  • How to Delete Custom Sample Data

How to Install and Uninstall Standard Sample Data

Note: This task requires the System Administrator security role or equivalent permissions.

1. Navigate to Settings > System > Data Management and click Sample Data (see below). Ask a Microsoft partner such as xRM.com for help if you do not see the Sample Data icon in your on-premises or partner-hosted deployment.

Once you click Sample Data, you will see one of the following two screenshots depending on whether or not you currently have Microsoft’s default sample data set installed on your system. This is one way of verifying the presence or absence of sample data.

2. If you do not already have sample data, click Install Sample Data (see below). The standard sample data will be installed automatically.

3. If sample data is installed on your system and you wish to remove it, click Remove Sample Data (see below). Note: There is no confirmation step beyond this screen; once you click the button, the sample data is removed automatically.

How to Create and Import Your Own Custom Sample Data

Note: Almost anyone can import data, but you will need a System Administrator role to delete it later (in the next walkthrough).

Note: The default sample records all have “(sample)” in their names, making them easy to distinguish from real production records. It would probably be a good idea to keep that convention when generating your own sample data, or use something similar, such as “(test)”.

You can always create a sample record in Dynamics CRM by navigating to any entity view and clicking New. That’s easy enough, but there is a better method for handling larger numbers of records.

This walkthrough shows how to create multiple sample records in Excel and import them en masse into Dynamics CRM via an import file. It’s a better method for several reasons. It’s fast and easy to build multiple records in Excel by copying and pasting cells or incrementally changing their values. You can save the import file once from Excel instead of saving each record manually in Dynamics CRM. Dynamics CRM keeps track of records that are imported together, making it easier to clean up after your experiments later by deleting all the records of a particular import with a single action. The import files you save can be reused to import and then delete sample records over and over to train multiple new users.

Dynamics CRM makes creating sample data easy by automatically generating templates for its entities, including custom entities. A template is an XML Document suitable for opening in Excel describing the internal data structure of a Dynamics CRM entity. Each entity (typically) has a different structure, so each entity will have its own template. For the purposes of this walk-through, we will be creating sample records using a template for the Appointment entity. (Note: This Dynamics CRM entity template is an XML Document having a file extension of “xml” and should not be confused with an Excel “template”, which would have an “xltx” file extension.)

1. Download the template for the desired entity. Navigate to Settings > System > Data Management and click Templates for Data Import. (See below)

2. Select the entity in the dropdown menu, in this case, Appointment (see below). Click Download.

3. In the File Download dialog box, click Save (see below), and choose a location for your template. The file type will be XML Document.

Note: If you are using Microsoft Excel 2010, do not click Open (see above). This will likely result in an error message saying, “This file is corrupt and cannot be opened.” This can be caused by a variety of reasons. To avoid this, you must first save the file, and then open it from Excel. If it still does not open, try one of the following steps:

  • Add the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online URL to your browser’s trusted site security zone.
  • Unblock the security in the downloaded Excel file. To do this:
    • Right-click the downloaded file and click Properties
    • On the General tab, for Security, click Unblock
  • In Microsoft Excel 2010, enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet
    • Open Microsoft Excel 2010
    • Click the File tab, and then click Options
    • Click Trust Center, and the click Trust Center Settings
    • Click Protected View, and then select Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet option

4. Once you have opened the XML Document in Excel, you can start adding records by typing in the desired information. The rows are records and the columns are fields. There are certain fields in Dynamics CRM 2011 that must contain data in order for a record to be saved. In Excel, you can identify which fields require data for a successful import by locating the columns with headings in a bold font. For example, when creating an Appointment in Dynamics CRM, Subject is a required field. A new Appointment cannot be made without data in this field. Therefore, in Excel, the Subject column heading appears in bold text. (Note: Required and optional fields are not to be confused with the columns that say “Required” and “Optional” below. These two columns are individual fields in the Appointments entity, which do not require data since their text is not in bold.) After you have created your sample data, save the XML Document and close the file.

5. Import your new sample data into Dynamics CRM 2011. Navigate to Workplace > My Work > Imports and click Import Data in the ribbon (see below).

6. Click Browse… and select the XML Document you saved earlier (see below). Click Next.

7. Choose if you want Dynamics CRM 2011 to allow duplicate records in CRM (see below). Next, choose which CRM user you want the owner to be. Click Submit.

8. To verify that your sample data was imported successfully, navigate to Workplace > My Work > Imports (see below). If the import was successful, you will also find the individual records in their proper location. For this walkthrough, our new custom data will be found in Appointments.

How to Delete Custom Sample Data

Note: This task requires the System Administrator security role or equivalent permissions.

1. In order to delete the custom sample data you have created from the CRM database, repeat step 8 above. Select the sample data you wish to delete (in this example, “Appointment.xml”), then, under the ribbon, click the down arrow under Delete and click All Records Imported to This Entity During This Import (see below). (You will not see that option without the proper permissions.)

Working with sample data can help users hone their skills in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. In some cases however, a business’ needs extend beyond practicing with sample data. xRM.com can help your company improve its Dynamics CRM fluency through formal CRM Online training with a CRM Online implementation and integration. If you are interested in a Dynamics CRM solution, follow our xRM call to action.

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Should You Switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Too?

You might be considering your CRM options right about now. If your company has a demand for automated workflows across sales, service, and marketing; a desire to cut expenses without sacrificing quality; or the need for greater flexibility, Microsoft Dynamics CRM could be the answer. Numerous companies are making the switch from CRM providers like Salesforce.com or Oracle, to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and they are seeing positive results.

Century Payments switched. Century Payments Inc. has reported great savings since making the switch from Salesforce.com to Microsoft Dynamics CRM in 2009. Recently ranked 11th on the Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Companies list, Century Payments announced that as of March 2011 it has saved over $300,000 thanks to MSCRM. Scott Harlow, vice president of information technologies and security at Century Payments said, “…We alleviated significant costs by leveraging existing resources to rapidly design and develop our new core platform.” Thanks to a rise in end-user adoption, and overall productivity, Century Payments now has a solid foundation that will scale and adapt accordingly as they continue to expand.

Smead switched. Smead, a solutions provider for document management, announced in November 2010, that one month after making the change from Salesforce.com to Dynamics CRM Online they recorded a 75 percent reduction in annual subscription costs. Smead also noted an increase in user adoption by 20 percent, improved collaboration among employees, and a higher level of business intelligence to its managers. Daniel Hart, Smead systems development manager said, “In addition to offering a seamless experience across our systems, features such as customizable dashboards give our managers insight into accounts, sales, and opportunities, which helps them make more informed  decisions.”

Microsoft is offering incentives to make the switch more attractive. Customers that switch by June 30, 2011, receive $200 cash per user to switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (minimum 15 seats, maximum 250 seats). Companies can use the cash for any purpose, but xRM suggests that the cash would be well spent on deployment services from xRM such as data migration, training, and customizations, making switching a smoother and more effective process.

Microsoft sets Dynamics CRM Online apart from its competitors through seamless integration with other Microsoft software, such as Microsoft Office. By leveraging other Microsoft products like Windows Azure, Microsoft SharePoint, and the new Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, customers receive more than just CRM software, they receive a holistic business solution to fill their technical needs. Unlike Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the ability to serve as a cog in a greater machine.

Your business needs every edge it can get to gain a leg up on the competition. When comparing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online vs. Salesforce.com, there are a dozen reasons to choose the former. A familiar interface for end users who have worked with Microsoft products increases user adoption rates. Real-time dashboards and in-line business intelligence foster better decision making. By making the switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, your business will be in the company of a plethora of others who cut user costs by 50% and reached 100% user adoption. Take advantage of the rebate, and xRM can deliver a smooth transition, and a highly efficient solution. Give your business the chance to thrive by switching to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

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