MUFI Rating & Risk – Microsoft Dynamics CRM

MUFI Rating & Risk – Microsoft Dynamics CRM

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is another one of the prominent attempts by Microsoft to grow into the enterprise software space. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a higher than average buyer satisfaction level. An objective analysis of the applications makes it difficult to see why.

Application Detail

Back in the Siebel days when CRM implementations were crashing and burning with regularity, there were two common key observations that CRM consultants took from these projects. First, salespeople don’t like using CRM systems, and second, because of this first fact, CRM systems must be super user-friendly even to have a hope of being adopted. Unfortunately, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the lowest rated CRM system that we cover regarding usability. Microsoft Dynamics CRM also lags other CRM applications regarding basic CRM functionality. As Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not a competitive solution, companies that merely have a preference for Microsoft products most often will be the target market for the application. One advantage of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is it has, naturally, integrations with Outlook and SharePoint.

But even in what supposed to be the main strength of Microsoft Dynamics CRM turns out to be bug ridden. In fact, overall the software has a preponderance of bugs interfere with getting tasks accomplished. It is exceptionally well demonstrated at this point that salespeople have a low tolerance for systems that take up a lot of their time to use – and this has a serious impact on both implement-ability, as well as that quality of information that can be expected from the application.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has lived off of its integration to other Microsoft products and the fact its account managers can pitch the product to most Microsoft accounts. However, as usual, Microsoft has a lagging product and is only capable of very incremental improvements as Microsoft is a marketing company that leverages pre-existing investments made by companies in their software to sell more software rather than an innovator. In one of the most rapidly growing categories of enterprise software, where the footprint is constantly expanding, Microsoft Dynamics CRM easily appears to be a convenience or short-signed investment. Of course, this also means dealing with the Microsoft “monster” while accessing an application with limited upside. Buyers would be wise to steer clear of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

The number one risk on Microsoft Dynamics CRM projects is the problematic information provided by Microsoft itself on what its software can do. This means that as is normally the case with such overpromising, a component of the project implementation must be allocated to unwinding these promises – a highly inefficient endeavor. Microsoft CRM is often chosen when IT essentially has much of the decision-making authority in a buyer, and the business tends to be shut out of the process. This makes for a very high likelihood of a problematic implementation and buyers that made such a “convenient” decision will pay the price with the most difficult to implement CRM system of any that we cover.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

Managing the risk of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation is about lowering expectations. A common approach is for the IT department to begin blaming the business users early and often for what are entirely application failures. We don’t recommend following this strategy as it might be good for IT, but it does nothing for the implementation success level. There are always significant user adoption issues with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which means preparing for this, which means it is necessary to provide the highest allocation of consulting effort in the CRM space. This is a factor we have adjusted for in our TCO Calculator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the CRM software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

MUFI Rating & Risk – Microsoft Dynamics AX

This is one of the only independent ratings available on Microsoft Dynamics AX. 

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Enterprise Software TCO Calculator – Microsoft Dynamics CRM

How it Works

Fill out the form below for a your customized TCO calculation, as well as each of the supporting cost components that make up the TCO. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.

Details

  • Vendor Name: Microsoft (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: CRM
  • Company Headquarters: One Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052-6399
  • Site: http://www.microsoft.com
  • Contact number 425.882.8080
  • Delivery Mechanism: SaaS or OnPremises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, goto this link to see other analytical products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Enterprise Software TCO Calculator – Microsoft Dynamics AX

How it Works

Fill out the form below for a your customized TCO calculation, as well as each of the supporting cost components that make up the TCO. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.

Details

  • Vendor Name: Microsoft (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: Small and Medium ERP
  • Company Headquarters: One Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052-6399
  • Site: http://www.microsoft.com
  • Contact number 425.882.8080
  • Delivery Mechanism: SaaS or OnPremises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, goto this link to see other analytical products for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Project Planning Package – Microsoft Dynamics AX

How it Works

Fill out the form below for your project planning estimate. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.

Details

  • Vendor Name: Microsoft (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: Small and Medium ERP
  • Company Headquarters: One Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052-6399
  • Site: http://www.microsoft.com
  • Contact number 425.882.8080
  • Delivery Mechanism: SaaS or OnPremises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, go to this link to see other analytical products for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

References

Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Honest Vendor Ratings – Microsoft

Introduction

It is doubtful that the person reading this report does not know about Microsoft and its business practices and reputation. However, Microsoft is much easier to deal with in the enterprise software area than say SAP, Oracle or IBM because they are far less powerful than in the consumer software market. However, at the end of the day, one is still dealing with Microsoft, the toughest software vendor at least in the consumer software market. Microsoft is still considerably more difficult to deal with than most of the other software vendors in the markets in which they compete. As Microsoft does not offer a single competitive solution in the enterprise software categories that we cover, companies that simply have a preference for Microsoft products most often will be the target market for their applications.

Quality of Information Provided

Microsoft misinforms its customers and prospects, pretending it has innovative and high-quality enterprise software applications when it does not. Microsoft does not have the products in the enterprise space, so it relies on salesmanship, marketing, and lock-in. If you buy from Microsoft it will mean being aggressively pitched everything from SQLServer to Sharepoint on a regular basis. Microsoft will pitch Sharepoint as one of the best content management system when it is the worst application in its category. Microsoft’s technology advice is best discarded, and among technologists, Microsoft receives little respect and is considered primarily a marketing organization. Steve Ballmer was famously quoted as predicting that the iPhone.

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.” Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO 2007

Then there was the attempt to promote the Xbox, a gaming console for video conferencing.

“According to Lyons (of Microsoft), the Xbox One “is an affordable option for small business owners, as there are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of videoconferencing and networking platforms”. Among its uses, the Xbox One provides access to Microsoft’s soon-to-be renamed SkyDrive cloud service using a dedicated app, so you can share images, videos, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.”

Of course, the author covering this Microsoft proposal was good enough to write the following:

“But this is nothing you can’t do on your PC.”

One of the most amusing comments on this topic was from a commenter, which read.

“Xbox will not become a business tool in its current form. This isn’t visionary; it’s a solution looking for a problem. This is what you get when you put the director of Windows in charge of Xbox. All they know is their traditional market so they might as well try pounding that square peg into the round hole.”

This may sound like it is unrelated because it is commenting on different Microsoft products but is typical of the information quality that comes from Microsoft. Microsoft simply proposes different sales pitches, which because of their size are picked up and repeated by the business and technology media, regardless of whether they have any basis in reality.

Consulting and Support

Microsoft primarily relies upon partners and mid-market consulting companies to implement its software. The quality of this consulting is too varied is make any definitive comment upon, but there is little doubt that the value is poorer than software vendors that provide their own consultants.

Internal Efficiency

Microsoft internally is highly bureaucratic and inefficient, as well as one of the most political companies in the software industry. Microsoft has adopted a rapid reassignment approach to career management, so employees are routinely moved into new areas they know nothing about.

Microsoft is essentially a software conglomerate and lacks a vision of what it should be, aside from being opportunistic and going after every market that it can. This is shown in other areas outside of enterprise software such as cell phones where it never had a compelling product, and with their Xbox, which while now popular has been a money pit for them.

As with other super large monopolistic software vendors, the employee satisfaction is high, however, the type of employee who works at Microsoft is attracted to the stability, and most are not under the illusion that they make much of a contribution to technology or that their ideas will be listened to. Microsoft’s hiring practices and management practices are a recipe for bringing in conformist employees. Microsoft provides a stable job in an industry, which is quite unstable.

Innovation

Microsoft has had decades to develop an efficient and usable operating system in Windows – all while receiving the most money ever allocated to any operating system, and they still have not been able to do it. They released Windows 8, had 6 years to copy the iOS and were still unable to pull it off.

Microsoft is a company that lives in a bubble regarding its degree of innovation. They are sensitive on this point, which is why suppliers to Microsoft are counseled to speak only about Microsoft products when visiting the company if they plan to make a sale. Microsoft has never been an innovative company. This is true, even though as with IBM they are on a yearly basis a top patent producer (number 5 and number 1 respectively in 2013). As with IBM, Microsoft’s large number of patents may have something more to do with how the company has the resources to invest in the patent process – which is expensive, and Microsoft’s weak actual innovation compared to its patent ownership also says something about software patents generally, which are by many patent experts not considered particularly legitimate. It also says something about our patent system that it can be gamed by large companies like Microsoft that have the resources to put into patent applications creating the illusion of innovation. As a counterpoint, none of the best of breed software vendors that we analyze, that are actually the most innovative companies have very many patents.

Vendor Scores

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Software Selection Package for Small to Medium ERP

Software Selection Package for CRM