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Microsoft Dynamics Software Review

Microsoft Dynamics CRM, like most other CRM systems is comprised of three core modules: Sales Force Automation (SFA), marketing, and Customer Support (CS). In addition, there are some common components that span the modules and Microsoft's ISV (Independent Software Vendor) and business partner channels offer over 800 add-on products as part of the company's application software ecosystem.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is the company's latest version of its CRM software application designed for small to midsized businesses (SMB). With Dynamics CRM 2011, the software giant marked its fourth generation for the product line (version 2 was skipped) and delivered many significant improvements and a formal entry to the cloud. Prior versions fell short of many analyst and user expectations and Microsoft missed the cloud computing and software-as-a-service movement which left it behind SaaS CRM companies such as Salesforce.com.

Dynamics CRM 2011 is a balanced CRM suite for the average small or mid market business committed to using Microsoft technologies. Among the three pillars of CRM applications, the suite's strength is Sales Force Automation (SFA ), however, marketing automation and customer service and fairly powerful, thereby resulting in much more of a balanced CRM suite than most other competitors. Enterprise-sized organizations and mid-sized companies with complex marketing or customer service will need to take a deep dive to vet Dynamics CRM carefully to determine if the functionality is adequate to meet their more sophisticated or complex requirements.

Dynamics CRM provides a natural extension of Outlook and MS Office programs, thereby, decreasing user learning curves and increasing user adoption. Dynamics CRM allows the user to turn Outlook contacts into leads and accounts, convert these into opportunities and ultimately turn them into quotes, sales orders and invoices. With respect to accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, cases, campaigns and other CRM objects, there are a large number of fields and tabs available for capturing key attributes or custom data. Through an easy to use Relationships Editor, you can link each entity to another in a 1:1, 1:N and N:N design configuration. Such as, a customer account can parent many contacts and can be related to those contacts as employees of or owners to the account. A contact can also be related to multiple accounts, to one as a former employee and to another account as a current employee. You may also create user defined referencing relationships by relating an account to itself. The application SDK, visual customization tools and relational structure permit an extremely adaptable or customizable CRM software system.