A platform comparison

Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce –
Which one is best?

Trying to find the perfect business software solution such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Salesforce to power your business is never an easy task as they can prove hard to differentiate. In this blog we compare the market leaders Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce which are often closely compared with each other.

We have explored and compared several elements of these two solutions in order to help you choose the best suited platform for your organisations needs.

Considerations when choosing the right platform

In the age of digital transformation, there are four fundamental elements when looking for a suitable business platform: what it can do with your data, user interface, security and its extended capabilities for transformation in the future. Both Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce offer these four elements however there are slight differences in their offerings.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a world renowned business platform comprised of eight applications that provide market leading CRM and ERP functionality. Each specialist application seamlessly integrates with each other and a wealth of third party applications ensuring your business is centrally managed via one platform.

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is one of the leading cloud based customer relationship management (CRM) platforms with a wide range of CRM applications for sales, service, marketing, and more.


COMPARING FUNCTIONALITY

Microsoft Dynamics Applications 

Each Microsoft Dynamics 365 application is specifically design to play its own part in managing specialist areas of the business which include Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation applications.

Salesforce Applications 

Salesforce spreads their applications into separate clouds. Similar to Microsoft they offer; Sales Cloud Einstein, Service Cloud Einstein and a Marketing Cloud Einstein. Each of these applications are broken down into smaller components. Service Cloud being a great example: Customer Self Service, Digital Channels, Field Service and AI for Service.


COMPARING LICENSE OPTIONS  

Microsoft Dynamics 365 licensing options 

Notably cheaper than Salesforce in terms of licenses, Microsoft Dynamics 365 licenses are flexible and scalable which enable your business to start with what you need and add applications as your business grows. Users of other Microsoft products such as Outlook, SharePoint, Microsoft Office 365 receive discounted pricing when Microsoft Dynamics 365 licenses are also combined.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales license costs. Unlike Salesforce, there is no minimum contract term – it’s a rolling month subscription.

Here are some example costs for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales Application. (Please note: prices correct as of 6th Feb 2019)

Dynamics 365 for Sales licence costs - Infinity Group

 Salesforce licensing options

Salesforce’s Sales Cloud is available in four editions with licenses ranging from £20 to £240 per user/per month. The Lightning editions are the same underlying product, with specific features and functionality either switched on or off, depending on the edition.

The minimum contract term is 12 months. Longer term commitments; such as 24 or 36 months can result in lower pricing.

Salesforce for Sales licence costs - Infinity Group


 

COMPARING VERSION TYPES

Two version types of Microsoft Dynamics

Similar to other platforms, Microsoft Dynamics is available as an on premise solution known as, Microsoft Dynamics CRM or cloud solution known as Microsoft Dynamics 365 which is the next step in the evolution of a combined ERP and CRM product.

Salesforce is only in the Cloud

Salesforce is a cloud-hosted, subscription model and does not offer an on-premise version. There are also no options for a dedicated instance or a dedicated server for a given customer therefore your server resources are always shared with other businesses.


COMPARING SECURITY

How secure is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Microsoft own their own data centres and has a Trust Center site for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other product lines. The site provides information on security, privacy, compliance, transparency, and data centre geographic regions. Microsoft has an SLA which defines “downtime”. It also lists percentage services credits for months during which availability falls below 99.9%.

How secure is Salesforce?

Salesforce’s service is collocated in multiple, top-tier global data centres which salesforce do not own. Salesforce publishes its data centre security information on its trust website.

Salesforce.com does not have a publicly accessible Service Level Agreement (SLA).


 

COMPARING MOBILE APPLICATIONS

Microsoft Dynamics 365 iOS and Android Applications

Microsoft Dynamics 365 mobile applications can be configured to display specific forms, fields and entities, including custom entities.

Salesforce iOS and Android Applications

Salesforce mobile applications can be built and customised and then deployed to the mobile devices.


COMPARING THIRD PARTY INTEGRATION CAPABILITY

More often than not business requirements drive the need for functionality that is only offered by third parties. Both Microsoft and Salesforce enable third party application integration within their platforms.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 integrations

Microsoft’s exchange is called AppSource. This site spans different Microsoft product lines including Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power BI, Office 365 and Azure. Microsoft also has an internal app development team similar to Salesforce Labs.

Salesforce integrations

Salesforce manages its own third-party application site, the AppExchange. The AppExchange also has applications from Salesforce’s internal, Salesforce Labs.

Some of the Salesforce mobile apps are free and some are paid. However, it is worth nothing that not all applications are compatible with all the editions of Salesforce. For example, many of their mobile applications  require Lightning Professional or higher.


COMPARING USER EXPERIENCE

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 interface provides familiarity. Chances are that you already have Microsoft Office 365 rolled out in your business and Microsoft Azure. This is an indicator that your organisation is adopting to the Microsoft interface and product suite. If this is the case, a strategic move to also implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 can bring your entire business together in one platform.

Salesforce

Salesforce has recently released its new product, Lightning which brings much needed life to an otherwise aged user interface. Lightning has been touted as a seamless interface between advanced automated processes and front-end users.

Most advanced applications still cause confusion especially when trying to support legacy versions (Salesforce Classic).

Lightning provides a fresh take on customer relation management the trick is adopting this into your Microsoft suite of applications and if this doesn’t apply to you then you’ll find the experience a whole lot smoother.


 

COMPARING UPDATE FREQUENCY

Microsoft Dynamics 365 follows an agile release cycle for CRM and targets two releases annually with services updates as required. Here are our top 10 features from the April 2019 release notes

Salesforce has three major new releases each year (with hotfixes and minor updates throughout the year) similar to Microsoft Dynamics 365, these come at no additional cost to the customer.


COMPARING DATA STORAGE

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is multi-tenant at the application level, but single tenant on the database level – which means that each customer has their own SQL Server database, meaning your data is not in a shared environment with other organisations.

Microsoft’s standard cloud storage allowances are more generous, and its additional costs notably lower, than many of its competitors’ including Salesforce. Each Microsoft Dynamics 365 license comes with 10GB of cloud storage, with an extra 5GB added for 20 users. As your data grows, increase your storage securely using The Microsoft Cloud, Azure.

Salesforce offers no options for a dedicated instance or a dedicated server for a given customer therefore your server resources are always shared with other businesses.

Data Storage Costs

When purchasing additional data storage keep in mind that there are two types of storage for an additional cost:

  1. Database Storage – think of this as fast storage and is used to query your data quickly.
  2. File storage – think of this as slow storage used for larger files like documents, images, emails etc.

COMPARING AI CAPABILITY

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI applications

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI applications deliver out-of-the-box insights by unifying data and infusing it with advanced intelligence to guide decisions and empower organisations to take informed actions. And because these insights are easily extensible through the power of Microsoft Power BI, Azure and the Common Data Service, organisations will be able to address even the most complex scenarios specific to their business.

Salesforce AI capabilities

Like Microsoft, Salesforce has enterprise-level resources available to build or acquire AI tools that help make sales and service tools smarter.

Salesforce has recently beat Microsoft by a hair by implementing their Einstein AI in Spring of 2017. Einstein uses artificial intelligence learning algorithms to understand each company’s particular selling habits and suggests improvements. When implemented on the service and marketing tools, Einstein can suggest answers to customer questions or guide marketers to the most effective strategies. The tool can run seamlessly with Salesforce, but comes as an additional cost.


OUR CONCLUSION

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce offer very similar functionality and features, due to this, it’s hard to decipher which one is ‘better’ than the other. Both offer industry-leading features and a scalable platform, as well as the ability to custom-build unique solutions with optional modules and add-ons from their online stores.

However, Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers much more flexibility and affordability in terms of licensing options which enables SMEs as well as mid-market and enterprise organisations to benefit. If your business is already invested in the Microsoft Stack (such as Microsoft Office, SharePoint etc) then implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 makes business sense as everything is supported by one vendor. From a data security point of view, the data stored within Microsoft Dynamics 365 is also stored at Microsoft’s data centres not a third party.

When choosing between Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Salesforce, your decision should be based on what business systems you already have in place, what features within each of the platforms that your teams can use to enhance the business, and most importantly how much time and money you’re willing to invest in the long run.

If you are interested in finding out more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 and would like to see a live demo of the features and functionality within the platform – please get in touch.