A wiser man than I once said “if you have done some research and reached a conclusion put your conclusions at the front of your report”... so here goes…
This research finds the conclusion is pretty much self-explanatory … essentially, it’s saying:
… all 3 of the major Analysts agree - Microsoft is one of the TOP 3,
So, “include Microsoft on your shortlist”
So, shall we see what they actually say then?
Source: Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation - Published 26 June 2019
Gartner defines Sales Force Automation (SFA) as systems that support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative responsibilities for organizations’ sales professionals. Gartner considers SFA to be foundational technology, implemented to automate an organization’s core sales processes.
Microsoft remains in the Leaders quadrant as it continues to deliver both on its product vision for SFA within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 offering, and on its sales execution.
The SFA product in Dynamics 365 is relevant for midsize, large and enterprise-size clients, as the vendor has packaged solutions to address all SFA functional needs. The SFA product is relevant for B2B and B2C use cases, and both short- and long-cycle sales processes.
Microsoft continues to invest primarily in the SaaS version of its product, with the on-premises version on an annual release schedule. With Dynamics 365 Sales Insights becoming generally available in late 2018, Microsoft has enhanced its product offering with meaningful functions such as “who knows who” indicators and customer relationship health analysis. In addition, the latest version (v.9+), which has been rearchitected into a microservices architecture, affords clients the ability to more frequently utilize Azure-based application services.
Source: The Forrester Wave™: Sales Force Automation Solutions, June 27 2017
Forrester's research uncovered a market in which Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce lead the pack. Pegasystems, bpm'online, SAP, and SugarCRM offer competitive options. CRMNEXT, NetSuite, and Infor lag behind.
Microsoft is building out its intelligent offerings and unifying its SFA solution with its larger portfolio. The 2016 transition to Dynamics 365 brought a heightened focus on seller productivity, with deep integrations into Office 365 and Outlook. Microsoft also delivers very strong analytics capabilities, including its machine learning and AI offerings, as well as Power BI.
With all the hype around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, Microsoft shows considerable maturity in both its execution and vision for how advanced analytics will transform selling. Customers rate Microsoft's pace and penchant for innovation very highly. The potential around analytics only improves with its acquisition of LinkedIn. Microsoft needs to improve its ecosystem of both technology and services partners.
Source: Nucleus Website July 2019 and Nucleus-Research-CRM-Technology-Value-Matrix-1H2018 report
Leading customer relationship management (CRM) providers are doubling down on data integration, orchestration, and mapping capabilities to link data among and beyond CRM applications and provide a complete real-time view of the customer. Although their approaches differ, those investments are designed to enable customers to drive greater productivity, reduce data management efforts, and bring together a rich and complete enough data set to apply artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics for measurable results across sales, service, and marketing. While they’re making investments under the hood, they’re also investing in usability features such as embedded coaching and intelligence to help users be more effective and productive.
In the Nucleus-Research-CRM-Technology-Value-Matrix-1H2018 report Nucleus describe Microsoft as follows:
Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies its Dynamics CRM and enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities to provide an integrated set of solutions for marketing, sales, service, finance, operations, and talents that also seamlessly work with Office 365. Microsoft’s focus is on bringing the AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities of Azure into the cloud CRM environment while leveraging LinkedIn technology, PowerBI, and PowerApps to provide CRM users with no-code, low-code, and full developer capabilities. In March, Microsoft announced a number of advancements to Dynamics 365 including:
- A common data service for analytics and applications, which will enable customers to quickly customize existing applications built across Dynamics 365 and Office 365 and quickly build new analytics applications that integrate data from multiple sources.
- New capabilities for Dynamics 365 for Sales including a relationship assistant, auto capture with Outlook, and e-mail engagement. Microsoft also announced new Power BI insights apps for out-of-the box dashboards providing further insight into marketing, sales, and service.
- Dynamics 365 for Marketing, a new marketing automation application providing companies with core e-mail marketing needs with integrated capabilities for marketing and sales nurturing.
- Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional, a new streamlined version of the Dynamics sales capabilities with core SFA capabilities as well as sales planning and performance management.
Nucleus sees Microsoft’s continued investments in bringing the power of LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 as a key differentiator. Additionally, PowerApps capabilities and the further integration of Power BI with Dynamics 365 provide business users with more self-service application and report building capabilities leveraging both Dynamics 365 and external data sources.
I think the simple conclusion here is, if you are looking for a CRM / Sales Force Automation solution then...
… all the leading experts AGREE!
Microsoft Dynamics is one of the Top 3 and, at the very least, you should look at it.