We have been asked the question a lot recently why should I use Microsoft Dynamics CRM instead of SharePoint? SharePoint is a great tool for managing lists of data. But it does not allow you to define relationships of this data. You can write code to model your business and you can use many of the features in SharePoint to surface data from other systems. There are many common features between both solutions.
The first common features is collaboration. Out of the box SharePoint supports better collaboration then Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but CRM allows you to quickly model various relationships allowing you to leverage role base security and user relationships to allow very robust collaboration. But both solutions allow teams to manage tasks, implement workflows and share information.
Next is the ability to surface information in Portals. Both solutions allow you to expose data to a web portal. Again this can be done in different ways with each solution, but using the solution API we can build secure robust Portals to expose any data or relations ship defined in the solution.
Both solutions offer robust search and business intelligence.
The major difference is Microsoft Dynamics CRM ability to create relationships between lists of data. SharePoint have fantastic tools in place to build, manage and collaborate on the lists of data, but it does not have built in ability to build relationship between the various data.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed from the ground up to model your business and build relationships between the various data. Out of the box we have many lists of data example accounts, contacts, opportunities etc. You could easily create this same data in SharePoint, but in CRM these lists are also setup with relationships. An account has contacts and contacts are related to accounts. An opportunity can be related to an account or a contact. This is a very simple example of how data is related. Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows you to leverage existing lists (Customer Relationship Management), or build any lists and any relationship required to support your business. This is where you see the term XRM.
While comparing SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics CRM you should not be assuming CRM is simply a customer relationship manage solution. Microsoft Dynamics CRM a platform that allows you to model your business, define your entities and how these entities relate. Then you can leverage security, workflow, reporting, business intelligence and much more to build a solution that truly supports your business. Also this can be done quickly allowing you to change as your business changes.
When you look at SharePoint verses Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Think “Relationships”, Think “XRM”, Think “PowerObjects”.