Well I guess we should be flattered!! Was just looking at a new Salesforce campaign today and it is aimed directly at Microsoft Dynamics CRM. I’m sure there are a number of reasons to single out MSCRM, but bottom-line I think they are worried about us deflating their cloud. I for one say let the sunshine so I can see clearly! I often see publishers competing on features and functions – and if you have followed my blogs in the past you may know I don’t buy this, a set of features is a snap shot in time….last time I looked these weren’t missile systems so no one publisher is going to significantly outpace the other….but I can rant on this later. So let’s just keep it simple and talk about Dynamics CRM 2011 vs Salesforce.
Let talk today about the first item in the Salesforce campaign – ‘Real-time feeds’
This one has to do with what they spent a ton of their R&D budget on last year – Chatter. Sounds like a neat concept and I’m sure it will progress, but I think chatter in most organizations would just become noise. There are a couple problems that I have seen – first once you subscribe to an entity you get notified when something…..ok anything changes. Think about this for a second – someone add the zip+4 to the account – wham chatter….someone adds the fax number – wham chatter….someone updates anything – wham noise, you see where I’m going – in an organization that is really using a CRM system this would become overwhelming pretty quickly. I think about this much like facebook, loved it at first but once people started playing Farmville or whatever the noise of the application became cumbersome and usage just drops off or you start to do some heavy duty filtering. The second issue I see is you get tied to the chatter interface – what if you are not using it but still want notifications – seems pretty limiting to me.
Now I think about how we use Microsoft Dynamics CRM and how I get ‘feed’ information. I know I do because I get notifications all day about things that are important to me. As an example I want to know anytime one of my accounts opens a service request – well I have a workflow that says this is what I want to happen and each time they do I get an email. I used email because this is still the quickest way to get information to me, could have made it text me, populated a different application, or pretty much anything. The power of rules based workflows lets me decide what’s relevant and meaningful to me and then surface that specific information.
So point one of the ad I just don’t buy and I think if people compare ‘real-time feeds’ versus real-time notification of criteria based information they will see what I mean. Basically both platforms have approached it from a different angle and the SFDC FUD is untrue – in fact each point is the ad is pretty misleading, but I’ll save the rest for another day.