This old question arose as during one of my recent CRM workshops in Sheffield, I do have a standard answer to this question in that “Most CRM’s aim to perform the same function” but I usually have to apply further clarification to this notion.
Microsoft has placed itself in a rather unique position to its CRM competitors in that there is a fair chance that the back office program used by a business is Microsoft Office.
So why is this important?
CRM’s by their nature are business critical systems which aid sales, marketing and customer retention. Just about every method you choose to interact with new or existing customers will have some exposure to a Microsoft product be it Outlook, Word or Skype to either find a contacts details of contact them through email or mail merges.
One of the key elements of Dynamics CRM 2011 is its compatibility to Microsoft Office. For starters you can fully run Dynamics CRM 2011 from within Outlook which means you control all your customer interactions from within just one system. It also allows you to track emails and set activities or tasks so you don’t forget important business related events for you or your colleagues.
This compatibility runs through the entire Microsoft Office suite with Word, Excel and Sharepoint all containing native functions for Dynamics CRM 2011. Compatibility is the key to most successful computer networks and Microsoft have invested multi billions to ensure their own products seamlessly integrate with each other which results in a very positive users experience.