8 Reasons to Choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE Over the Competition

Discover compelling reasons why it's the solution for your business. Enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and optimize sales.

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    As a Microsoft partner, we’re often asked by prospective clients why they should consider Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE (short for Customer Engagement, and formerly CRM) over other leading competitors. There used to be a saying, “Nobody gets fired for choosing IBM” — a reference to the company’s early domination of the server market and reputation for over-delivering making it a safe bet. Fast forward 30 years, we could substitute “Microsoft” for “IBM” and the phrase holds true.

    52% of surveyed sales professionals noted that technology has significantly increased their efficiency through the use of smart tools and better understanding of customer data.

    Now we’re not recommending that you choose a technology solution just to be safe, but when the safe solution also happens to be the best solution, it’s definitely worth your consideration. So, why choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE over the competition? Here are eight good reasons.

    8 Reasons to Choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE Over the Competition - Popular platform lowers cost of ownership, native integration promotes efficiencies, make Microsoft dynamics 365 CE your own, smart training, realistic and transparent licensing fees, when it's gotta work - an SLA guarantee, reporting capabilities, partnership speeds return of investment

    Guide to Moving from Salesforce to Dynamics 365 SalesGuide to Moving from Salesforce to Dynamics 365 Sales

    1. Popular Platform Lowers Cost of Ownership

    Referring back to our IBM reference earlier, part of the ultimate demise of IBM’s influence lay in the fact that its technologies were proprietary and became increasingly obsolete as developers moved to open-source platforms. Case in point — it’s much easier to hire a C++ programmer than a COBOL programmer.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE is built on the Microsoft platform which connects dozens of Microsoft applications — and dozens more third-party applications such as Dropbox and Google Calendar. In addition, it leverages industry standard programming languages, including C#, JavaScript, SQL Server, and Net.

    The advantage in choosing the Microsoft solution lies in the fact that support and customizations within Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE are likely to be less costly simply because there are more people familiar with the popular tools the solution leverages. One of our clients, Irrimax, realized significant cost savings by switching from Veeva to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, which is one-third the cost of Veeva.

    2. Native Integration Promotes Efficiencies

    One would be hard-pressed to find a company that’s not using at least a couple of Microsoft solutions. And companies that add Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE can capitalize on that reality, integrating Office, Excel, Teams, and Outlook with the CRM application to realize greater efficiencies and streamlined workflows.

    The native integration allows each team in your organization to continue working in the applications that are familiar to them while benefitting from the free flow of information between solutions. For example, emails sent through Outlook are captured in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE. Sales Orders created in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central are visible in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE. Users can export data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE to Excel, make changes and easily transfer the data back into Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE.

    3. Make Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE Your Own

    We think the real value in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE lies in its ability to morph to meet the needs of the customer, rather than requiring a customer to alter their business processes to fit the software.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE is built as an xRM platform, meaning it can easily be customized to meet specific business needs.  And because xRM is an open platform, it’s not just for Microsoft developers (back to that popular versus proprietary advantage). Many customizations, such as adding and removing fields, require no code changes, putting the power squarely in the hands of confident users. For more complex customizations, the Microsoft Power Platform allows low code, no code customization options for workflows, integrated applications, power virtual agents, and more.

    4. Smart Thinking

    Plenty of CRM applications have begun promoting their Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities lately, but Microsoft was a pioneer in this area with Microsoft Copilot. Here are just a few of the ways the application powers smart thinking:

    • Copilot for Service: Microsoft Copilot for Service revolutionizes conventional customer service systems by employing advanced generative AI technology. This platform is crafted to boost customer interactions and increase agent efficiency by effortlessly merging with existing contact center and CRM systems. Distinct from other conversational AI tools, Copilot for Service operates without the need for software installations or intricate integrations.
    • Copilot for Sales: Microsoft Copilot for Sales is an AI assistant tailored for sales teams to enhance productivity and secure more deals. It integrates sales insights and cutting-edge AI into daily tools such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and other Microsoft 365 applications.

    While there is some hesitation around implementing AI in organizations, CE Practice Director, Jason Wietharn shares his take on it, “What we do anticipate is a significant increase in adoption of AI in the very near future. AI is the number one topic our clients are asking us about. Businesses are learning more about AI and we’re helping to determine how they can best use AI in their specific business. Assessing the impact and value helps organizations understand business and user implications and best use cases for them. For those organizations we have worked with to implement AI, we are seeing positive responses from the users and the organization as a whole.” So, while AI is currently a hot topic, it’s expected to continue to become an integral part of business operations.

    Mastering Copilot eBookMastering Copilot eBook

    “Dynamics CE is no longer just emailing a customer and getting the quote. It’s providing us with intelligence around the customers. It’s giving us AI, analytics, and predictive information about your customers and it helps you get more efficient with your sales, servicing, and more.” Jackie Simens, CE Consulting Manager

    5. Realistic and Transparent Licensing Fees

    Ever shop for a new car? You see an affordable base price and think, “Yes – I can do this.” But then you work your way through all the options (can they really still charge for power windows?) and the price jumps by fifty percent. And did you notice that they always put that one feature you really need in the next tier package?

    Some CRM vendors play this same game, advertising a low price, but the low-cost option doesn’t include any advanced features. In order to get the robust functionality, you need, you need to pay for a more expensive plan. And to get the necessary reporting and data analysis tools, you’ll have to spring for the highest tier option. We’re also hearing from customers switching from other leading CRM applications to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE that the vendor bumps up the licensing fees significantly after a year or two of use. In contrast, Microsoft is transparent about fees and functionality for CE. So, you’ll know up front what you’ll pay and what you’ll get.

    6. When it’s gotta work — an SLA guarantee

    Downtime is costly, and CRM downtime can be especially expensive in that it stands in the way of the exceptional service you wish to provide your clients. Microsoft’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) guarantees a 99.9% uptime rate for Azure where Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE is hosted.

    Go ahead and ask the competitors about their uptime guarantees — many (including the big ones) don’t offer one.

    Columbia had a mission to unify global operations under a single platform but faced many challenges using previous systems. Nikki Hagen, a Business Analyst for CRM and ERP at Columbia, recounts the evolution of their systems: “We started with a homegrown CRM solution, then transitioned through Salesforce and SugarCRM. While none posed significant issues, our aim was to consolidate our technology stack with a full suite of Microsoft solutions, covering both Business Central and Customer Engagement (CE).”

    Richard Armstrong, Project Manager at Columbia, elaborates on the decision to switch: “Although SugarCRM was serviceable, our vision extended to deploying CRM solutions across our international subsidiaries. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE stood out as a more robust and stable solution on a global scale, which aligned perfectly with our strategic goals.”

    Learn more about Columbia’s implementation that helped them modernize and revolutionize their business processes.

    7. Reporting Capabilities

    When we ask our customers what functions they use most — in any type of software — reports and queries are always on the list. In fact, one could make the argument that the main reason we use software is so we can report on the data it collects. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE takes this reality to heart and delivers robust reporting capabilities unequaled among its competitors.

    Field Service Role Based GuideField Service Role Based Guide

    In addition to the dozens of available standard reports and the infinite number of customized reports you can build, Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE leverages Power BI to take CRM reporting to a whole new level. Gartner and Forrester both recognized Power BI as a leader in the Business Intelligence space, and for good reason. Coupling Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE with Power BI creates the ultimate power couple. Watch out Salesforce!

    8. Partnership Speeds ROI

    Some companies decide to implement a CRM application on their own. We know because we’ve re-implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE for many of them. Just because is cloud-based and intuitive to use does not mean that you won’t benefit from a professional implementation.

    The good news is, there is an enormous, global Microsoft partner network. Wherever you are, whatever industry you’re in, and whatever size your organization is now, and however you expect to grow, there’s a Microsoft partner ready to provide the personalized support, services, and strategic guidance that will speed your CRM return on investment.

    Final Thoughts

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE has a definitive edge over competing CRM applications. If you’re looking to invest in a CRM solution for the long-term, one that’s built on world-class, industry-leading technology and delivers the integration capabilities, robust feature set, fair pricing, and analytics that drive efficiency and performance, look no further than CE. As a Microsoft partner, Velosio works with companies across industries, helping them implement customer experience solutions that differentiate your organization, create value and add to the bottom line. You don’t have to do this alone. Contact us to learn more about Dynamics 365 for your CRM solution.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    #1 What is the Difference Between Dynamics 365 Sales and CE?

    Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) is a customer relationship management software that has modules for the following products: Sales, Customer Insights, Customer Service, Project Operations, and Field Service.

    Dynamics 365 Sales is one of the modules within Dynamics Customer Engagement (CE) centered around Sales. It includes tools for lead management, collaboration, forecasting, opportunity management, and more.

    #2 Are Dynamics CRM and CE the same?

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM is no longer a product but was previously Microsoft’s customer relationship management solution. Dynamics 365 CE is the new version of Dynamics CRM.

    #3 What is Microsoft CE in Dynamics 365?

    Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) is an easy-to-use cloud-based customer relationship management platform that will elevate the customer experience at each step of the customer journey. It provides seamless experiences, allows you to make informed decisions, close deals faster, and simplify the journey.

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