Don't let price distract from improvements in Dynamics CRM Online Fall '13, analysts say

When it comes to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online's Fall '13 update, the old adage, "you get what you pay for," seems to be an accurate assessment.

Analysts and partners agree that the Microsoft's new CRM Online release offers more functionality for the price than the CRM solutions of other vendors including its closest competitor, Salesforce.com.

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.

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Mix 'n' match

Paul Greenberg's comments show that he's not entirely in possession of all the facts:

1. Microsoft started communicating the price increases during the summer. I've been talking to my customers about it them for several months. (Granted, customers in the beta program have known for longer).
2. For current customers, the price increases don't take effect until their next subscription renewal. Customers had the option of locking in their current prices on a multi-year contract.
3. CRM Online customers can mix 'n' match Pro, Essential and Basic licenses at $65, $30 and $15 depending on the features each user needs access to. So you could reduce subscription costs for some of your users, which might reduce the total subscription cost. Neither Salesforce.com nor Oracle offers this.

Neil Benson, CRM Architect at Slalom Consulting

The total cost of ownership has been raised.

People keep forgetting that if you want the "Pro" version for CRM online (which almost all organisations will need), then you are required to purchase a minimum of 5 subscriptions. So the cost isn't $65, per subscription licence to start, and it isn't an attractive offer for small organisations - the total cost of ownership annually is therefore $3900. That consists of 5 license whether a small company or startup needs 5 or not.

There's some discussion on the Dynamics forum that for individual developers that just wants a single account (partner or not), they have to fork out $325 every month. Again, not so attractive for a starting developer.