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Upside-Down Positioning: Just Who Should Be Using CRM Online and Hosted Solutions?

by Sandor Schellenberg
Owner and Founder, friendlyITsolutions, Irelate Netherlands

It's been several years since I attended a Microsoft seminar where I first heard about hosted solutions, and a prediction that this would be a hot technology subject in coming years.

Now that the prediction seems to have come true via the formal launch of Dynamics CRM Online and the emergence of SaaS (Software as a Service), together with the latest release of CRM 4.0, users now have choices if they want to start with or migrate to Dynamics CRM.

They have CRM Online; hosted CRM; and CRM on premises. What should users choose?

CRM Live was originally positioned as a good starting point for many users, which could be upgraded to hosted or, eventually, an on-premises solution. Now that CRM Live has been renamed CRM Online and is ready for general rollout, many large companies appear ready to move to the "online" solution.

The hosted solution is for me a bit questionable at large companies or multinationals, since they have an existing infrastructure, which is often maintained and hosted by some system integrator or software house. Companies offering hosted solutions invariably offer other options, like MS Exchange, MS Sharepoint and often accompanied by Office.

The on-premises solution is usually set up with one to three servers and running and maintained by an ICT department. In small businesses, this often runs on Windows Small Business Server.

So what is the best solution for which type of company? Much depends on the functional requirements for the CRM application, integration/migration requirements, and current infrastructure. Mostly, the functional requirements are solved with some customizations or, in some situations, via a CRM add-on of one of the common ventures like c360, CWR mobility or SalesCentric.

It all becomes more ...

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About Sandor Schellenberg

Sandor Schellenberg is the owner and founder of friendlyITsolutions, which mainly focuses on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and related software in the Microsoft stack. He is a Senior Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant/Solution Architect and is specialized in data migration & integration. In autumn 2009 his work was recognised and rewarded with a invitation to Scribe Software MVP Program. 

His roots in Microsoft-based Internet technologies go back more than twelve years, and since 2005 he has specialized in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Starting with his first guest post on the blog of Menno te Koppele, he decided to start his own blog, Friendly Microsoft CRM Monster, a blog with a wink. The blog is widely read in the Dynamics CRM community and focused mainly on Microsoft Dynamics CRM technical and integration/migration topics.