What New Customers Want to Know About Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Ryan Plourde
| 2/25/2016
If you are considering the purchase of a CRM package and are looking for a new CRM partner, there are a number of questions that you may have regarding the software and its installation. Let me answer some of the most frequently asked questions:

What are the operating requirements of Microsoft Dynamics® CRM?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM currently runs on Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server. You have the choice to employ the application either on-premise or “in the cloud” – meaning that your solution will be hosted either by Microsoft or by a Microsoft Partner.  With on-premise deployment, you own the software and you are responsible for maintenance, upgrades, storage etc. If your Dynamics CRM is hosted in the cloud, the software is maintained off-site and your host takes care of upgrades, storage, security and tech support.

Which is a better, hosted or on-premise?

Each deployment method has its advantages. Which one you choose will depend very much on the specific needs and circumstances of your organization.  As far as cost considerations, on-premise will cost less over time, but the initial investment is more and requires that you have the IT infrastructure to support its ongoing maintenance. Having your solution hosted will require a lower initial investment as well as big savings in IT infrastructure, automatic updates and security, but because it is paid by ongoing subscription costs, it may be more costly in the long run. Check out  CRM deployment options offered by Crowe.

What kind of support can I expect from Microsoft and from my partner?

The purchased Software Assurance entitles you to a variety of support options. There are online tutorials, 24-hour web based support from Microsoft and phone support from Microsoft’s Technical Support team We encourage you to make use of the extensive Microsoft partner and user community. There is rarely a question that comes up that other users haven’t discussed and found a solution for. There are free newsgroups and free blogs designed to help you get the most out of your Dynamics CRM application.   For Crowe customers, support is one of the reasons we have been so successful with Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployments. We know the software inside and out and pride ourselves on being always up to date on breaking developments and customer-centric in our approach.

What are the expenses involved in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation?

Again, that depends very much on the specific needs of your business. It is easy enough to calculate the cost of software licenses, training and installation, but on top of that, there are variables depending on how the system is configured to best meet your unique business processes. We will evaluate and collaborate with you and provide you with a fixed-bid proposal up front. Most of your projects, including discovery and final training, take between 40 – 150 hours. We make sure you know before we start and throughout the project, just what to expect.

What timeframe can I expect for the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Again, that depends on your business needs, but we will help you define your requirements first, and then we will provide the actual timeline and cost for the overall project implementation. If the requirements are limited in scope, including minor data migration requirements, we could have you up and running in a couple of days.

What about customization?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes to you with rich ‘out of the box’ customization capabilities that allow for drag and drop form configurations, point and click field definitions, powerful workflow automation and flexible role-based security. At Crowe, we prefer to empower our customers through proper training and guidance to become self-sufficient and take ownership of their solution.

If we choose to do our own customizations, will Crowe help with any complex requirements?

We liken Microsoft Dynamics CRM to a big ball of clay. We work with it day in and day out. The application platform Microsoft Dynamics CRM is built upon provides developers with the basic services required to mold the solution in many different ways. We build and automate 3rd party system integrations, develop outside business applications integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, design rich web portals and create custom dashboard solutions. Our value is truly apparent when customers find themselves outside of their comfort zone for doing configurations.