CRM Showdown

CRM platforms are notoriously difficult to compare. Each has the core marketing, sales and service functionality but there are many other differences to consider. These include delivery method (cloud or on-premise), ease of customisation and configuration, reporting and analytics capability, integration methods, mobility solutions, social CRM capabilities including collaboration and social media integration (a current hot topic), pricing and enterprise size suitability.

I came across this (part one / part two) entertaining two part comparison of the most popular CRM platforms: SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle CRM, CRM and SAP CRM. The comparison is styled on the characteristics of former WWF wrestlers. Here are some of the highlights.


“SugarCRM provides an open source platform that is available both in on-premise and cloud variations. Though Sugar places the most emphasis on their cloud based offerings, they offer on premise versions of their solution as well.

“From a pricing perspective, SugarCRM prices are on par with Microsoft Dynamics and less expensive than Salesforce for similar functionality.  SugarCRM’s ‘Corporate’ package is priced at $540/user/year which equates to $45/user/month. I’ll also note that right now SugarCRM is aggressively targeting customers by guaranteeing a 50% cost savings for switching to Sugar.

Microsoft Dynamics

“Microsoft Dynamic’s is seamlessly integrated in one of the most widely adopted enterprise solutions in the globe, Microsoft Outlook.  This feature alone makes it a great fit for many small and midsized businesses that are already using Microsoft Exchange.  One of the primary complaints we often hear from sales and marketing executives about CRM is that it is more of a workforce management tool that adds to their workload rather than something to make their job easier.  Microsoft Dynamic’s addresses this concern by ensuring that sales and marketing executives who already use Outlook will be able to access the CRM system from within Outlook.

Oracle CRM

“Oracle provides a robust, highly customizable and scalable solution.  With their longstanding experience across multiple industry verticals, they have a set of industry specific configurations that leverage the best practices amongst many of the globe’s most successful companies.  Particularly for organizations that utilize Oracle ERP, an Oracle CRM solution makes for an easy integration.

Oracle’s offering is evolving and offers several choices which can be considered as different options. They are Oracle Siebel, Oracle CRM on Demand and Oracle Fusion CRM. Oracle also offers on-premise and private, hybrid or public cloud options for most of their different options. CRM

“Salesforce only offers a cloud based offering.  This makes it less customizable than some of the on-premise offerings and also could raise data security concerns depending upon a particular company’s industry.  As organizations become more and more savvy, I think the data security concerns should fade away, but realistically, they are not gone yet.

Salesforce is also a leader in social enterprise and mobility solutions in that it has a great offering in both these areas


“If SAP has one weakness it could be its slow response to changing technology and consumer demands.  This is most evident in SAP’s initial response to the cloud.  While SAP now offers both on-premise and cloud based solutions, SAP’s dominance in the enterprise space, initially translated to a somewhat slow transition to the cloud.

When deciding on a CRM platform it’s important to consider your specific needs and match them with the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different offerings. For instance if you’re avoiding capex and don’t have in-house resources then consider a cloud offering. If you have specific industry vertical needs and have a large user base then first consider Oracle or other large enterprise players.

Originally published:  Published on: 1 Jun 2012 @ 06:57