We’ll pay you to ditch Salesforce.com, says Microsoft

Microsoft has offered companies that use either on-demand CRM tool Salesforce.com or one of Oracle’s CRM products a $200 rebate per license for switching to its rival Dynamics CRM Live service.

The software giant says that despite “the great cost savings” Dynamics CRM provides, “it’s not always easy to switch from one CRM system to another. That’s why Microsoft is offering qualified organisations $200 per seat that they license.”

The offer reveals the importance that Microsoft places on the hosted CRM market. But it also seems to be an acknowledgment that Salesforce.com (launched in 2000) and Oracle’s CRM On Demand (launched in 2006) have stolen a march on its Dynamics CRM Live product, which was launched in 2008.

“Microsoft believe they are going to see a big move to CRM [this year],” Julian Tomison, applications director for Avanade, a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture that offers hosted Dynamics applications, told Information Age in March 2010. That means the company is trying aggressively pursuing Salesforce.com’s business, he said. “Basically they like anything that competes with Salesforce.com.”

Salesforce.com’s chief marketing officer Kendall Collins told Reuters that the offer “marks a new decade of desperation from Microsoft”.

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched a patent infringement suit against Salesforce.com. It said the software-as-a-service company had infringed upon nine of its patents. The companies settled the dispute in August 2010, although the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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