In our last blog, we spoke about the three different variants of Microsoft CRM Dynamics and how we considered the Partner Hosted (also known as a Partner Managed Service) to be in our opinion probably the best option for most Start ups and small businesses. Typically, this solution suits those organisations with from 5 (or less) users and up to say 30-50 users who may have limited IT internal resource and infrastructure and funds.
The rationale behind this blog is we are often asked to explain why we favour this service for many of our SME Clients. This is because we believe that the Partner Hosted option is great for business ‘Start Up’s or indeed for larger organisations looking for a full rollout or often to establish an initial Pilot or Trial as ‘proof of concept’ testing and to help to embed and measure how a CRM system improves sales and marketing teams processes, effectiveness and reporting.
Here, we have listed what we think are the key factors in using a Partner Hosted service for your MS CRM implementation:-
1. Pricing and Cash flow. No upfront investment is needed for either software licences or indeed in any new IT hardware. The MAS Partner Hosted service is a ‘pay as you go’ service with the flexibility to add or decrease your licences based on a known price per month per user. With only a monthly charge to be agreed, then cash flow is enhanced and no capital expenditure is required for example on new servers or licences.
2. Fast Start and Rapid Customisation. You can start with a 14 day trial which can be set up in a few hours and this enables you and your team to start using the system almost the same day you decide. You are then able to understand CRM and decide what enhancements or customisations you need after getting a feel for the system and feedback from your team. MAS can also provide our Fast Track customisation and training service as well.
3. IT investment is minimal with either Hosted or Online since there are no servers to upgrade, maintain and ensure that any extra software such as Microsoft SQL Server are not needed. Upgrades are included as part of your package and again with a Partner Managed Service solution, it is likely that upgrades will be applied quicker giving you maximum functionality as it is released.
4. Speed of Service. Our research shows that the MS CRM Online option typically has some additional latency as the Data Centre is not in the UK and the ‘page load’ times can sometimes be up to twice that of our Partner Hosted offering.
There are also four additional reasons which are worthwhile mentioning and these are outlined in the email request for full blog articleemail request for full blog article in pdf form.
Overall, in our opinion, the Partner Hosted service for MS Dynamics CRM 2011 offers great value for a fast and easily supported implementation, plus it helps to free up your own IT resource and reduces any possible capital expenditure. All this without any lengthy fixed contract, just a notice period of 60 days. This gives you the time to embrace and measure the effectiveness of using MS CRM within your business as well as the ability to train up key user champions, often one of the key factors in any successful CRM project.
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