Blog

What Salesforce and Google acquisitions tell us about data trends – and why this matters

Technology acquisitions, never rare occurrences, still attract a great deal of attention, speculation and column inches. Maybe this is driven by the huge sums of money involved or the sometimes unclear motives behind them, but more often than not it is quite simply because we are trying to understand exactly what products or solutions the acquired company is going to develop.

E.ON Drive charges up electrifying customer service with Salesforce

While primarily recognised as an energy utility, E.ON has its sights set on diversification, including into the emerging market for Electronic Vehicles (EV) via its E.ON Drive initiative.

It’s a bold ambition to build one of the largest EV charging networks across Europe, with the goal of having over 180 Ultra Fast chargers that can charge a 400 km range car in around 20-30 minutes in place by 2020.

MS Dynamics vs. Salesforce.com

sfdc vs 365

Solomon Consulting Group has completed the following comparison of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

The information provided here is intended to help business make informed decisions with regard to the direction they take within the CRM space.

Our approach here is to provide as much information as possible and to keep this analysis a statement of facts.

Our analysis focuses on out of the box core functionality and features within both applications. We have limited the number of references to third party products to avoid confusing that will read this analysis.

With continuous improvement to each product, there will be certain feature/functionality information that will eventually be out of date. Pricing plans, as an example, are in an ongoing state of change.

Company Background

Salesforce.com

  • Salesforce was founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, who was a former executive with Oracle Corporation.
  • Salesforce went public June 2004.
  • com was one of the early pioneers in developing the software as a service space (SaaS) which is now commonly referred to as cloud computing.
  • The company has stated that it has over 150,000 CRM customers.
  • Salesforce is traded on the NYSE under the symbol CRM.

Microsoft Corporation

  • Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
  • Microsoft is known for its Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of software products.
  • Microsoft SQL Server is used as the database back end for Microsoft Dynamics 365.
  • Microsoft has also developed consumer hardware products such as the Zune and Xbox.
  • Microsoft has expanded to the Web with products such as the Bing Search Engine.
  • In 2012, Microsoft acquired Yammer, the developer of a popular enterprise collaboration application of the same name.
  • In 2016, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn.
  • In June of 2018, Microsoft announced the acquisition of GitHub.
  • Microsoft Corporation is traded on NASDAQ under the symbol MSFT.

Product Overview

Salesforce

  • Salesforce only offers its product as a hosted, subscription model. It does not offer an on-premises version.
  • Salesforce is available on a shared instance (multi-tenant) platform. There are no options for a dedicated instance or a dedicated server.
  • com has achieved high scalability and for a variety of reasons has split its offering into multiple instances.
  • com has acquired a number of other technology companies in the CRM and social media space
    • Jigsaw
    • Radian6
    • Buddy Media
    • Assistly
    • Heroku
    • ExactTarget
    • SteelBrick
    • DemandWare
    • Mulesoft
    • Tableau
  • Internally, Salesforce developed a collaboration product called Chatter.
  • Chatter is available within every Salesforce edition at no extra charge.

New Releases

  • Salesforce has three major new releases each year.
  • Customers do not have to pay extra for new releases.
  • Salesforce provides detailed release notes in advance of each new release.

Editions and Pricing

  • Salesforceʼs Sales Cloud is available in four different editions. The Lightning editions are the same underlying product, with specific features and functionality either switched on or off, depending on the edition.
  • The minimum contract term is 12 months.
  • A longer term commitment, such as 24 or 36 months, can result in lower pricing.
  • Salesforce.org provides free and/or deeply discounted licenses to certain categories of organizations such as 501(c)(3) corporations and B corporations.
Salesforce.com Essentials Professional Enterprise Unlimited
General pricing $25/month/user $75/month/user $150/month/user $300/month/user

Data Storage

  • All editions of Salesforce have a minimum of 1GB of data storage or 20MB times the number of users, whichever is higher.
  • Lower editions of Salesforce have 10GB of document storage or 612MB times the number of users, whichever is higher.
  • Enterprise Edition and higher have the 10GB base or 2GB times the number of users.
  • Each record in most Salesforce objects uses 2 KB of storage.
  • Additional data storage can be purchased in 50 MB or 500 MB increments.
  • Additional file storage can be purchased in 10GB increments.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

  • Microsoft has two main versions of its product, Microsoft Dynamics CRM (available via on-premises or private cloud) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 (available via cloud). (NOTE: MS Dynamics 365 is the focus of this analysis)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 is multi-tenant at the application level, but single tenant on the database level (each account has its own SQL Server database).

New Releases

  • Microsoft has two releases annually with service updates as required.
  • Microsoft has a Whatʼs New page with a link to a downloadable release notes PDF.
  • Customers do not have to pay extra for new releases.

 Editions and Pricing

  • Dynamics 365 for Sales pricing is as follows:
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan Unified Operations Plan Dynamics 365 Plan
General Pricing $115/month/user $190/month/user $210/month/user

Data Centers

Salesforce

  • Salesforceʼs service is collocated in multiple, top-tier global data centers.
  • Salesforce publishes its data center security information on its trust.salesforce.com site.
  • Salesforce does not own the data centers in which its customers are hosted. According to Salesforce, “Weʼll continue to work with a variety of infrastructure technology vendors and partners across its own data centers, as well as new public cloud-based data centers, in order to deliver the best service possible to customers.”
  • com does not have a publicly accessible Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Microsoft Dynamics 365

  • Microsoft has a Trust Center site for Dynamics 365 and other product lines.
  • The site provides information on security, privacy, compliance, transparency, and data center geographic regions.
  • Microsoft has its own data centers.

Mobile CRM

Salesforce

  • Salesforce mobile device platform is called “The Salesforce Mobile App.”
  • Salesforce publishes an app for iOS and one for Android.
  • Salesforce apps can be built and customized and then deployed to mobile devices using the Salesforce Mobile Platform.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

  • Microsoft offers both iOS and Android apps.
  • The mobile app can be configured to display specific forms, fields and entities, including custom entities.

3rd Party Application Ecosystem

In many cases business requirements will drive the need for functionality that is only offered by third party applications. Salesforce and Microsoft allow for running third party applications natively within their platforms.

Salesforce

  • Salesforce manages its own 3rd party application site called AppExchange.
  • The AppExchange also has applications from its internal organization called Salesforce Labs.
  • All applications must be certified and must pass a security check.
  • Some are free and some are paid.
  • Not all applications are compatible with all editions of Salesforce. For example, many apps require Lightning Professional or higher.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

  • Microsoftʼs version of AppExchange is called AppSource.
  • AppSource covers different Microsoft product lines including Dynamics 365, Power BI, Office 365 and Azure.
  • Microsoft also has an internal app development team similar to Salesforce Labs.

Sales & Delivery Channels

The way each product is sold by Salesforce and Microsoft will factor into the evaluation and buying process.

Salesforce

  • Salesforce is sold directly to customers via a team of account executives and people in specific sales roles.
  • Account Executives normally team up with a Salesforce partner when implementation services are requested by a prospect.
  • Salesforce partners do not receive commission on license sales, even for deals they source.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

  • Depending on the company size, a customer will either be directed to an inside salesperson or a dedicated new customer resource as the first point of contact.
  • The salesperson gets a partner involved on deals that represent over a minimum annual subscription revenue.
  • A Microsoft partner that is brought into a deal by an inside salesperson or who initiates the deal will typically receive commission on the sale.
  • Microsoft offers one level of commission for the first year of subscription revenue and a lesser commission for subsequent yearsʼ of subscription revenue.
  • Major account deals are handled by a Microsoft salesperson.

Implementation Partner Selection

Selecting the right partner is as important as selecting the right vendor. CRM implementation partners often specialize in specific industries.

Examples of industries include: Education, healthcare, life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, high tech, and non-profit.

It is important to find the right partner in terms of skills, responsiveness, geography and approach. It is ultimately the partner chosen that will enable your organization to reach its CRM aspirations.

NOTE: Solomon Consulting Group has certified developers and administrators in both Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365 and have deep credentials in education.

Login and Password Security

IT executives are concerned with data breaches especially in the realm of cloud computing. It is important to understand each technology vendors’ security models and options. The following is a high level overview of Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365.

Salesforce

  • Salesforce defaults to two factor authentication for all users.
  • Two factor authentication can be overridden by setting up Trusted IP Ranges by the system administrator.
  • In the editions Enterprise and higher, specific IP ranges can be restricted from login access as defined within the user Profile.
  • Salesforce offers a mobile app called Salesforce Authenticator which is available on iOS and Android. This app provides greater security than email or SMS based two factor authentication.
  • Salesforce allows for setting password policies, including password expiration duration, how many old passwords are remembered, minimum password length, and password complexity.
  • Salesforce supports authentication via identity providers like Active Directory with the implementation of single sign-on.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 users login using their Microsoft Office 365 credentials.
  • An administrator can set up authentication for users in the Office 365 administration area.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be synched with Active Directory.
  • A subscription to Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium, access to MS Dynamics 365 can be set to users with trusted IP addresses.

 

More insights to come on the comparison between these two players in the CRM space.

Workato Recognizes A New Generation Of Enterprise Automation Innovators

Workato, the leading intelligent integration and automation platform, announced today the winners of its first annual customer awards program. These awards honor teams that are transforming their organizations with Workato and showcasing the vast potential of enterprise automation. Winners include: Broadcom, Coupa, Enbridge, Intuit, Nutanix, Rapid 7, Slack, the top logistics company, and Zillow.

From One Marketer To Another: 4 Tips for Getting Started with Data Activation

All marketers know that 1 to 1 personalization, today’s holy grail of marketing, starts with data. But actually achieving personalization is another story. It’s common to start out thinking something like, let’s track everything and figure out how to use it later, but that approach rarely works. It’s messy, disorganized, and if you aren’t sure what you’re looking to track or don’t have a mapped plan for how you’re going to use the data you collect, you’ll end up creating piecemeal experiences. And no customer wants that. There’s way too much data in the world for humans to scale it, and the reality is we’re never going to catch up without help. Top that off with the fact that what customers say they want and what they really want are different things, and utilizing data to its full potential – what we call data activation – becomes essential.

MuleSoft Recognizes Leading Partners for Accelerating Digital Transformation at MuleSoft CONNECT 2019

Thriving ecosystem of partners enable customers to create application networks and deliver business outcomes

SAN FRANCISCO – MuleSoft CONNECT 2019 – June 25, 2019 – MuleSoft, provider of the leading platform for building application networks, today announced the winners of the MuleSoft Partner Awards. The annual awards recognize top partners for delivering business outcomes to customers at scale. The winners were announced at MuleSoft CONNECT San Francisco, one of six global conferences for digital business where CIOs, IT leaders and developers come together to realize the opportunity for application networks to drive digital transformation within their organizations.

How Will Salesforce.com’s Gross Profits Be Impacted Due to Tableau Acquisition?

On June 10, 2019, Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) entered into a definitive agreement with Tableau to acquire the company in an all stock transaction representing an enterprise value of $15.7 billion (net of cash). This converts to approximately $170 worth of Salesforce.com’s shares for each share of Tableau.

Salesforce.org Invests $1 Million in the Future of Chicago

Over the last year, Salesforce has greatly expanded our presence in Chicago – from our investment in Chicago Public Schools, to our newly announced Salesforce Tower, and a commitment to add 1,000 new jobs over the next five years.

We are so excited to share that we’re doubling down on our commitment and investing an additional $1 million in education and workforce development to further our Future Ready programs, with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and i.c.stars.