CRM Q&A with Microsoft’s Mike Ehrenberg

By Jelani Harper
Updated: March 21, 2011

Recently, Microsoft Technical Fellow Mike Ehrenberg, who heads the long term goals of Microsoft Dynamics Group, had a candid discussion about his company’s history with Customer Resource Management, its future and options for products, and the bevy of competitor’s which drive his company.

According to Ehrenberg, the versatility of Microsoft Dynamics Group has never been greater, as its recent release of CRM 2011 confirms. For the first time in the company’s history it shipped its product's online version before that of the on-premise variety, which indicates how far the company’s CRM has come since it was initially created as an on-premise product.

“We have parity between everything we can do in the cloud and on-premise, including the full aspects of customization,” Ehrenberg said. “But we’re maintaining the on-premise product and syncing innovation in the online environment into the on-premise one. Choice is something no one else has. We have the same experience whether its on-premise or in the cloud or hosted by a partner.”

Ehrenberg disclosed that the most important area for customer satisfaction with CRM across the market is time to value. In addition to Microsoft’s up-to-the-minute provisioning, the company’s focus on hybridizing the various forms of CRM should only aid in customer experience of this product.

“We see a lot of places where people have deployed CRM on-premise, and we’ve now opened up a lot of capabilities for them to customize and extend out of the Azure cloud,” Ehrenberg said. “You can develop a large custom application on Azure. We think the hybrid capability and the ability to have Azure with its elasticity, is a tremendous advantage in these things.”

By continuing to develop the company’s potential for hybridizing its service, Ehrenberg hopes to close the gap between Microsoft and Salesforce, whose CEO is Marc Benioff.

“Microsoft is always good at competing when there’s a named competitor,” Ehrenberg said. “We think a lot about SAP and Oracle in that space as well, but they’ve both come out with Cloud-based CRM recently. They’re not in the forefront. We think we’re the competitor that Benioff thinks about most often.”
 

Featured Research
  • Your Guide to Social Customer Service

    Did you know that 67% of online consumers have used social media for customer service purposes?Unfortunately, many businesses ignore social mentions because they don’t know how to handle them appropriately. This is a problem because managing and responding to these mentions can make or break your brand. more

  • A Guide to Selecting a Customer Portal for your CRM

    This whitepaper provides a guideline for selecting the right customer portal solution for your CRM by following a three-stage process. By comparing in-house and third party SaaS products, we examine present business and technical portal requirements, which are then mapped against the upfront and hidden costs for development and future scalability needs. more

  • Top Intelligent Tools That Every Sales Rep Should Have in 2017

    Explore how Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes it possible for salespeople to leverage the structured data in their day-to-day activities and enhance the communication with customers and prospects. more

  • The Social Intranet: A guide to getting better business results

    This whitepaper describes why the shift from a traditional to a social intranet is imperative to staying competitive, and analyzes the costs and benefits associated with implementing one. You will also find useful KPIs to measure performance and further leverage your intranet's success, raising employee engagement and boosting your competitive advantage. more

  • The New 2016 SMB CRM Comparison Guide

    Selecting a CRM system is not easy. That's why our CRM expert has compiled this new SMB CRM comparison guide to provide you with the information you need on the top 40 CRM software solutions available on the market. more

Related Articles