Dynamics AX CRM and Dynamics CRM Differences and Similarities
Dynamics AX CRM
- User interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Dynamics CRM has taken lessons from consumer technologies to deliver a far more easy to use and intuitive application. Getting users, especially sales people, to really use CRM is often challenging, which makes a more rewarding user experience extremely valuable.
- Software delivery. Dynamics CRM offers choice in delivery (on-premise, online or partner hosted), and a native cloud solution with a multi-tenant database architecture, subscription pricing and impressive innovation cadence of quarterly releases.
- Outlook Integration. Dynamics CRM delivers a seamless integration with Outlook which simplifies life for users and permits offline utilization.
- Mobility. While AX CRM discontinued its mobile solution, Dynamics CRM doubled down by supporting ubiquitous devices (Windows, iPhone, Blackberry, Android) and native iOS support for the iPad.
- Automation. This CRM solution offers four workflow tools (real-time & background workflows, Dialogues, Actions and Business Process Flows) which facilitate significantly greater business process automation that is not similarly available in AX CRM.
- Information. Dynamics CRM dashboards, reports and exports (such as to PowerView) are far more flexible than with AX CRM.
- Extensibility. In terms of customization and extensibility, Dynamics CRM exceeds AX CRM in three key areas: i) presentation layer mods using the Business Rules tool (no technical programming required), ii) framework mods using the xRM constructs and iii) a plethora of third party integrated solutions that are available with Dynamics CRM, but not AX CRM.
- Price. Comparing AX CRM to Dynamics CRM pricing may or may not be a fair comparison based upon your licensing needs. While AX CRM user-based pricing is about 3 times more than Dynamics CRM pricing, it’s possible that front office users may be using other back-office features which then narrows this gap. My experience with global AX deployments has shown Dynamics CRM to deliver a much lower overall CRM price.
Microsoft CRM Comparison Summary
|On-Premise or Partner Hosted||Cloud, On-Premise or Partner Hosted|
UX / User Adoption:
|The UI resembles a desktop or fat client interface. Some simple configuration to the UI is possible, but overall the presentation layer is highly linear and rigid. The UI delivers an immediate message that this product is much more of a work horse than a show pony.||More of an Office-fluent or consumer web application UI. Also takes advantage of hover-over controls to dynamically display the process flow navigation control and other as-needed elements. Much more contextually aware which increases ease of use and delivers a more personalized and relevant experience.|
|Handles the basics of account and contact management, opportunity management and pipeline/forecast reporting. However, generally requires that these processes stay within the constructs of the application software. Areas of unique strength include tighter ERP integration (i.e. see inventory availability with inbound receipts and other sales orders for items), the product configurator and support for complex price lists. For example, from Quote or Order, you can do Price Simulation modeling to see how a particular discount will impact margins and contribution ratio.||Also handles all the SFA processes, but permits much more flexibility, such as more user-defined sales cycle management (custom stages with stage-gating, etc.), bespoke activity types with custom controls, Goal Management/Team Management (great for quota management), workflow tools for notifications and process automation, collaboration tools (i.e. embedded enterprise network (aka internal private network) via the Yammer integration) and much more flexible and visual reporting. Also, offline operation and mobile CRM are strong advantages for traveling sales pros.|
|Supports basic marketing software feature sets such as campaign profiles, target lists, simple (single) distributions and elementary reporting.||Takes marketing a step further with improved campaign templates, segmentation, lead assignment with workflow, de-dupe process, conversion and response tracking and richer lead management and ROI/ROMI reporting. Integration to MarketingPilot also delivers advanced Marketing Resource Management (MRM) capabilities.|
|More oriented to service management. Offers tighter integration with inventory items for service requests and better accommodates field service, technician dispatch, service agreements with customer contracts, time capture and invoice generation.||More oriented to help desks, call centers and contact centers needing flexible customer service with case or incident management, escalations, queue management, knowledge-base, business rules and more comprehensive reporting.|
|No (discontinued)||Yes, ubiquitous device support|
|No||Yes, iPad, Android and Surface|
|Integration is achieved with a plug-in. It’s a batch integration that syncs Contacts, Tasks and Appointments, but not email (only one-way integration, from AX to Outlook).||Native and real-time integration with full email sync. Users can access full CRM from Outlook. Also supports features such as automated email to lead, opportunity or case conversions.|
|Some features supported||All features supported|
Social Media Integration:
|No||Yes, but limited to internal social network (via Yammer integration)|
|Basic dashboards and reports. No frills reporting for sure.||Flexible dashboards, more extensive reporting and business intelligence (BI) via PowerView.|
|Dashboards, Reports, Role Centers, Document Management||Document Management|
Other MS Integration:
|Bing Maps||Yammer, Bing Maps, Lync, Skype|
|Fat client or SharePoint||Browser or Outlook|
|Largely customization||Both configuration and customization, especially flexible with xRM framework|
|IDE called MorphX, which itself uses a code editor called X++. Mods are typically done in X++, but some work can be done in .Net.||.Net|
|Not really||Dynamics Marketplace offers many pre-integrated solutions for quick expandability|