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Top CRM Cloud Solutions

The Top SaaS & Cloud Customer Relationship Management Software Solutions

Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is a cloud Customer Relationship Management software pioneer and advocate and is also now the largest CRM software company in terms of market share (although Oracle and SAP also assert this ranking and all are very close in CRM market share). While Salesforce in company size is not nearly as large as its direct software competitors—such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft—it has secured over two million global customers and for the most part continues to show higher growth than the market average.

Salesforce.com became a top crm cloud vendor using the software-as-a-service computing model. The company's flagship product is a cloud CRM system designed for businesses of all sizes and industries worldwide and focusing on the disruptive opportunities driven by cloud, social and mobile.

Salesforce.com is increasing focus on its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution called Force.com and managing an online ecosystem of somewhat loosely integrated third party products in an iTunes-like marketplace called AppExchange. Salesforce.com prices its CRM software solutions to businesses on a subscription basis, primarily through direct sales but also less frequently through a business partner channel. The software solution is not available for on-premise or private cloud use. While there are multiple editions to choose from, each with varying price points, Salesforce.com is known to be one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive, cloud CRM systems in the industry. There is also a well written Salesforce.com review at CRMsearch.

Microsoft CRM

Microsoft is in the number four CRM software market position—although is showing some of the highest growth in the Customer Relationship Management software industry so this ranking may change over the near term. As is often the history with Microsoft, it generally takes them a few versions to get a new product right, but once they get it to that point they have the proven experience is scaling growth like no other CRM software competitor.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is currently in the 7th version release. Microsoft CRM is somewhat unique in an increasingly competitive CRM software market in that it uses the same underlying code base for both on-premise, cloud/software-as-a-service (SaaS) and hybrid delivery. It also gives customers more choices in cloud delivery by enabling multiple public cloud providers for SaaS delivery. Customers have the option to subscribe to MS Dynamics CRM directly from Microsoft or may choose from a number of hosting providers and specialized Microsoft channel partners. This can give customers more flexibility to choose a data center based on proximity, redundancy, Service Level Agreement (SLA), cost or other factors.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM also allows cloud CRM customers and business partners to install sever-side code in the Microsoft cloud. This permits more extensibility for a number of business processes not supported by some competitors such as Salesforce.com or Oracle OnDemand. Microsoft's CRM software is designed to advance in parallel with Azure, its high profile and truly global public cloud platform. Additional unique Microsoft CRM product capabilities include the tightest integration with Outlook, Office & SharePoint; extremely configurable role-based workflow processes; real business intelligence (BI) and analytics; and a suite of strong technology tools for system integration and software customization.

Top 5 CRM Software

SugarCRM

SugarCRM doesn't match the large marketing budgets, global brand recognition or company size of the prior CRM software leaders, but nonetheless is the number five (or arguably number six, based on the particular measures) CRM market share leader and a very strong competitor in its target markets.

Sugar is a developer of open source CRM software, and while there are literally dozens of open source CRM software systems in the marketplace, SugarCRM stands alone and ahead of the pack primarily due to offering an extremely easy to use and flexible product that is functionally rich, delivered at a very low price point and supported by a stable company. SugarCRM is easily the most cost effective CRM software in the market.

Open Source CRM software like Sugar CRM is proliferating in large part because these applications provide customers with choices outside of the traditional proprietary or commercial CRM systems like Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce.com and SAP. For organizations seeking increased business software control to accommodate unique industry requirements, challenging business processes, complex feature sets or tight budgetary constraints, open source CRM software can provide both a appealing alternative and an entry point to an enterprise-wide open source software technology strategy.

Very low acquisition costs, limitless extensibility, flexible choice in software delivery methods such as cloud/SaaS or on-premise, freedom from software vendor lock-in and growing support from global ecosystems are driving increased attention, review and adoption of open source CRM systems.

Oracle RightNow CRM

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, RightNow Technologies was the orginal developer of cloud CRM and customer experience solutions. This CRM solutions mantra is to help other companies deliver great customer experiences, and lives by a compelling vision to 'rid the world of bad experiences one consumer interaction at a time, 8 million times a day.' In 2012, RightNow Technologies was acquired by Oracle.

Despite being a strong CRM software competitor, RightNow's solution doesn't fit as squarely into the traditional CRM review format which generally examine sales, marketing and service functions. RightNow's flagship product is RightNow CX (Customer Experience), and consists of a product portfolio which includes Contact Center Experience, Web Experience, Social Experience and an underlying Cloud Platform.

Now under the Oracle banner, and as one of several Oracle CRM software products, RightNow is Oracle's go-to CRM solution for customers seeking CRM contact center, call center or customer experience solutions in the cloud. Over the next few years, RightNow will coalesce with Oracle Fusion—not with any type of new technology refresh within the core RightNow system but simply by integrating into the larger Oracle Fusion technology strategy.

Oracle OnDemand

When it comes to cloud CRM software, the industry has watched Oracle exhibit a near schizophrenic position regarding the validity and opportunity for software as a service Customer Relationship Management solutions in the business software market. Even after Oracle inherited the Siebel on Demand solution as part of the 2005 Siebel acquisition, the SaaS CRM product languished with no major releases for 18 months. However, despite some initial reservations, Oracle has made up lost time, acquired significant market share and advanced the Oracle CRM on Demand software to earn a top CRM leadership position in the cloud CRM marketplace.

Oracle CRM on Demand includes a full CRM software suite of sales, marketing and customer support. However, Oracle onDemand is finding unique differentiation with a number of industry-focused, vertical market CRM solutions as well as acting as a Tier 2 solution which integrates to Oracle's enterprise (and generally on-premise) CRM systems such as E-Business Suite and Oracle Siebel.

The vertical market CRM approach is far more significant that most competitor claims. Most cloud CRM systems use the same horizontal CRM software and customize a few fields or the services implementation delivery for their claimed vertical market editions support. Oracle's on-demand software has been more deeply tailored to accommodate vertical market feature sets and business requirements. For example, Oracle CRM for Life Sciences supports mass creation of planned sales calls, assessment types, book of business support for samples, and enhanced PDC assessments. Likewise, Oracle CRM for Insurance includes fundamental features such as policy origination support (with OPA integration), policy object enhancements (audit, custom object association, attachment and book support, dynamic layout support), books of financial plans, risk categories and premium calculations, claims adjudication and payment calculations, and self-service quoting for brokers and customers.

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