alternative CRM products 300x247 Expanding Your CRM Shortlist: Salesforce AlternativesSalesforce.com is the recognized 800-pound gorilla in cloud CRM software. However, while they may own “CRM” on the stock exchange, they do not own the market. Salesforce’s tool is fairly intuitive with deep Sales Force Automation (SFA) functionality. It should definitely make your shortlist, but what other companies should you be looking at? Below are five alternative cloud CRM systems that are worth adding to your shortlist of vendors.

1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM

With their latest release, Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft represents some stiff competition for Salesforce.com. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is built on the .NET platform, making it ideal for companies that already run a Microsoft-based office. The system has a familiar, Outlook-like user interface, and with Microsoft’s extensive network of ISV’s and resellers, buyers have access to customized and vertical industry solutions to suit their specific needs.

2. NetSuite OneWorld CRM

This legacy ERP player has developed a CRM system with the global organization in mind. With an unlimited number of users, modules, apps and storage, organizations can easily scale this system to meet their needs. NetSuite also now offers Social CRM capabilities through their partnership with Yammer. This development adds an internal collaboration to NetSuite’s existing offering.

3. Oracle CRM On Demand

Oracle entered the CRM arena with the purchase of Siebel’s CRM On Demand product and has since built out capabilities to create a strong cloud solution. Oracle offers vertical solutions specific to your organization and also has built-in integration with existing Oracle back-office products. Oracle recently acquired marketing automation company Market2Lead, adding that strength to its stack. While most CRM systems traditionally fall short in this area, Oracle has shown its intention to set the standard for its competitors.

4. Sage SalesLogix

SalesLogix is Sage’s premium CRM offering. Like many CRM’s, it was originally realeased as an SFA solution, but has been built out into a comprehensive CRM product with 6 million customers worldwide. SalesLogix has strong features in sales and customer service, but I really like their mobile capability. It can be accessed from any smart phone platform, and, best of all, it’s free. This is a great solution for companies with a remote salesforce that requires instant access to contacts, accounts, and opportunities while on the go.

5. Sugar CRM

For companies that require an extremely tailored solution, SugarCRM is worth looking into. As the most popular open source cloud CRM solution on the market, it offers a basic CRM platform that organizations can then build upon to create a highly customized solution for their business. SugarCRM also offers a unique and intuitive wizard for helping new users get familiar with the system. It functions much like a CRM “Clippy”, offering tips and instructions as new users navigate the system.

Written by guest author Lauren Carlson. For a more in-depth review of each of these systems, you can visit Software Advice’s blog on Salesforce alternatives.
Hottest IT Skills in 2013 – Cloud, Mobile and BI
In 2012, more than 1.7 million jobs in the field of cloud computing remained unoccupied, according to analysts firm IDC. READ MORE
How Cloud Computing Influences Digital Marketing
Cloud marketing has the ability to drastically change the ways in which they reach and engage their audience, particularly with regard to distributing and storing mission-critical data. READ MORE
Gartner: BYOD to Take Center Stage For Mobile App Use by 2017
More and more companies encourage their employees to work on their devices, thus reducing the cost of computer equipment, but also increase the cost to maintain licenses and safety. READ MORE
Maturity in the Cloud: Start Thinking Like a Grown-Up
Despite the inclination to wait until all of the cloud’s kinks have been worked out, holding off on cloud initiatives until the industry matures won’t guarantee success. READ MORE
PwC: Cloud, SaaS and Mobile Are Changing Software Industry
The software industry is undergoing major changes by trends such as cloud, SaaS, mobile technology and the “consumerization of IT”. READ MORE
10 Cloud Computing Game Changers
Here are the ten most influential cloud computing companies, and the reason why. READ MORE