Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce, and SAP Skirmish over Cloud-Based CRM Market

Earlier this month, Microsoft fired an opening salvo in the battle for yet another cloud-based battleground with the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, a program that competes directly with other cloud-based CRM solutions, including Oracle CRM on Demand,, and SAP CRM OnDemand.

The market for cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) services has largely been dominated by, Oracle, and SAP over the last few years. CRM services help companies acquire, manage, and communicate more effectively with clients and customers. has done remarkably well in this market, and will therefore be the company with the most to lose as the battle for the online CRM market heats up. Microsoft's offering undercuts its rivals on price. To add more fuel to the fire, Microsoft is also throwing in incentives aimed at Salesforce and Oracle customers that switch.

According to Microsoft, eligible customers can get a $200 per license discount for Dynamics CRM if they dump Oracle or for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Microsoft is also offering a price break to new customers who sign up before June 30, 2011; Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is normally $44 per user per month, but eligible customers who sign before the deadline will pay only $34 per user per month for the first year. By comparison, pricing for both SAP CRM OnDemand and Oracle CRM on Demand starts at $75 per user per month, while charges up to $125 per user.

Are you currently using any cloud-based CRM products? If so, will you consider switching to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, or will you opt for another vendor?

Follow Jeff James on Twitter at @jeffjames3

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