Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Online vs. On-Premise

January 5th, 2015 No comments

With cloud computing becoming more and more prevalent in not just the business world but in our daily lives as well, it is no wonder that for many businesses Software as a Service (SaaS) has become an increasingly viable option when they are considering a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation.

Any business decision maker tasked with selecting a CRM system should understand the benefits and drawbacks of both Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premise deployment, and how each will affect the business.

Security

CRM was born out of the business necessity to gather, analyze, and utilize data in a meaningful way, so it is no surprise that one of the primary concerns any business would have about a CRM system is the security of that data.  As an internet facing system, Dynamics CRM Online is theoretically susceptible to security breaches, but unless an On-Premise deployment is entirely offline, with no internet facing features, it is no less susceptible to the same sort of theoretical breaches.  Furthermore, for most small to mid-size businesses, achieving Microsoft’s enterprise level security is a near impossibility.

For most, security should not be a major point against Dynamics CRM Online, with perhaps the exception of certain businesses which must keep their data in-house due to regulatory requirements.  It is also important to note that while downtimes outside of the business’s control can occur when using any SaaS system, Dynamics CRM’s Online comes with Microsoft’s money-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Price

The second, and sometimes most heavily weighted factor is price.  Dynamics CRM Online has a fixed amount per user, per month that the business pays for as long as it utilizes the software.  In contrast, the On-Premise deployment option has significant upfront costs associated with it with regards to infrastructure – such as the server it will run on, and various user licenses – but no monthly payment to Microsoft.  That is not to say that there are no ongoing costs to the On-Premise version, as the company still has the cost of maintenance, including IT personnel to manage it.  Generally speaking, however, an On-Premise deployment will generate lower monthly expenses than Dynamics CRM Online.

Implementations and Customizations

Beyond price and security, decision makers should look at the sort of implementations and customizations that their companies need. Dynamics CRM Online can scale infinitely at a set rate per user, and implementations can be completed more quickly since there is no need to set up infrastructure, such as a server, whereas the On-Premise deployment is gated by factors such as server capacity, which would eventually need to be upgraded before additional users are added.

However, in general, integrations with other software in an On-Premise deployment are easier to implement compared to Dynamics CRM Online, as code can be stored on the same server, which is not the case for Dynamics CRM Online.  This is not to say that integration with Dynamics CRM Online is impossible, just slightly more difficult to achieve.  More and more, however, Microsoft has been bridging this gap, and soon it will not be an issue at all.

What Works Best for Your Business

When it comes down to it, the decision of whether to choose the SaaS version or the On-Premise version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is based primarily on the resources available to a business. Small to midsize businesses would likely benefit more from the easy implementation and Microsoft’s enterprise level security offered by Dynamics CRM Online, which allows them to utilize the software while still focusing on their core competencies. Larger businesses with robust servers and sizeable in-house IT departments might benefit more from the ease of customization, lower monthly costs, and adherence to potential regulations offered by an On-Premise deployment.

For more information on which Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment option would work best for your business, please email us at CRM@ignify.com.

Michael Ual is a Microsoft Dynamics Sales Professional at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

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