Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the cloud

Business Contact Manager vs Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Business Contact Manager from Microsoft is a suitable alternative to CRM for very small businesses, but its limited feature set will encourage most businesses to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

What is Business Contact Manager?

Microsoft promotes Business Contact Manager (BCM) as an alternative to customer relationship management (CRM) for very small businesses. BCM is an add-on for Microsoft Office Outlook that replicates some of the features of CRM applications, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Many small business owners manage their customer relationships from within Outlook, and BCM provides a convenient way for those users to improve their efficiency in managing those relationships because it integrates with Outlook. BCM is ideal for a sole proprietor who needs to manage his or her contacts, activities (such as emails and phone calls), and leads. For those three tasks, it serves as an adequate CRM-light application.

BCM offers a fairly large number of features, especially considering that the application is free. In addition to contact, activity, and lead management, BCM allows you to export your data to Excel so that you can perform your own analysis. If you set up a Microsoft SQL Server Express server, you can even share data between multiple users. However, BCM is limited in terms of its automation, customization, reporting, marketing, and service functionality. BCM is also not as well suited for organizations that need multiple users. It also is not a good choice for traveling users who need to access business data remotely or on their smartphones.

Business Contact Manager and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Feature Comparison

Business Contact Manger (BCM) and CRM Feature Comparison

When Should You Upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

  1. You want to take advantage of marketing automation to help build your brand.
  2. You need case and service management to improve your customer service.
  3. You want to utilize automated workflows to improve your productivity.
  4. You want reporting functionality to gain insight into your business.
  5. You need to access your data from remote locations or while you are traveling.
  6. You need to limit access to important data based on security roles.
  7. You have more than one user.
  8. You need to customize the system to address the specific needs of your industry or business.

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