If there's one thing that characterizes a recession when it comes to CRM or enterprise applications desirability, its the pricing. Pricing schemes are a big deal for potential customers. Especially in an economic downturn where:
- Keeping the customer matters and CRM seems to be the way to go when retention is the strategy
- Controlling cost is more important than ever before.
- Simplification of options, not complication is the goal when other things are on the minds of business - especially small business.
- Price is a huge differentiator for the vendors.
For example, almost two years ago, Microsoft announced that they were going to provide their software + services Dynamics CRM Pro Live version for $59.95/mo all inclusive - well under the $125.00 month that the equivalent salesforce offering was at the time. This created major buzz.
But that wasn't the end of Microsoft continuing to innovate on price. This morning they announced their Microsoft Dynamics Business Ready Flexible Pay Program, which allows customers to pay for Dynamics ERP or CRM over three years. They've also got another program they've just added that takes a page from the NetSuite book.
Starting in May, they are allowing a specific group of partners to provide a 50 percent license discount on MS Dynamics ERP and will also provide these customers with a rebate equal to 25 percent of the suggested retail price of the Microsoft Dynamics solution (up to a maximum of $25,000).
The catch? The same way that NetSuite created BusinessbyNetSuite in February to lure SAP customers to them with a highly competitive offering or the same with Sage customers with Sage Switch in March.
Microsoft is offering their rebate to help offset the costs of switching from Sage MAS 90 or MAS 200, or Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne customers who use Sage MAS 90 or MAS 200 or to JD Edwards (Oracle) EnterpriseOne customers. Only.
While I'm never a huge fan of trying to steal other company's customers, I certainly see the justification for Microsoft making the attempt as does NetSuite. The companies they are targeting have holes in their strategy or are deemed particularly vulnerable when it comes to pricing so, in vendor-logic, the only response you could have is, then, why not go after that base.