Microsoft seeks to lure Salesforce users with new promotion

On the opening day of Salesforce.com's Dreamforce user conference, Microsoft is going on the offensive by launching a new promotion aimed at getting users to switch to its Dynamics CRM Online offering.

On the opening day of Salesforce.com's Dreamforce user conference, Microsoft is going on the offensive by launching a new promotion aimed at getting users to switch to its Dynamics CRM Online offering.

Microsoft is publishing an open letter targeted at Salesforce customers detailing the new "Cloud CRM for Less" offer. The deal, which runs from December 6 through June 30, 2011, calls for Microsoft to supply companies who switch to Microsoft's CRM Online a rebate of $200 per user.

"This rebate can be applied for services to help you switch – such as migrating your data or customizing the solution for your unique busines needs," according to the terms and conditions. Switcher case studies and CRM Online demos are available on Microsoft's DontGetForced.com/CRM8 site.

Microsoft's CRM Online 2011 product is looking like a January 2011 deliverable. The on-premises software complement is due to launch in Q1 2011, shortly after the online version goes live.

Via today's promotion, Microsoft is focusing its messaging around cost.

"At Microsoft, we do not believe you should be forced to pay a premium to achieve business success," said Michael Park, Corporate Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Operations for Microsoft Business Solutions, via the Microsoft open letter.

Microsoft is playing up the fact Salesforce.com's Enterprise Edition product is two to three times more expensive than the comparable Dynamics CRM Online offering. The list price of Salesforce's Enterprise Edition is $125 per user per month.

Microsoft officials said this fall that the company will be offering its CRM Online 2011 service for a promotional introductory price of $34 per user per month (for the first year the product is available).

The Softies also are highlighting Microsoft's "financially backed 99.9 percent uptime commitment for every Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customer"; its CRM analytics tools; and is integration with Outlook and Office as competitive selling points.