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Key advantages include:

  • Strong CRM software market leadership positioning. SFDC is a marketing powerhouse and the poster child for software as a service. The company invested $376 million in aggressive advertising, marketing, sales and media promotions in 2007.
  • Industry leading help and online training support.
  • A native thin-client solution designed for hosted, on-demand Internet delivery.
  • Simple user interface that is well received by users new to CRM or online systems.
  • Several industry specific or vertical market solutions – although somewhat light in terms of deep functional foot print.
  • The AppExchange provides a foundation for extending the solution with deeper functionality from specialist application providers.

Key disadvantages include:

  • Simple user interface that is often quickly outgrown by experienced users.
  • Lots of screen refreshes and scrolling up and down; the transition between multiple screens to process transactions can make for a laborious user interface.
  • Marketing management functionality is extremely limited. SFDC recommends using a partner application for this purpose. This involves additional costs and vendor management.
  • Customization toolkits can be cumbersome to use.
  • Limitation in presentation of data in dashboards that doesn’t reflect the application security for specific users without significant administration effort.
  • No Service Level Agreement provided in standard contract.
  • Data center reliability has been questioned and several prior interruptions in service have been recorded.

Other Comparable Vendors To Consider

As a provider of on-demand CRM software solutions faces an array of competitors in both on-premise and Software as a Service delivery models. Some of the primary competitors are presented below:

Aplicor (
Based in the United States with international offices in the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, Aplicor is a global software publisher of subscription-based and hosted CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Project Management and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) web-based software solutions for high growth, mid-market and enterprise organizations. The CRM application includes Sales Force Automation (SFA), Marketing Automation and Customer Support modules. The CRM application automates customer facing processes. Aplicor also offers as part of the CRM, a fully integrated project management module. The ERP application provides full back office accounting, distribution, job costing, fixed assets and multiple currency management. The combined CRM front office with ERP back office delivers a single, integrated, hosted business system which provides a holistic view of the customer relationship and consolidates front office and back office information for complete and real-time enterprise-wide visibility.

NetSuite (
Incorporated in September 1998 as accounting software company NetLedger and majority owned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, NetSuite Inc. is today a provider of an on-demand and fully integrated business application software suite that include accounting software, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and e-commerce storefront software for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). NetSuite’s enterprise-wide hosted ERP application stands in stark contrast to the many software as a service (SaaS) best of breed solutions which attempt to assemble mission critical business software systems from different providers whom leverage different technologies, different user interfaces, different hosting locations, different Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and different help desks or customer support offerings.

Sugar CRM (
SugarCRM is a provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software for companies of all sizes. The Sugar CRM solution offers all of the standard CRM modules, including Sales Force Automation (SFA), Marketing Automation and Customer Support. SugarCRM's open source architecture allows companies to more easily customize and integrate customer-facing business processes in order to build and maintain more profitable relationships. SugarCRM offers several deployment options, including on-demand, on-premise and appliance-based solutions to suit customers' security, integration and configuration needs.


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