Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premise vs. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

In the last few years, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 have come along in leaps and bounds.  Choosing between CRM On-Premise and CRM Online is now harder than ever.  And to make the decision even harder, partner hosted CRM is now also a viable option.  Hosted CRM is can give you the same benefits as CRM On-Premise while being hosted in the cloud.  You can contact us for help finding a suitable partner for hosting CRM.

Whether it’s for a new CRM implementation or upgrading an existing deployment, there are questions which can be answered to help decide.  In the article, we take look at these questions and how they can affect your decision.

Is there a “one size” fits all?

The simple answer is no.  Every company is different and have their own needs.  Some companies have a sales team who are always on the road and need mobile access for all of their users.  Other companies may be based in a quiet village somewhere with limited internet access.

General questions

on-premise vs

Who will be accessing CRM?

It is key to understand who will be using CRM.  As alluded to already, users who are always on the road will need access to CRM where ever they and from any device.  This makes CRM Online the ideal choice.

CRM On-Premise is still a viable option if there are users who are out and about, however, additional applications and configurations will be needed.

Have many users based out of the offices?  We recommend: CRM Online

Do you have or plan to enrol in Office 365?

Office 365 is rapidly increasing in popularity.  Many companies are now making use of Office 365 due to its low cost and ease of set up.  This makes CRM Online the natural choice.  Office 365 and CRM Online inherently work with each to allow for greater integration and management.

Already have a subscription of Office 365?  We recommend: CRM Online

What is your preferred method of payment?

Every company has their preferred methods of payment.  CRM Online uses the subscription model.  Costs are based per user per month.  This can keep costs low but does mean you will always be paying out each month.

With CRM On-Premise, there is a one off cost for the server license and user CAL’s.  However, we recommend Software Assurance which has a yearly commitment.

Do you prefer a one-off payment or a yearly commitment?  We recommend: CRM On-Premise

Is the subscription model more suited for your business?  We recommend: CRM Online

Infrastructure Questions

Questions to ask about your infrastructure before you choose a CRM

Do you have any existing infrastructure?

Servers can be expensive to buy and install.  Plus there are software licenses to consider.  Without an infrastructure already in place, you could be looking at a huge amount of money before you even start with CRM.  However, if you already have everything you need in place, and therefore the setup cost will be low.  Microsoft partners, in particular, are entitled to a certain amount of licenses which will also keep the costs down.

Do you have an existing infrastructure which can be used?  We recommend: CRM On-Premise

Do you lack an internal network or have limited resources?  We recommend: CRM Online

How reliable is your internet connection?

CRM Online is a cloud-based application and relies on a stable internet connection.  A poor or limited internet connection will restrict the use of any cloud-based application and users will struggle to get the information they need.

The same goes for users trying to access your internal network.  If the majority of your users are based outside the office then they will struggle.

Do you have a poor internet connection or no internet at all?  We recommend: CRM On-Premise

What is your upgrade strategy for CRM?

Keeping up with the latest technology can be expensive.  There are servers, operating systems, applications etc. that all need to be upgraded.  You need resources to carry this out as well.  With CRM Online, Microsoft does this for you.  CRM Online always makes use of the latest technology, often before its publically available.

Cost isn’t the only consideration.  You must also think about how users will be affected e.g. downtime, training, application support.  CRM Online doesn’t take these into consideration, therefore, greater control may be needed.

Are you eager to be on the latest and greatest?  We recommend: CRM Online

Would an upgrade need to be carefully planned?  We recommend: CRM On-Premise

How important is Disaster Recovery and High Availability?

Enterprise level disaster recovery and high availability can be very costly and needs to be maintained continuously.  It can involve have servers sitting idle ready to take over if another fails.  It can involve having different physical locations, each location with its own infrastructure.  With CRM Online, this comes as standard at no extra cost.

Do you need enterprise-level disaster recovery and high availability?  We recommend: CRM Online

Customisation and Data Questions

Is customisation in your CRM roadmap?

Is your system customised or is customisations part of your CRM road map?

The possibilities of how CRM can be customised are endless.  CRM Online supports most customisations, however, the rules change with each new version.  This means a heavily customised system will need to be checked for compatibility every time a new version is released.

Is your system heavily customised with bespoke integrations?  We recommend: CRM On-Premise

Do you have sensitive data subject to local data ownership laws?

This is often overlooked by most but is critical for some.  Each country has its own laws around data ownership.  The local data ownership laws can have a massive impact on where your data is held.  Microsoft has data centres around the world.  It depends on which country your organisation was first created as to which data is used.  For example, if from Europe, data is held in Holland or Ireland.  Therefore is subject to local laws in these countries.

Is the location of your data important due to local data ownership laws?  We recommend: CRM On-Premise

On-Premise vs. Online Conclusion

There is no straight forward answer to the ultimate CRM question, CRM Online or CRM On-Premise, neither is there a “best” option.  Hopefully, I have highlighted some key questions you need to ask yourself before making your decision.  Some of them can be answered immediately.  Others may take some analysis to find out.  But always remember, you don’t need to make the decision on your own.  Speak to your partner.  Speak to QGate.  We are to here to help you find the right solution by asking these questions and identify what you really want to gain out of CRM, whether its CRM Online, On-Premise or Partner Hosted.

More Information

For more information, check our website or email us with any questions at info@qgate.co.uk