Microsoft has been known to design solutions that deliver simplicity, value, and innovation and Microsoft Office 365 is yet another example of this. Microsoft Office 365 is the next generation in cloud productivity, bringing together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online, available in an always-up-to-date cloud service. We are really excited about it here at The TM Group as Microsoft Office 365 combined with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online equals an affordable, complete solution.
This greatly improves and streamlines a number of things. For example, the document merger within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to an Office product like Word creates numerous possibilities: With the connection to Exchange Online, documents can be emailed to your customers, perhaps while you are still verbally communicating. With the connection to SharePoint Online, creation of documents can be stored in a repository that non-CRM users can immediately access. With the connection into Lync Online, CRM users can target specific CRM contacts for a webinar or whiteboard discussions, then immediately attach a record of it to the specific contact records.
The benefits of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online are definitely there, but which type of cloud will work best for your business?
- Public Cloud: a service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the Internet.
- Private Cloud: a proprietary network or data center that uses cloud computing technologies, such as virtualization. A private cloud is managed by the organization it serves.
Ultimately, you can get more functionality with Private Cloud services, but you need to determine what your company needs and where it is going. Create a software roadmap for your business, complete with a detailed timeline of where you will be in 5-10 years. This will help you make the decision whether to go public or private. Keep in mind that the public cloud has some restrictions for customization. The good news is that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online does allow for custom reports, custom workflows, and custom plug-ins.