Executive Summary

  • This is the Brightwork Research & Analysis software rating series.
  • We rate both the software and estimate the risk of implementing each application.

MUFI Rating & Risk for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Select For Vendor Profile)


Microsoft Dynamics CRM is another one of the prominent attempts by Microsoft to grow into the enterprise software space. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a higher than average buyer satisfaction level. An objective analysis of the applications makes it difficult to see why.

Application Detail

Back in the Siebel days when CRM implementations were crashing and burning with regularity, there were two common key observations that CRM consultants took from these projects. First, salespeople don’t like using CRM systems, and second, because of this first fact, CRM systems must be super user-friendly even to have a hope of being adopted. Unfortunately, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the lowest rated CRM system that we cover regarding usability. Microsoft Dynamics CRM also lags other CRM applications regarding basic CRM functionality. As Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not a competitive solution, companies that merely have a preference for Microsoft products most often will be the target market for the application. One advantage of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is it has, naturally, integrations with Outlook and SharePoint.

But even in what supposed to be the main strength of Microsoft Dynamics CRM turns out to be bug ridden. In fact, overall the software has a preponderance of bugs interfere with getting tasks accomplished. It is exceptionally well demonstrated at this point that salespeople have a low tolerance for systems that take up a lot of their time to use – and this has a serious impact on both implement-ability, as well as that quality of information that can be expected from the application.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has lived off of its integration to other Microsoft products and the fact its account managers can pitch the product to most Microsoft accounts. However, as usual, Microsoft has a lagging product and is only capable of very incremental improvements as Microsoft is a marketing company that leverages pre-existing investments made by companies in their software to sell more software rather than an innovator. In one of the most rapidly growing categories of enterprise software, where the footprint is constantly expanding, Microsoft Dynamics CRM easily appears to be a convenience or short-signed investment. Of course, this also means dealing with the Microsoft “monster” while accessing an application with limited upside. Buyers would be wise to steer clear of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

MUFI Scores

Search for the vendor in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table. Shortening Key: 
  • Ma. = Maintainability
  • Us. = Usability
  • Fu. = Functionality
  • Im. = Implementability
Average Score for Big ERP5. ERP
Average Score for CRM6.
Average Score for Small and Medium ERP8.386.78.5Small and Medium ERP
Average Score for Finance8.88.888.8Finance
Average Score for Demand Planning7.67.277.1Demand Planning
Average Score for Supply Planning6.76.976.8Supply Planning
Average Score for Production Planning6.86.976.9Production Planning
Average Score for BI Heavy5. Heavy
Average Score for PLM77.26.87.3PLM
Average Score for BI Light7.78.798.3BI Light
Arena Solutions Arena PLM10101010PLM
AspenTech AspenOne48107Production Planning
Birst88.5108BI Light
ERPNext10107.510Small and Medium ERP
Delfoi Planner866.57Production Planning
Demand Works Smoothie SP910710Supply Planning
Hamilton Grant RM1098.59PLM
IBM Cognos2.731.53BI Heavy
Infor Epiphany7865CRM
Infor Lawson8767Big ERP
Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions9959Finance
JDA DM97.588Demand Planning
Microsoft Dynamics CRM2322CRM
NetSuite CRM6433CRM
Netsuite OneWorld7788Big ERP
Oracle BI4436BI Heavy
Oracle CRM On Demand4535CRM
Oracle Demantra533.54.5Demand Planning
Oracle JD Edwards World4136Big ERP
Oracle RightNow6745CRM
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS10101010Production Planning
Preactor8737Production Planning
QlikTech QlikView99109BI Light
Rootstock9899Small and Medium ERP
Sage X38878Big ERP
Salesforce Enterprise88.597.5CRM
SAP APO DP3432Demand Planning
SAP APO PP/DS2243Production Planning
SAP APO SNP3484Supply Planning
SAP BI/BW1.5242BI Heavy
SAP Business Objects32.573BI Heavy
SAP ECC336.53Big ERP
SAP SmartOps4475.5Supply Planning
SAS BI6.5796BI Heavy
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting7897Demand Planning
Tableau (BI)9101010BI Light
Tableau (Forecasting)10859Demand Planning
Teradata86.39.76BI Heavy
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)7897Demand Planning
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)56107Supply Planning

Vendor and Application Risk

The number one risk on Microsoft Dynamics CRM projects is the problematic information provided by Microsoft itself on what its software can do. This means that as is normally the case with such overpromising, a component of the project implementation must be allocated to unwinding these promises – a highly inefficient endeavor. Microsoft CRM is often chosen when IT essentially has much of the decision-making authority in a buyer, and the business tends to be shut out of the process. This makes for a very high likelihood of a problematic implementation and buyers that made such a “convenient” decision will pay the price with the most difficult to implement CRM system of any that we cover.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Likelihood of Application Implementation Success and Failure

Estimates are for a typical project. A specific implementation requires details from the project to make a project-specific estimate.

Search for the application in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table.
ApplicationProb of Implementation SuccessProb of Implementation Failure
SAP Smartops0.390.61
NetSuite CRM0.460.54
Sugar CRM0.620.48
Base CRM0.910.09
SAP CRM0.350.65
Salesforce Enterprise0.720.28
QlikTech QlikView0.820.18
Tableau (BI)0.980.02
SAP Crystal Reports0.460.54
SAS BI0.760.24
Oracle BI0.350.65
IBM Cognos0.230.77
Infor Epiphany0.580.42
Microsoft Dynamics CRM0.260.74
Oracle RightNow CRM0.410.59
Oracle CRM On Demand0.360.64
SAP Business Objects0.320.68
SAP BI/BW0.250.75
SAP PLM0.290.71
Hamilton Grant RM0.890.11
Arena Solutions0.960.04
Delfoi Planner0.70.3
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS0.960.04
AspenTech AspenOne0.550.45
SAP APO PP/DS0.270.73
Demand Works Smoothie SP0.930.07
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)0.820.18
Demand Works Smoothie0.960.04
Tableau (Forecasting)0.90.1
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting0.820.18
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)0.860.14
JDA DM0.570.43
Oracle Demantra0.330.67
SAP APO DP0.280.72
Intuit QB Enterprise0.80.2
Microsoft Dynamics AX0.40.6
SAP Business One0.490.51
Sage X30.620.38
Infor Lawson0.580.42
Epicor ERP0.40.6
Oracle JD Edwards World0.310.69
Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne0.360.64
SAP ERP ECC/R/30.320.68
NetSuite OneWorld0.650.35

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

Managing the risk of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation is about lowering expectations. A common approach is for the IT department to begin blaming the business users early and often for what are entirely application failures. We don’t recommend following this strategy as it might be good for IT, but it does nothing for the implementation success level. There are always significant user adoption issues with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which means preparing for this, which means it is necessary to provide the highest allocation of consulting effort in the CRM space. This is a factor we have adjusted for in our TCO Calculator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the CRM software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.