Over the weekend I had a chance to review an article by Lauren Carlson a CRM Analyst with Software Advice. I believe the purpose of the article is really to educate those considering investing time, energy and money in a hosted CRM solution that there is choice outside of Salesforce.com.
Lauren reviews 5 hosted CRM solutions that I am involved with or have had some involvement with and/or experience with in my past. I have had the opportunity of working at both Oracle and NetSuite. NetSuite being more suited to the SME marketplace. The Oracle CRM solution was spawned from the mega buyout of Siebel Systems. Many years ago I was involved with a practice implementing ACCPAC accounting applications for small businesses; this is where I first gain exposure to Sage CRM and of course when I originally started my consulting practice I was involved with SugarCRM. Today, having focused on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for my clients I have add a kaleidoscope of experience with all of these solutions.
Each of these solutions has its plus and minuses. Review Lauren’s article below to get her take on “5 Cloud CRM Systems to Consider”
Salesforce Alternatives | 5 Cloud CRM Systems to Consider
Optimizing Performance for CRM Online 2011 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Team Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs
Internet Connectivity Bandwidth and Latency
Depending on how you configure CRM Online 2011, the application may need to make a number of round trips to the server to retrieve forms and data. This can have a real effect on performance especially when you consider the internet connectivity for a user or location. Even a high bandwidth connection can appear slow if the connection has a high degree of latency. Satellite links are an excellent example of this. A typical broadband Internet connection has latency of less than 100 ms, and 25 ms is desirable. A satellite Internet connection normally suffers from latency above 500 ms. When you have a lot of latency in your connections, you rarely “fill the pipe” with the amount of data it could theoretically handle. We have designed CRM Online to work best on networks with latency under 150 ms. There are a number of simple tools out there to measure bandwidth and latency. A common tool used is the ping command, but pinging the URLs used for CRM Online 2011 will not respond because we have disabled this for security reasons. You may also want to consider Visual Round Trip Analyzer , Fiddler, and httpwatch as alternative tools to measure network latency.
The latest Internet Explorer 9 is available from Microsoft. With the enhancements to the browser, the performance can be enhanced when using CRM 2011 with this browser. IE 9 is not a requirement to run CRM 2011 however. It is recommended to run the “Fix It” after install, for more details: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282402
System Customization and Design
2. Consider your use of iFrames. More iFrames on a form will result in slightly longer form load times. If your iFrame is not on the form’s primary tab, use onClick Jscript for the tab on which the iFrame resides. This way the iFrame isn’t loading every time a record is opened, only when a user clicks that tab.
3. Consider the number of Sub-Grids added to the form. Each sub-grids used in a form is querying the CRM Online system in the background for a set of data to load into the grid. While the query executes in the background, each sub-grid control adds more HTML to the page and will take slightly longer to load as a result. With the recent update sub-grids are now loaded asychronously for better performance, however still keep in mind the more you have can still effect load time.
4. Consider using Role Based forms, CRM 2011 allows personal forms to display fields necessary pertaining to a user’s security role. This will auto hide certain fields that may not be necessary for all users.
5. Consider adjusting security roles to only allow users the functionality they need for specific records. The ribbon will update displaying the allowed functionality for the user for the specific records they are currently viewing. The less options displayed, may allow the ribbon to load faster.
6. Remove extraneous fields. Configure the form to only display fields needed for that record.
7. Check your machine. Be sure that your computer is suitable meeting the system requirements for CRM 2011. Note that the system requirements are minimal requirements needed to run CRM 2011 successfully (CRM 2011 Implementation Guide). However, increasing performance of a user’s machine based on hardware specs can increase performance as well.
Optimizing and Maintaining Microsoft Dynamics CRM White Paper
This link currently is focused on CRM 4.0, but still has relevant content that can help. An updated version will be released soon with two documents one for client and one for server.
Optimizing Performance in CRM Online Blog
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dynamicscrmonline/archive/2010/05/24/optimizing-performance-in-crm-online.aspx (this has been directed towards CRM 4.0, however many of the tips are related to the latest release CRM 2011).