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Microsoft and Adobe Team Up for New CRM to Take on Salesforce

Microsoft and Adobe are teaming up to launch a CRM aimed at competing with Salesforce. Learn more about the specifics here.
Conor Cawley

The CRM industry just got a little more competitive, as Microsoft and Adobe have announced a partnership aimed at launching a new CRM that will ideally compete with Salesforce down the road.

Salesforce has been the king of the mountain when it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for years. The company's robust offerings paired with its vast popularity with established corporations and small businesses alike has made it near impossible to compete with in any meaningful way.

Now, however, Microsoft and Adobe will be pooling their resources to put together an AI-powered CRM that will seek to dethrone Salesforce from its cushy spot atop the industry.

More on this – see our guide to the Best Salesforce Alternatives

Microsoft and Adobe Partner for New CRM

Announced earlier this week, Microsoft, Adobe, and C3.ai – an enterprise AI software provider – are partnering together to create C3 AI CRM powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365, an artificial intelligence-driven CRM poised to give Salesforce a run for its money.

“Bringing an AI-first, industry-specific approach, C3 AI CRM delivers a precision system of intelligence that unlocks powerful new capabilities for customers,” said Ed Abbo, CTO of C3.ai in a Microsoft post.

The new CRM will be a combination of Microsoft Dynamics 365, Adobe Experience Cloud and C3.ai's industry-specific data models, allowing for end-to-end customer engagement and real-time customer profile updates, all built with intuitive artificial intelligence at its core.

C3 AI CRM Grow Pipeline

Source: C3.ai

What Is C3 AI CRM?

Simply put, C3 AI CRM is going to be an incredibly robust, AI-powered CRM aimed at competing with the best of the best. With the integrations of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Adobe Experience Cloud, this new CRM will be “an integrated suite of industry-specific AI-enabled CRM solutions including marketing, sales, and customer service.”

C3 AI CRM is aimed at a wide range of industries, including “financial services, oil and gas, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, public sector, healthcare, defense, intelligence, automotive, and aerospace.”

While Microsoft and Adobe are the big names here, the addition of C3.ai's technology is the real story

While Microsoft and Adobe are the big names here, the addition of C3.ai's technology is the real story. This level of artificial intelligence in a CRM platform is unheard of to date, and that's kind of what the partnership is going for. It will empower companies to truly automate a wide range business operations, while collecting a whole lot of actionable data that can help you improve your business.

C3 AI CRM is an enterprise-facing software, “enterprise” being the key word here. The reality is that small businesses won't really need the level of data-driven insight provided by the hearty CRM, so a more reasonable (likely less expensive) option is likely your best option.

Source: C3.ai

Why You Need a CRM for your Business

In 2020, it's becoming painfully obvious that business technology, like CRM software, is integral to the success of a business. Not only does it allow for seamless automation of business operations and improved productivity across your team, but it also allows businesses to be flexible. And with a global pandemic in full force right now, a little flexibility can go a long way.

“This year has made clear that businesses fortified by digital technology are more resilient and more capable of transforming when faced with sweeping changes like those we are experiencing,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

Between furloughed employees, lost customers, and a dramatically different business landscape, the pandemic has made it hard to do business. But with the right CRM platform, you'll be able to mitigate the losses through automation, while pivoting your marketing strategy at the click of a button.

That's why C3 AI CRM is such a big play. With the focus on AI, businesses will be able to truly automate a wide range of functionality, while still addressing customer needs in an orderly fashion. This kind of intelligent software has become common, with Zendesk and the rest of the industry utilizing AI tech to truly transform customer service.

CRM Alternatives

If you are looking for a CRM platform to improve your business, but don't think you necessarily need a robust, AI-powered platform like C3 AI CRM or Salesforce, there are plenty of other options on the market today that might be a good fit.

At Tech.co, we've done a whole bunch of research to find out which providers are the best for everything from pricing and features to marketing and customer service. Take a look at the table below to get a good idea of what you're working with when it comes to CRM options.

Check out our best CRM providers guide for more information

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Verdict
Data cap in basic plan
Email integrations
Social media integrations
Marketing campaigns
API
Email Support
Live chat support
Phone support
Free Trial Version
Cheapest paid plan
Price quoted is per user, per month
Most expensive plan
Price quoted is per user, per month

Salesforce

HubSpot

Zendesk

Freshworks CRM

Microsoft Dynamics

Zoho CRM

SugarCRM

Apptivo

Sendinblue

amoCRM

A market leading CRM for good reason and a great all-rounder – should always be considered first.

A strong CRM system with an attractive free tier and great marketing features

An inexpensive, simple CRM tool that offers the best service features available

A highly intuitive CRM that is packed with plenty of features and even has a free plan option

A robust CRM platform that embeds brilliantly with Microsoft products

Flexible, friendly and effective, Zoho also starts at low price plans and has a great free trial

A great all-round CRM with a great, easy to understand dashboard

Stripped-down, but a solid CRM platform

A decent choice for email marketing that falls behind in some other areas

Intuitive and simple, amoCRM is a CRM suite that impresses

612MB/user

5 documents

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB + 5GB/20 users

1GB base + 512MB/user

150GB/user

3GB/user

Unlimited

200MB/user

Open

Limited

Open

Open

Limited

Limited

Open

Limited

Open

Open

$25

$50

$89

$29

$80+

$12

$40

$8

$25

$15

$300

$1,200

$149

$79

$255

$100

$150

$20

$POA

$45

This article was last updated on:
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Conor is the Senior Writer for Tech.co. For the last five years, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His extensive background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host tech-centric events like Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.

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