posted by Alan Joenn on December 14, 2012
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Hosted CRM

In this week’s CRM Whiteboard session, Alan Joenn takes a look at what Hosted CRM is and how organisations should make the right decisions about how to implement a hosted CRM system.


Hello, and welcome to this CRM whiteboard session. This morning we’re going to talk about hosted CRM – CRM that lives in the cloud. Now, when you look at hosted CRM solutions, cloud CRM solutions, there are two really important decisions that you have to take: Firstly the decision between living in a multi-tenant environment versus a dedicated environment. And secondly whether you go for an author hosted cloud or a third party cloud.

So let me define some of these terms.

A multi-tenant cloud environment is one where you share the CRM software application with all the users that are subscribed to the system. You all have separate databases and your data is secure from one another, but you’re also using the same application at the same time in a multi-tenant way.

Conversely, in a dedicated cloud environment you will be the only organisation using that CRM application and this gives you power to change and integrate the CRM system in a way that’s not necessarily available to you in a multi-tenant environment.

Multi-tenant environments are almost always available from author hosted, so Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Oracle Fusion CRM, – all of these, the author of the software provides their own hosted environment and they offer it in a multi-tenant way. Other applications are available to operate in a dedicated environment, and therefore you have the option to move out to third party hosting.

The difference between dedicated and third party hosting and this author hosting is that you get more control over where you data is physically located. For example some of the multi-tenant author hosted locations of your data will be outside of the UK. They might be within the EU in order to comply with European data protection laws, however they might be backed up to the US or to Singapore or somewhere else in the Far East.

With a third party hosted system you have the opportunity to pick a provider that provides UK locations for your data and your data centres – and for some organisations that will be important.

So when you’re thinking about these questions in the context of hosted CRM and looking at cloud solutions, you need to think about how much customisation and integration work needs to happen between CRM and your other business applications – your financial accounting, your practice management system, your ERP – and also think about the level of analytics you need between cloud based stuff and systems which are on-premises in your own control. So the complexity of customisation, if it’s very complex would lend itself to a dedicated environment, not a multi-tenant one, and issues surrounding data security might lead you to look at third party hosting rather than author hosted systems.

So there are lots of issues surrounding hosted CRM and cloud solutions, if you’d like to talk them through with somebody you can find information and all our contact details at We hope you found this short session informative and thank you for watching.

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