Many salesforce users had to deal with unexpected downtime this past week when its NA14 node experienced major service degradation. What made it even worse was when salesforce had to admit that some of its customer’s data was irretrievable. Customers had lost up to four hours of transactions. And the NA14 node still continues to experience major degradation as of the publication of this article.

Lost data is one of the primary arguments against moving to the cloud, so cloud providers must assure their customers and prospects that data loss is a remote possibility. And while you might not think that it can ever happen to you, the thought of re-entering lost data is not very appealing when you would be better of working new sales. So you might think that you have some ability to be compensated through an SLA with Salesforce. But are you?

So what is an SLA?

An SLA is a Service Level Agreement – The agreement between the service provider and the customer that the service will be available for an agreed upon period of time during the month. But does Salesforce even have an SLA?

According to the salesforce Master Services Agreement:

We will (a) make the Services and Content available to You pursuant to this Agreement and the applicable Order Forms, (b) provide applicable SFDC standard support for the Services to You at no additional charge, and/or upgraded support if purchased, (c) use commercially reasonable efforts to make the online Services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for:  (i) planned downtime (of which We shall give advance electronic notice as provided in the Documentation), and (ii) any unavailability caused by circumstances beyond Our reasonable control, including, for example, an act of God, act of government, flood, fire, earthquake, civil unrest, act of terror, strike or other labor problem (other than one involving Our employees), Internet service provider failure or delay, Non-SFDC Application, or denial of service attack.

Nowhere in this agreement is there any commitment other than to “use commercially reasonable efforts to make the online Services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And this lack of commitment is what should scare salesforce subscribers.

So how does Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online compare?

Microsoft has published its Online Service Agreement for public consumption.  Microsoft guarantees a 99.9 uptime financially backed SLA. What that means for you is that if over the course of a month, if Dynamics CRM Online is unavailable for more than 43 minutes, 49.7 seconds you are eligible to recover a 25% service credit. You would be eligible for a 100% service credit if Dynamics CRM Online were down for more than 36 hours. And while the service credit may not make you whole for any lost data, its better than what Salesforce offers.

A cloud based service is only as good as how well the service provider is willing to take part of the risk. Think about that when comparing cloud based CRM solutions for your business.  Microsoft puts its money where its mouth is. Does your cloud CRM do the same?

If you are a Salesforce.com customer looking to explore alternatives, get ahold of us today. We can help you migrate to a secure, financially backed CRM solution from Microsoft.

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