Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Access
It is used departmentally for our sales and marketing team to track our client and project history in lieu of previously using Salesforce. The business need that it addresses is creating an accurate and inexpensive database for that team to track our historical projects and clients, and track current pursuits and sales.
- It is inexpensive compared to other database options.
- It is versatile. You can create databases in almost any category, area, market sector, and industry.
- It lets you customize it, and you are able to create custom input forms and reports.
- Well, it requires a lot more training or research than other more "intuitive" Microsoft products.
- The buildout of custom reports is highly complex, and I think that area, in particular, could be more intuitive.
- Queries can be difficult to develop if you don't know the right language or terminology, and I think that those terms could be better visible in the ribbon.
- The ROI is great because we invested little, we already owned a license to the product, and we were able to develop it internally and replace a more expensive web-based option that we were using.
- We were able to customize it to ALL of our needs, rather than work with an out of the box type option.
- We were able to get easy access to training and information because there is a large user base to draw from.
We tried Salesforce, which was expensive and not as customizable as Access. QuickBase also was pricey compared to already having an MS license with the existing package, and QuickBase was not very intuitive. The other option was an open source version which was less intuitive than any of the other options. By far Salesforce was the most intuitive, however, Access is more customizable and gave more bang for the buck once we became well-versed in how to use it.
It is best used when you want a database to track historical data with a lot of inputs and relationships. A great example is tracking information on construction projects: you can input all the information that you have about a particular historical project, about pursuits that you are tracking, etc. (the same could be said for any sales area actually), then easily pull specific types of historical information for current proposals and pursuits. That is what I use it for.