Details of Microsoft's CRM solution announced
Microsoft's CRM product for small and medium sized businesses is to become available in North America later this year. Prices are not yet available.
Microsoft Corporation is to deliver Microsoft Customer Relationship Management, the first Microsoft business solution built on .NET, later this year. Accessible from Microsoft Outlook and the Web, Microsoft Customer Relationship Management will be targeted at small and medium sized businesses. It is designed for rapid deployment, ease of use, and integration with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Great Plains' back-office solutions. It will be available as a standalone product as well as an integrated solution to Microsoft Great Plains Dynamics, Solomon and eEnterprise.
Fourth quarter It is expected to be available in North America in the fourth quarter of 2002 and, in other places, will be phased in starting in the first quarter of 2003. Pricing details will be announced later. It will be sold and implemented through Microsoft Great Plains' reselling partner channel, and support will be provided by partners and Microsoft Great Plains' customer support team. It will be available direct or as a hosted solution through select partners.
Complements other products It complements Microsoft's other CRM offerings for small and medium-sized businesses, including bCentral Customer Manager, Microsoft iCommunicate, Microsoft Great Plains eEnterprise Field Service, Microsoft Great Plains Solomon Field Service and Great Plains Siebel Front Office.
No conflict with partners According to Microsoft, the new product will not conflict with Microsoft's existing CRM partners, who are either "playing in a space above our target markets (enterprise segment), and/or have existing back-office relationships with Microsoft Great Plains." Instead, the product was developed to meet the needs of smaller businesses who want a product that is rich in features but is also very easy to deploy and use, and that works with their existing productivity and business applications.
Microsoft has no plans to target CRM at enterprise levels but, through its strategic alliance with Siebel Systems it does offer a solution for medium sized enterprises.
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