Microsoft GM Gives Peek at Platform-as-a-Service Strategy
} So by a partner, for example, using CRM 4.0 to develop an application, is it an on-demand multitenant application? Well, the application is defined as an application. You can choose if you want single tenant on-premises, multitenant off-premises, single tenant on-demand. It's really your choice how you want to configure it.To use CRM as a development platform, what do you need underneath? Windows and SQL is all you need. You don't need Office, you don't need BizTalk, you don't need SharePoint, and you don't need a lot of those things. But if you want to add those things, they exist and there are additional scenarios that can be supported. So things like Windows Workflow Foundation that exist in 4.0, you've got it in your CRM or xRM application. Is it important for Microsoft to come out at some point and say, "Hey, we have an on-demand development platform just like Salesforce.com's platform as a service," or is that not part of your message at all? Well, we're pretty focused on doing and executing and helping our customers and partners. We're not perhaps as focused on talking about it. So we're focusing more on execution in our customer and partner network. When we have all the right customer evidence that we're amassing right now, we'll tell a broader story. We are now talking to our customer and partner base about xRM. It's our way of talking about different ways to use CRM as a non-CRM application platform. So we're by no means done in rolling out our story, but we're taking a very deliberate approach to getting people doing more and more things in different categories.
But if you're a partner and you want to have an HR [human resources] application, you can do it for a customer, single tenant, or you can take it to a data center and ... run 15 parallel systems on one box that is HR for 15 different companies, going multi- or single-tenant. Some people might have data privacy regulations, and some businesses can't do shared data environments because it's against regulatory, government policy or their own policies.