Microsoft announced during its Worldwide Partner Conference that it will introduce Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, a storefront of applications for Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers. The platform could challenge Salesforce.com's AppExchange2.
Microsoft is going beyond challenging Salesforce.com in
court: the IT giant announced during its Worldwide Partner Conference that it
will introduce a Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, a repository of applications
for Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers, in September. The platform seems designed
to counter Salesforce.com's recently announced AppExchange2, the cloud-based
service provider's enterprise-application storefront.
Microsoft made the announcement while unveiling Microsoft
Dynamics CRM 2011, formerly dubbed "CRM5," whose beta launch is expected this
"This new online catalog will provide an easy way for
partners to market and distribute solutions to Microsoft Dynamics customers,"
Umran Hasan, a spokesperson for Microsoft, wrote
in a July 12 posting on The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog. "The marketplace
will allow customers to quickly search, discover and apply industry-specific
applications and solution extensions from Microsoft and its partners to help
them accelerate and extend their CRM and ERP implementations."
Users will be able to search for new applications from
directly within the CRM platform, and theoretically enhancing Microsoft
Dynamics CRM 2011's touted ability to create, package and distribute Microsoft
Dynamics CRM extensions and solutions.
Features on offer in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
include the ability to create and share inline charts with drill-down
intelligence, configure multiple real-time dashboards to monitor business
performance, track progress against a variety of organizational goals and
metrics, and create step-by-step guidance for business processes.
In addition, organizations with Microsoft SharePoint
Server can provision SharePoint document repositories, and embed directly
within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
Microsoft also announced at the WPC that Microsoft
Dynamics CRM Online will be made available in 40 markets and 41
the end of 2010, after a beta release in September alongside the
on-premises version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Developers will
ability to deploy custom code for Microsoft Dynamics Online via
"Going forward we're going to release online first. That's a
move we're making," Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM,
told eWEEK in a WPC interview July 13. "It's easier for us, as we don't need to
test multiple configurations, to release first to online."
Microsoft is also increasing the partner margins for online
CRM, to 40 percent for first-year contract revenue.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.