Microsoft rolled out the on-premises and partner-hosted version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, presumably for those customers not rushing headlong into the cloud.
releasing an on-premises and partner-hosted version of its Microsoft Dynamics
CRM 2011. Meant to complement the on-demand, cloud-based version of Microsoft
Dynamics CRM 2011, the on-premises version reiterates how, despite having
pushed its very public "all in" cloud strategy for months, Microsoft still
needs to sell to a customer base that hasn't yet fully embraced the idea of
online subscription services.
customers with active Microsoft Software Assurance agreements can find this
latest software, released Feb. 16, on the Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft has spent
the past several weeks touting the platform's real-time dashboards and in-line
business-intelligence capabilities, both of which could appeal to businesses
looking to make their customer relationship management more efficient.
In trying to
set cloud products such as Dynamics CRM Online apart from rival CRM platforms
such as Salesforce.com's, Microsoft is emphasizing how customers who choose the
cloud option can leverage it in the context of other company software such as
Office-in effect, creating a software-centric alternative to Oracle's
integrated hardware-and-software stack or Salesforce's emphasis on
Facebook-style social networking.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM interoperates with Windows Azure, boasts certain
contextual capabilities with SharePoint and gives users access to the Microsoft
battles in the CRM space have become increasingly intense. In December 2010,
the company took a hard swipe at Salesforce, posting "An Open Letter to
Salesforce.com Customers" in which it dangled a $200-per-user rebate for any
organization that switched from its upstart rival. That followed a series of
tit-for-tat lawsuits over intellectual property between the two companies
throughout 2010, a situation that resolved in August when Salesforce agreed to
compensate Microsoft for its patents.
in" cloud strategy involves not only Azure and online CRM, but initiatives such
as Office 365, which groups Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange
Online and Lync Online as a subscription service. "We have learned a lot
through running Windows Live, Hotmail, Bing," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told
an audience during a July 12, 2010, keynote address at last summer's Worldwide
Partner Conference. "These are some of the highest-volume services run on the
Internet today. When you run a highly scaled, highly dynamic service, you need
a whole new approach to running a data center."
commitment, though, businesses haven't dropped everything in a headlong rush to
the Microsoft-hosted cloud: hence, the need for an on-premises and
partner-hosted version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
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.