Microsoft to Showcase On-Demand CRM Service

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-07-10 Print this article Print

Microsoft plans to start an early access program for its on-demand Dynamics Live CRM Service.

DENVER—As Microsoft continues to ramp up its Live software and services strategy, the company will use its annual Worldwide Partner Conference here July 10 to showcase its new on-demand Dynamics Live CRM service, which will be operated and managed within its datacenters and available later this quarter. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant will also announce the start of an early access program for Dynamics Live CRM later this quarter, as well as new pre-configured Dynamics CRM vertical templates for the public sector and manufacturing industries.
The Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM service will initially be offered in North America, although there are plans for an international expansion, and will use the same code base as the on-premise and partner-hosted versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Brad Wilson, the general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, told eWEEK.
Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM is based on the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, code-named "Titan," a multi-tenant application platform that supports deployments in on-premise and partner-hosted environments as well as via the new Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM service, he said. Microsoft first unveiled Dynamics CRM Live in 2006. Click here to read more. More than 600 global partners are currently working with pre-release versions of "Titan" as part of Microsofts Technology Adoption Program. The Titan release will first be deployed for customers via the Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM early access program this quarter, with the on-premise and partner-hosted versions planned for the fourth quarter of 2007. The first two service offerings will be Dynamics Live CRM Professional and Enterprise. The Professional service offers a full-suite CRM through Microsoft Outlook and browser clients, customizable workflow powered by Windows Workflow Foundation, and rich configuration and extensibility capabilities, Wilson said. The service will cost $44 a user per month, but will be offered at a promotional price of $39 a user a month during 2008. The Enterprise service has all the capabilities of the Professional product as well as offline data synchronization, at a cost of $59 a user per month. It will be available in the first half of 2008. The early access program, which will start this quarter and run through the rest of the year, will use the Enterprise version of the service at no initial cost. Once the early access period ends, normal service fees will apply, Wilson said. Read more here about Microsofts release of Titan code to select partners. Users of the enterprise version will also be able to have twice as many custom objects in the system, and more workflows, he said, noting that "were going to have very generous limits for those as we offer them, but enterprise will have twice as many as professional. "We also think that most people will rarely hit the limits, even on the professional edition, because were going to have, for instance, 100 custom objects in the system: thats 100 new custom entities in the system in the professional edition alone, so youll get even more than that in enterprise version, but 100 objects is a ton. I mean, thats a ton of new stuff," Wilson said. The program is initially targeted at companies with five or more CRM users, and customer signup will be offered through Microsoft Dynamics CRMs network of certified partners. More information about applying for the program is available here. Next Page: Treading on Partner Territory

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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