Microsoft opens its Convergence conference in New Orleans by announcing that a variety of its newest CRM add-ons and services will be offered at zero cost. The free items include eight new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accelerators, or business-oriented software extensions, and a new SLA for CRM Online customers.
announced at Convergence March 10 that it would make a number of
its latest CRM add-ons and services free,
including eight new Microsoft Dynamics CRM
In addition, the company also announced a free Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Online March 2009 Service Update and an SLA (service-level
agreement) of 99.9 percent uptime to all Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Online customers. The update features Internet lead capture, which helps drive
qualified leads into the sales pipeline, as well as cloud integration services.
To sweeten the deal for developers who attended the conference in New
Orleans, Microsoft offered savings on CRM
Online and the Microsoft Dynamics suite to attendees.
The cost reductions are the latest in Microsoft's aggressive moves to
promote its CRM. In April 2008, Microsoft
rolled out its CRM Online package with a price and options aimed at
undercutting SAAS provider Salesforce.com.
Now, with the recession, Microsoft and other software providers are focusing
on both nuts-and-bolts customer retention and market expansion.
"They want to do the right thing to get customers on board," Ray
Wang, an analyst with Forrester, said in an interview. "They're making it
as easy as they can for people to purchase their software."
To that end, Microsoft has also offered 0 percent financing to new Microsoft
Dynamics ERP and CRM customers for a limited
time, and zero payments for six months via its SmartPay program, packaged with
extended payments through Microsoft Financing.
The eight free Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Accelerators, or downloadable software extensions, are designed to boost client
marketing, sales and service capabilities. The Accelerators, which can be
downloaded from this site,
are Analytics, Business Productivity, CRM
Notifications, Enterprise Search, eService, Event Management, Extended Sales
Forecasting and Sales Methodologies.