Microsoft to Showcase On-Demand CRM Service

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.

/zimages/6/28571.gifMicrosoft 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.

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead 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.

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