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Microsoft Quietly Gets Serious about Dynamics CRM Online

Microsoft has a strange habit of working on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. We've noted this before, and on Monday it happened again.

While much of the nation was sledding or skating on frozen ponds on Monday (hey, sunshine types, don't knock winter until you've tried it), Microsoft was busy talking up by far its most complete version of Dynamics CRM Online, it's software-as-a-service customer relationship management suite.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Online could put a serious hurting on Salesforce.com and Oracle, both of which (particularly Salesforce.com) have come to dominate hosted CRM with simple, sleek, feature-complete offerings. Finally, Microsoft is on the bandwagon with a version of CRM Online that does everything its on-premises counterpart does.

Plus, there's that old Microsoft calling card -- integration, in this case with Outlook and browsers as well as with mobile devices, including the iPhone. CRM 2011 Online is fairly cheap, too, with pricing starting at $34 per user per month.

So,  if CRM Online is the one that's finally ready to go toe-to-toe with Salesforce.com (and it is), then why on earth is Microsoft giving it the short shrift? No lesser a luminary than Steve Ballmer himself was there to introduce the product to partners and customers Monday...in Redmond...on a national holiday...in a presentation that wasn't streamed live online.

Seriously, Microsoft, what gives? You're sitting on a gold mine, as well as on some superb products, with Dynamics. Why do you always treat Dynamics as if it's some sort of country cousin or drunken uncle and only trot it out when nobody's around? Set Dynamics free, Microsoft. Give it the full launch treatment, with a party and a live stream and a debut date that doesn't coincide with most people sitting at home and sipping brandy by the fire.

Have you seen a demo of Dynamics CRM 2011 Online? What's your take on it? Send it to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/19/2011 at 1:23 PM


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Reader Comments:

Sun, Feb 6, 2011 Cliff

We agree. With CRM 2011, Microsoft is finally taking online/saas CRM seriously. Nice post.

Thu, Jan 20, 2011 Vishal Mumbai, India

The MS Dynamic CRM wont hurt any product significantly. The reason is very sinple it is a core CRM and not focussed on specific areas. For example www.aptify.com or www.avectra.com are specially created taking into consideration Association Management, www.salesforce.com is created for Sales Force Automation apart from core CRM features. Apart from that MS Dynamic CRM is not very flexibile when it comes to customizations. Where as all the above mentioned products like www.aptify.com or www.salesforce.com provide huge potential for customers to customize the product as per their wish without involving many technicians.

Wed, Jan 19, 2011 Saptha Colombo, Sri Lanka

I am totally agree with you , Bill Gate was smart enough to identify the market potential and get them under M$ hood, at the same time moving with cloud is such a smart movie. after Steve Ballmer applier on stage nothing works perfect except Win7 , if M$ act big more aggressive they are the only people who can come up with entire solution by same software house.

Wed, Jan 19, 2011 Brent

MS has a gift for taking gold and turning it into iron. Look at the mess they have made of ERP, which by this point was meant to be a $10b business for them.

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