Microsoft is trying, through its 3.0 solution, to exploit its desktop applications strength in large enterprises and promote its now-more-robust business applications to this sector. Buyer interest in Microsoft solutions is high in the SMB market and is growing in the enterprise segment. Enterprise buyers will be attracted to Microsoft Dynamics CRM if they have made a commitment to a Microsoft infrastructure in order to lower their TCO in buying and managing business technologies. Buyers also like Microsoft Dynamics CRM usability and its quick time-to-value compared with traditional CRM applications. The product provides basic capabilities in sales, customer service, and field service but is weaker in marketing and customer data management. Partner channel management and eCommerce capabilities are not offered to any appreciable degree, and there are no industry-specific solution sets.
During the last 18 months, Microsoft has been preparing the market for its own "CRM on-demand" option. Microsoft Live uses the same code base as the soon-to-launch on-premise CRM application, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, codenamed Titan. Both the hosted and on-premise models of the multi-tenant-based Titan were expected to launch at the same time in mid-2007. Now the plan is to launch the on-demand service first then roll out the on-premise component to partners and customers in late this year. Announced pricing for Live CRM is aggressive, but the product is not yet generally available.
This was first published in October 2007