Microsoft takes Dynamics CRM Online global

Microsoft today is releasing its Dynamics CRM Online product to 40 nations, ushering in a new release schedule where the on-demand application gets the upgrade before the on-premises version.

Microsoft today released the latest version of its Dynamics CRM Online application globally, bringing greater insight, productivity and ease of adoption to 40 different markets, company executives said.

The new version of Dynamics CRM Online, which Microsoft previewed at its Worldwide Partner Conference in July, includes tighter integration with Outlook and the Office suite of applications to provide users with familiar interfaces. It also includes souped-up business intelligence (BI) capabilities.

“We’re introducing real-time BI on top of this solution,” said Bill Patterson, group product manager. “Others have called these dashboards and focused on reporting. They’re snapshots of information. The most popular [CRM applications out there] don’t have real-time dashboards, they have snapshots. Others have data that’s updated at night. We have a different philosophy in that we don’t feel you should be charged more for real-time data and see what happened today the following day.”

Microsoft has also discounted its pricing substantially, offering customers a discounted rate of $34 per user per month for the first 12 months. Additionally, customers of Salesforce.com and Oracle can receive a credit of up to $200 per user if they make the switch to Microsoft by June 30. Microsoft’s pricing tactics have clearly caught on with some CRM software buyers. Salesforce.com’s Enterprise Edition is listed at $125 per user per month and Oracle’s CRM On Demand is listed starting at $75 per user per month.

“We’re also interfacing CRM online with SharePoint online,” Patterson said. “You can share information [from Sharepoint] with customers outside my organization.”

This release also marks a new delivery cycle. Moving forward, the online version of Microsoft CRM will be updated first, followed by the on-premises and partner-hosted versions. Those versions will get the current update Feb. 28.

“More and more businesses are turning toward the enterprise,” Patterson said. “The cloud allows us to run at hyperscale before turning it over to customers to run inside as well.”

Microsoft is releasing Dynamics CRM to Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Barney Beal is the News Director for the Enterprise Applications Group at TechTarget. You can follow him on Twitter at @barneybeal.

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