If you are trying to decide whether to invest in an on-premise CRM solution or an on-demand solution, it might be a good idea to see where your software vendor is focusing their attention (and R&D funds). When you are looking for a software solution to help you manage the future of your business relationships, you should be keeping an eye on what the future holds for that solution.
More than ever before, it seems that Microsoft is looking to cloud computing to carry their CRM solution forward by investing in improvements to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
In April at the annual Convergence conference, Microsoft announced a service update to Dynamics CRM Online which includes multilingual capabilities for North American customers, new portal accelerators to help existing CRM Online users manage events, partner relationships, and eServices, and new developer tools to enable the connection of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with other on-demand and on-premises applications and services.
They also announced their direct integration between Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP and a new promotion for GP (Great Plains) customers to obtain CRM Online at a 60% discount – further evidence of their commitment to making their cloud computing option easy to integrate and use.
Lastly, they announced their plans for their next release, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 5, expected in the second half of 2010. The primary message around this release was the international availability of Dynamics CRM Online to 32 global markets and 41 languages.
This week, ZDNet confirmed what Microsoft alluded to: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 5 Online will be released first, before the on-premise update will be available. Putting on-demand before on-premise marks a great departure from Microsoft’s traditional release structure which had cloud solutions lagging months behind their on-premise counterparts. Directions On Microsoft analyst Rob Helm commented, “This will be the first time I’m aware of that Microsoft has started running a version of its software in its commercial hosted services before it was ready to ship that version to customers.”
All of these announcements serve as indicators that Microsoft is committed to ensuring that users of both their online CRM solution and their on-premise Dynamics CRM software will have an industry-leading experience that carries their businesses into the future.
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