Microsoft CRM Sent to Manufacturing

The wait for Microsoft Corp.'s much anticipated customer relationship management solution is nearly over. The software giant announced that its Microsoft Business Solutions CRM 1.0 was released to manufacturing and should be in the hands of resellers, VARS, and integrators in a couple of weeks. There are two versions of the product: standard and professional. Pricing for Microsoft CRM Standard Edition, which offers a standalone CRM environment, ranges from $395 per user, plus $995 for the service or sales servers. Microsoft CRM Professional Suite Edition, which enables more complex CRM functionality, including workflow rules, customization, and back-office integration with enterprise resource planning systems, is priced at $1,295 per user, plus $1,990 for the service and sales servers. The product, aimed at the mid-market CRM customer, has already generated a lot of interest. Microsoft officials claim there are already more than 600 partner organizations representing Microsoft CRM in North America, more than 100 ISV organizations signed up with Microsoft CRM, and 200 customer back orders. However, some early testers of MS CRM have chided Microsoft for not providing better back-office integration. At first the company was mum on plans to offer better integration, but now Microsoft says that integration from Microsoft CRM to Microsoft Business Solutions ERP solutions will be forthcoming over this year. The first integration will be with Great Plains, in the first quarter of calendar 2003. The international version of the product, Microsoft CRM version 1.1, which will be provided in seven languages and in several countries in each region, is due out in the second half of calendar 2003.
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