Microsoft Sets CRM Pricing Record Straight

Microsoft Corp. finally unveiled pricing for its upcoming Microsoft CRM offering last week, but the press release included incorrect information. That is good news for users who will be getting the product for $100 less than reported. Speaking at the July event of the Silicon Valley Speaker Series last week, David Thacher, general manager of CRM for Microsoft's Business Solutions unit, demonstrated the Beta 1 release of MS CRM, explained Microsoft's overall CRM strategy, discussed the role of partners and resellers, touched on MS CRM's role in the software giant's .NET plan and gave out eagerly-awaited pricing info. At that time, Thacher said the product, due out in the fourth quarter of 2002would be sold through partners and resellers with pricing ranging from $395 per user plus $995 for the server for the Standard Sales level to $1,395 per user plus $1,190 for the server at the Professional Suite level. The press release included the same information. But that was not the correct pricing information. Microsoft spokesman Rich Adolph says the press releases had a typographical error and users purchasing the Professional Suite version will be paying $100 less. Pricing for the Professional Suite Level will start at $1,295, not $1,395 per user. All other pricing remains as originally announced. Microsoft's pending release comes in two editions - Standard and Professional. Within each of those editions there are three configurations - purchasing the sales or service modules individually or buying both as suite configuration. The Professional version has the same features as MS CRM Standard edition but offers workflow and back office integration, according to Thacher. All of the functionality is accessible through either a thin-client browser-based interface or via Microsoft Outlook. The core CRM server requires NT server, SQL Server (2K or above) and Active Directory. The software sits atop SQL servers and hooks directly into back office financial applications including those from Microsoft Great Plains and recently acquired Navision Software. Microsoft closed its acquisition of the Danish software provider on Thursday. That deal was announced in early May. When MS CRM is released it will be Microsoft's first product based on its .NET platform.
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