Microsoft, WebTone Target Banking

Expanding on its four year old partnership, Microsoft Corp. and WebTone Technologies Inc. said they will now work together to deliver enterprise customer interaction applications to the banking industry. Under the terms of the new agreement, WebTone and Microsoft will do joint development, marketing, sales, and solutions support for WebTone's flagship TouchPoint CRM suite. TouchPoint is a platform automation and customer interaction management solution that enables enterprises to have a single, consistent view of the customer across all touch points. Microsoft will provide consulting and support services, along with technical training to assist WebTone develop a version of the solution that runs on Microsoft's .NET Enterprise Server platform. Microsoft's announcement in February that it will deliver its own CRM offering (MS CRM) to the mid-market by the end of the year has attracted interest from customers, partners, resellers and independent software vendors. Because MS CRM, like all other Microsoft products, will run on .NET, partners are also quickly moving to the platform. Holly Holt, Microsoft's senior product manager of global CRM says the Redmond, Wash.-based software maker expects to have nearly 500 CRM partners on board within the next 12 months. Two-thirds of those are expected to be independent software vendors providing add-on products and compatible horizontal and vertical solutions. Holt predicts one-third will be industry partners. "Microsoft .NET, Microsoft's XML Web services platform, removes barriers to data sharing and software integration," Jim Szyperski, WebTone president and chief executive says. "The new platform creates a simple, consistent and secure way for users to interact with applications, services and devices."
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