After a “stealth” release to manufacturing in early November, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 was offcially launched today. Press release:
Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM 3.0, the highly anticipated new release of Microsoft’s customer relationship management solution for small businesses, midsize companies and large enterprises. Microsoft CRM provides a complete suite of powerful marketing, sales and service capabilities, all with a familiar and consistent user experience based on Microsoft® Office and Microsoft Office Outlook®. Extensive new configuration, customization and integration capabilities make it easy for customers and partners to deploy highly tailored solutions that drive measurable business results and offer a low total cost of ownership.
The product is offered in a Professional Edition and a Small Business Edition, and is immediately available in English worldwide. Dutch, French, German and Russian versions of Microsoft CRM will be available Jan. 1, 2006, and 17 more language versions will be released in the coming months.
“Businesses demand a CRM solution that is easy to use, adaptable and affordable,” said Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 delivers a major breakthrough in the CRM marketplace. With its native Microsoft Office and Outlook experience and a flexible platform that gives customers a true choice of deployment options, we are bringing the power of CRM to information workers, enabling them to better understand their customers, be more productive and have a positive impact on their business’ bottom line.”
The Office tie-in is a key aspect of this and future offerings from Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS). Also note the following which settles the question of whether Microsoft would offer CRM as hosted service or let partners do it (cf. ):
As of Jan. 1, 2006, Microsoft will offer subscription-based licensing to partners that deliver hosted solutions based on Microsoft CRM. This continues Microsoft’s strong commitment to providing a choice of flexible and affordable CRM functionality in both on-premise and hosted deployment models. Since the same code is used in both models, customers can choose whichever deployment model fits their business and technical requirements at any point in time.