In Munich today, Bill Gates kicked off Microsoft’s first Convergence Conference for EMEA and used the occasion to tout how the Microsoft Dynamics solutions fit into the overall Microsoft picture including the “Live” push:
In his keynote speech Gates also outlined the vision for Microsoft Dynamics in the “Live” era that takes business productivity to the next level by deeply integrating Microsoft Dynamics and the Microsoft Office system with online services that accelerate user adoption and maximize the value people get from their business applications. Key elements of this vision follow:
Online business processes from Microsoft and its partners will give customers a rich set of choices when they decide to move a particular process online in a secure environment. The first set of processes that will be available online are the marketing, sales and service capabilities offered within Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM. These will be followed by additional services:
Microsoft adCenter integration is a service that enables Microsoft Dynamics CRM to create online marketing campaigns that place keyword advertising on MSN®. In addition, similar integrations to Yahoo! and Google can be made by Microsoft Dynamics partners. Integration with Microsoft adCenter will be offered for all deployment options of Microsoft Dynamics CRM: on-premise, partner-hosted and Live.
eBay integration allows on-premise Microsoft Dynamics AX customers to use eBay as an online sales channel, enabling easy placement of inventory and downloading of financial details for sold items.
There’s more by following the link including online collaboration services and communities.
And speaking of online, the other big news was that Microsoft announced a new hosted subscription licensing model for Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics SL. Julio De Villasante, Director of Software as a Service Strategy, Microsoft Dynamics:
Another missing piece of the puzzle has been the availability of new licensing models that allow a company to choose between purchasing the solution or subscribing to a monthly service. This is what we are able to deliver today through our ecosystem of Microsoft industry partners. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been available as a hosted application since last March and it has been extremely well received by partners and customers alike.
Now, our partners can also deliver the full suite of Microsoft Dynamics ERP applications, in either a hosted or on-premise deployment model – and they have the option of purchasing, subscription licensing or a combination of both. The grand finale to this offering is that there is no minimum time commitment; customers can sign up for a short time period, such as a few months, or as long as they would like.
Microsoft ran into a conflict with partners already offering hosted Dynamics CRM in July when they rolled out their own offering and it looks like they have consciously avoided that this time around by leaving it solely to the partners. Of course, that’s what the partners thought back in March when hosted CRM was first announced.
Update Nov. 7: Microsoft also announced Dynamics CRM 2007 which, among other enhancements, works with Vista and Office 2007 and has an additional licensing model. It will be released at the same time as Office 2007 and will be a free upgrade for exisiting customers.