When Microsoft announced its self-hosted version of Dynamics CRM earlier this week, I wondered if some of the hosting partners they had enticed with the general availability of a hosted version in March might feel a little grumpy. That seems to be the case, but the problem is larger than just stubbed toes as Phil Wainewright blogs at ZDNet in Microsoft CRM Live is a dud:
One of Microsoft’s hosting partners just blew a fuse on hearing Microsoft pre-announce its CRM Live service, if a lengthy and impassioned comment on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog is to be believed.
Apparently posted by Robert E Spivack, VP of sales and marketing at SPIV Technologies Group, the comment responds to a glowing write-up of the Live CRM announcement by David Thatcher, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
From that comment:
Announcing vaporware for delivery almost a year away serves what purpose?
As a Microsoft hosting partner, we constantly are told that “Microsoft cares about you and really does want to help hosters” yet what do you do?
Pre-announce a Microsoft-branded hosted CRM solution that isn’t real, while we still struggle to provide CRM hosting using the kludgy “hosted CRM” update that you guys threw together half-baked?
We are still struggling just to bring up CRM in a test environment, and from reading the Microsoft Dynamics community website posts, MANY people are having trouble getting it installed.
Wainewright has some more observations on how uncomfortably Dynamics CRM has been jammed into the “Live” model and also on the vaporware aspect here:
This is a fud announcement of a plan to introduce a product this time next year (“in the second quarter of 2007″) in the hope that it’ll persuade customers to postpone buying decisions. The ploy was often used by the likes of IBM, Oracle and others back in the 1990s to spread ‘fear, uncertainty and doubt’ (hence, FUD) among competitors. It worked when software applications used to take several years to develop and several more to deploy. What difference would a mere nine months make to anyone’s implementation timescales? But in the on-demand world, the strategy is as redundant as Microsoft’s far-from-Live CRM service.
Since per the announcement press release, “Microsoft CRM Live will use the same code base as the on-premise and partner-hosted versions of Microsoft CRM” you do have to wonder why it will take Microsoft so long to trot out its hosted service. Wainewright’s answer is that because the “same code base” has doomed it from the start, vaporware is all that is left.