Microsoft Corp. will preview the upcoming release of its customer relationship management solution, Microsoft CRM 3.0, during the in timing with the Microsoft Tech•Ed 2005 Europe conference and the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2005 in the United States.
Microsoft CRM 3.0 will provide a complete suite of marketing, sales and service capabilities, all with a familiar and consistent user experience based on Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook.
The software is designed to address the three key challenges that determine the success or failure of most CRM initiatives: user adoption, business fit and total cost of ownership.
According to the company, the Outlook client and Web client interfaces are completely redesigned to provide a look and feel consistent with other Microsoft products. Customers get instant visibility into trends and issues through prebuilt reports and views and can also take live CRM data directly into Microsoft Excel for online or offline analysis.
Microsoft CRM 3.0 also provides a complete mobility solution, with a new high-performance engine for role-based synchronization of laptop data as well as an improved client for Microsoft Windows Mobile Pocket PC.
With the release of Microsoft CRM 3.0, Microsoft will introduce new subscription-based licensing for customers that prefer a hosted offering, furthering the company’s commitment to providing flexible and affordable CRM in both on-site and hosted deployment models. Because the same code is used in both models, customers can change their preferred deployment model from hosted to on-site (or vice versa) as their business and IT needs change.
Also with this release of Microsoft CRM 3.0, Microsoft will introduce a Small Business Edition (SBE) designed for small businesses that use Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition (SBS 2003). Pricing will be announced closer to availability.
Microsoft CRM 3.0 will be available to customers who are licensed to use previous versions of Microsoft CRM in the fourth quarter of 2005 and generally available in the first quarter of 2006. Customers who have purchased any modules of the Professional edition of previous versions of Microsoft CRM and that have an active Software Assurance agreement will receive rights to all available modules of the next release; specific license upgrade paths for other Microsoft CRM products will be announced later in the year.
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