REDMOND, Wash. – Jan. 17, 2011 – Microsoft launched Dynamics CRM Online worldwide today, bringing its cloud-based customer relationship management software (CRM) to businesses outside North America for the first time.
“The service is available today as a cloud offering,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said. “This is the first time we’ve made a release in the cloud before we have done so in the server version, and I think that really reflects the push by Microsoft into the cloud.”
At a launch event in Redmond today, Ballmer announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is available in 40 markets and 41 languages, and that customers can sign up for a free 30-day trial. The company also announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for on-premises and partner-hosted deployments will be available globally on Feb. 28, 2011.
“I think our customers are really going to embrace this new release,” Ballmer said. “It brings with it the ease of use that sales, marketing and service professionals expect; the ease of deployment for departmental managers; low cost and agility for IT; and most importantly, the kind of functionality, capability and value that’s really going to drive revenue and drive customer satisfaction.”
Previously, the online version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM was only available in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico markets – outside North America, Microsoft partners had to host the solution for customers to use the product. Taking Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online worldwide shows the company’s commitment to delivering more value to more customers, said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Product Management Group.
January 16, 2011
Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Product Management Group.
“Our goal with Microsoft Dynamics CRM has always been to give customers the power of choice,” he said. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one of the few CRM solutions in the market that enables customers to get CRM how it best fits them, whether on-premises, on demand in the cloud, or a combination of both.”
Regardless of how customers get it – online, on-premises, or as a hosted solution – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is designed to increase productivity for organizations of all sizes whether they have a handful of users or tens of thousands, Wilson said.
“This product is really focused on helping people be more productive, handle more customer situations more fluidly, and get the most value out of the resources they’re already using,” he said. “A tremendous amount of work went into the new product that will help people get things done in a streamlined fashion.”
Customers Already Using Dynamics CRM 2011
More than 11,500 customers and 400 partners have already used Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 as part of a beta program, including customers that have switched from competing solutions. Microsoft has been spotlighting those customer stories with its Don’t Get Forced campaign, where customers talk about how they’re benefiting from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft is also offering eligible customers up to $200 for each user that makes the switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online between now and June 30, 2011 to use towards services such as migrating data or customizing the solution to meet unique business needs. This offer is available in most markets where Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is available.
January 16, 2011
Craig Unger, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM research and development.
In discussing the development process of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, Craig Unger, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM research and development, spoke about the team’s focus on delivering familiar, intelligent and connected experiences for customers.
First, the company worked on better integrating its CRM solution with Microsoft Office Outlook, he said. The result is a next-generation native client that looks and feels just like Outlook, an experience that many users will already be at ease with. “Because sales, marketing and customer service employees are working within a familiar application, businesses can work smarter and be more productive,” Unger said.
That familiarity and resulting ease of use has led businesses to choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM over competitors such as Salesforce.com. BioMedix Vascular Solution, a diagnostic device and software provider that focuses on detection and prevention of vascular diseases, decided to go with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in part because of its familiarity with Microsoft products such as Outlook.
“Everyone at BioMedix uses Microsoft Outlook,” John Romans, CEO of BioMedix, said in a case study. “Because it fits right into that experience, we saw an opportunity to treat the rollout of Microsoft Dynamics CRM as if it were an extension of the same platform that employees were already familiar with.”
January 16, 2011
Microsoft focused on delivering better intelligence to businesses though real-time analytics and visualizations with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
In addition to improving Outlook interoperability in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft focused on delivering better intelligence to businesses though real-time analytics and visualizations. “We’re introducing these real-time, intelligent charts that allow you to easily navigate through important business information,” Unger said. “You’re not just looking at a long list of data but taking a graphical view through the application.”
The updated Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 also delivers a connected experience by integrating with other Microsoft technologies, making it easy for customers and partners to customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM to meet specific business needs, Unger said. A key part of the company’s value proposition – and what separates it from its competitors – is how well it works with other Microsoft products such as Exchange, SharePoint, and Office, he said.
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps you get more out of the other technology assets that Microsoft delivers, whether cloud services like Microsoft Lync and Windows Azure or client-based programs like Microsoft Office and Outlook,” Unger said. “We find there’s a natural affinity between the kinds of technologies that Microsoft already delivers at scale and the CRM technology for managing customer relationships. All of these things can be pulled together in a seamless fashion to deliver great value for customers.”
Getting more value from existing technology investments is an attractive proposition for businesses. When BioMedix signed up for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it also decided to migrate to Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS), a set of messaging and collaboration tools that includes Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and other products delivered as a subscription service.
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online went beyond sales to pull together all areas of our business, something that we were not getting from Salesforce.com,” said Meg Heim, vice president of marketing at BioMedix. “Because the Microsoft solution works seamlessly with Outlook, we can automate workflows across sales, marketing and operations in a way that we wouldn’t have been able to if using Salesforce.com.”
Wilson said Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a key component of the company’s business, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is poised to shake up the industry.
“If we can show what Microsoft can do across the broad range of technologies we deliver, I believe we’ll have a tremendous ability to transform the CRM marketplace and to really showcase Microsoft as a company that offers business and IT decision-makers remarkable value,” he said.
Register to attend Microsoft’s 9 a.m. PST Thursday, Jan. 20, worldwide online virtual launch event. Those who attend will be able to hear Ballmer and Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions, speak about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and experience the new product for themselves through on-demand videos and content, including a customer showcase and business productivity, IT productivity, and industry tracks.