Microsoft Business Solutions Customer Relationship Management Launches in North America

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 21, 2003 — Microsoft®
Business Solutions (Microsoft) today announced the North American availability of Microsoft Business Solutions Customer Relationship Management (Microsoft CRM). The new product supports and automates the CRM strategies of midmarket organizations, helping them build lasting and profitable relationships with their most important constituency: their customers. The solution enables businesses to take advantage of technology and related services that were previously reserved for large enterprises with big IT budgets.

Microsoft CRM offers an up-to-the-minute view of all interactions from initial lead through lifetime customer history. Featuring an intuitive user interface, Microsoft CRM is accessible both as a browser-based application and through Microsoft Outlook®
. Sales teams have integrated, up-to-date information, facilitating better work in team environments, increasing efficiency and ultimately improving the customer experience. Customer service employees are armed with a solution that helps meet a greater number of service agreements and provides higher customer satisfaction.

Microsoft CRM is the first Microsoft business application built on the Microsoft .NET infrastructure, facilitating a simpler connection of disparate systems and enhancing integration with external Web services such as credit checking, analytics and marketing automation services that extend the core functionality of the solution. The flexibility built into Microsoft CRM allows midmarket businesses to determine the degree to which they want to automate and share information across their organizations.

“Microsoft CRM is a key component of Microsoft Business Solutions’ overall mission to give midmarket businesses the tools they need to succeed on their terms, their schedules and their budgets,” said David Thacher, general manager of Customer Relationship Management at Microsoft Business Solutions. “Microsoft CRM empowers businesses to deliver the kind of superior service that keeps customers coming back for more.”

Microsoft CRM Brings New Opportunities to Certified Reselling Partners as Well as Customers

Microsoft CRM Professional Edition, which enables more complex CRM functionality including work-flow rules, customization and back-office integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and Microsoft CRM Standard Edition, which provides a broad range of CRM functionality for a stand-alone CRM environment without extensive business automation and integration requirements, will be distributed and implemented by Microsoft Business Solutions CRM-certified reselling partners beginning today. Microsoft CRM Standard Edition will also soon be available to reselling partners in North America through a key distributor, Ingram Micro Inc. Additional distributors will be announced over the next few months.

“We anticipate that Microsoft CRM will significantly change the way businesses work with their customers. The solution meets the needs and fits within the budget and IT resources of midmarket businesses,” said Terry Petrzelka, president and CEO of TECTURA Corp., a Microsoft Business Solutions CRM certified partner. “This CRM product can be easily tailored to meet a variety of specific vertical and industry requirements and has built-in support for advanced customizations, integration of additional code and unique user interfaces.”

Availability and Pricing

Microsoft CRM is available for purchase in North America. Estimated retail pricing for Microsoft CRM ranges from $395 (U.S.) per user, plus $995 (U.S.) for the service or sales servers for the Standard Edition, to $1,295 (U.S.) per user, plus $1,990 (U.S.) for the service and sales servers for the Professional Suite Edition. The product is available as an on-premise solution or as a hosted solution through select resellers. The North American version of Microsoft CRM is not available for purchase outside the United States and Canada at this time, but localized versions of Microsoft CRM for the Europe and Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America markets are being developed and are scheduled for release in the second half of 2003.

About Microsoft Business Solutions

Microsoft Business Solutions is a division of Microsoft and offers a wide range of business applications designed to help small, midmarket and corporate businesses become more connected with customers, employees, partners and suppliers. Microsoft Business Solutions’ applications automate end-to-end business processes across financials, distribution, project accounting, electronic commerce, human resources and payroll, manufacturing, supply chain management, business intelligence, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support. More information about Microsoft Business Solutions can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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