AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, and MINNEAPOLIS — July 5, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will preview the upcoming release of its customer relationship management solution, Microsoft® CRM 3.0, 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 powerful marketing, sales and service capabilities, all with a familiar and consistent user experience based on Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook®. Extensive new configuration, customization and integration capabilities will make it easier for customers and partners to deploy highly tailored solutions that help drive measurable business results and offer a low total cost of ownership (TCO).
Microsoft CRM 3.0 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. The release is focused on three main themes:
Works the way you do. Microsoft CRM 3.0 offers a user experience familiar and comfortable to anyone who uses Microsoft Office or Microsoft Outlook. The Outlook client and Web client interfaces are completely redesigned to provide a look and feel consistent with other Microsoft products, allowing work to be completed more easily. 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 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™.
Works the way your business does. Microsoft CRM 3.0 completes the CRM suite by offering a rich marketing automation module for list management, campaign management, marketing resource management and closed-loop response management. The new release also will introduce a sophisticated new service scheduling module, which automatically manages complex scheduling requests that today require specific people, skills and resources. These new modules, along with enhancements to the sales and customer service capabilities previously available in Microsoft CRM 1.2, are highly configurable and workflow-driven, enabling consistent execution of CRM business processes, automated handling of exceptions and alerts, and closed-loop reporting and analysis across the organization.
Works the way IT wants it to. The new release extends the configurability, customizability and integration options for Microsoft CRM’s service-oriented architecture. New data objects can be easily added to the system and linked to other predefined objects, with all underlying data storage and Web services automatically generated by the system. A new environmental diagnostics wizard automatically checks more than 100 system and network settings to help ensure a fast and reliable installation, and a new upgrade advisor streamlines the upgrade process for existing Microsoft CRM 1.0 and 1.2 customers. Integration with Microsoft Operations Manager simplifies the management of the overall system.
“Every business — whether large or small — needs a fast, flexible and affordable way to manage and grow their relationships with current and prospective customers,” said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft CRM. “Microsoft CRM 3.0 provides exactly what our customers and partners need: a simple user experience based on Office and Outlook, a flexible CRM platform that easily adapts to fit each business, and fast implementations that can result in a low TCO. The feedback on this release from customers, partners and industry analysts has been tremendous, and with Microsoft CRM 3.0 we can help even more companies around the world reach their business goals.”
New Subscription-Based Licensing for Hosted Deployments
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.
New CRM Offering for Small Businesses
With the 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). The new version will deliver a simplified installation and an easy migration path from Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager, with the familiarity of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook. Pricing will be announced closer to availability.
New Features and Opportunities for Partners
Microsoft CRM is offered today through a network of more than 1,700 worldwide independent software vendors, value-added retailers and hosting providers; these partners deliver tailored solutions to small businesses, midsize companies and divisions of large enterprises. For Microsoft’s partners, Microsoft CRM 3.0 reduces the time and complexity in creating prepackaged vertical applications, in building integrations to other applications and data sources, and in helping to ensure fast implementations with a low TCO. The software development kit for Microsoft CRM 3.0 will be available to Microsoft partners later this year via the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN®).
“After previewing Microsoft CRM 3.0, it’s clear to me that Microsoft has invested a massive amount of time and energy to develop a simple upgrade path for customers that currently use previous versions of the product,” said Kirk Herrington, executive vice president of Technology and Business Strategy for GaleForce Solutions Inc. “For most organizations, upgrading to Microsoft CRM 3.0 will be simple, which is great news for Microsoft partners and their customers.”
“Microsoft CRM delivers a powerful and affordable way to automate customer business processes,” said Bernard McMahon, chairman of Just Good Business. “Using Microsoft Office and Outlook is second nature to employees throughout the world, making Microsoft CRM the natural choice.”
Extended Support for Worldwide Languages
Microsoft CRM 1.2 is available today in 53 countries and 16 languages, and the new release of Microsoft CRM will extend its reach to include 23 languages: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian and Iberian), Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. Most languages will be available within 90 days of the initial release of Microsoft CRM 3.0.
Microsoft CRM was introduced in early 2002 and today helps more than 4,000 worldwide businesses deliver measurable improvements in their customer-facing business processes. 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.
About Microsoft Business Solutions
Microsoft Business Solutions are financial, customer relationship and supply chain management solutions for small and midsize businesses, large corporations, and divisions of global enterprises. Delivered through a network of channel partners providing specialized services, these integrated, adaptable business solutions work like and with familiar Microsoft software to streamline processes across an entire business.
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