COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Oct. 24, 2007 — Establishing a new standard for customer service, Microsoft Corp. today launched its Business Ready Customer Care initiative for Microsoft Dynamics™ customers and partners worldwide at Convergence 2007 Copenhagen, the premier Microsoft Dynamics customer event.
Under this initiative, the company provides Microsoft Dynamics customers around the world with industry-leading visibility, influence and control over their Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions. Business Ready Customer Care provides customers with reassuring insight into upcoming product innovations, product support extended beyond industry practices, and new financing programs that extend the reach of Microsoft Dynamics solutions to small and midsize companies and enterprises around the world.
“We are delighted that Microsoft continues to lead by example in its commitment to customer care,” said Marc De Deygere, IT program manager at Picanol N.V., one of the leading weaving machine manufacturers in the world, based in Belgium. “Business Ready Customer Care — as exemplified through extended product support and a single Premier Support contract for all Microsoft products — demonstrates that Microsoft understands what we need to manage our IT infrastructure and plan ahead. Our investments in Microsoft Dynamics solutions have already delivered substantial benefits to our company, and this initiative reinforces our confidence in future investments.”
Business Ready Customer Care builds on the company’s extensive efforts to streamline software licensing and pricing through its Business Ready Licensing program rolled out in July 2006.
According to the recently released independent report “The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Apps Software Licensing And Pricing, Q4 2007” (October 2007), (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/itanalyst/docs/10152007forrestermbsentapps.pdf), Microsoft was named a “leader” in software licensing and pricing for the small and midsize market and a “strong performer” for large enterprises.
Efficient IT Planning and Management
Microsoft will provide ongoing road-map visibility through comprehensive statements of direction that give insight into the planned product innovations at least 12 to 18 months in advance of the next version release for Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management Solution product lines. While most business management software companies typically provide statements of direction (SODs) to large enterprises, Microsoft goes beyond industry practices by delivering them to other customers, including those in the midmarket segment. Learning about future technology innovations in advance, customers and partners can more efficiently manage their infrastructure and undertake product and IT planning with greater foresight.
Product Support Beyond Industry Practices
Microsoft will extend its Support Lifecycle policy for the Microsoft CRM, ERP and Retail Management Solution product lines. With Extended Support, Microsoft Dynamics customers will receive an additional five years of product support beyond the current five years offered for Mainstream Support. This total of 10 years minimum product support exceeds industry practices that business management software vendors have typically offered to midsize companies. By raising the bar with these additional years of support, Microsoft is providing customers with increased flexibility to either keep their existing products or upgrade as they desire.
“Our Business Ready Customer Care commitment underscores Microsoft’s unwavering pledge to protect customers’ product investments now and into the future,” said Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions. “We’re proud to go beyond industry practices, delivering the peace of mind that our customers deserve through increased product insight, freedom of choice for product support, and the assurance of a clear future for technology advancements.”
For enterprise customers worldwide, Microsoft® Premier Support offers a single point of contact for seamless, high-availability support, with risk management and vendor involvement from Microsoft. Microsoft Dynamics customers can now access proactive services, 24×7 break-fix services, and critical situation and rapid on-site support as part of the recently announced support coverage for a customer’s entire Microsoft solution including the Microsoft Dynamics applications.
Additionally, worldwide customers who subscribe to a Microsoft Dynamics Business Ready Enhancement Plan can access valuable online tools, including unlimited organizational access to all online training content, product download documentation, discussion boards, a searchable knowledge base and support webcasts, via CustomerSource, Microsoft’s award-winning 24×7 online customer portal. Microsoft Dynamics support efforts have been recognized by the industry on multiple occasions for its professional services and customer satisfaction, including the Service & Support Professionals Association and Localization Industry Standards Association in partnership with the Association of Support Professionals.
Innovative Financing Options From 50 Euros
To help customers more easily manage their specific financing needs, Microsoft Financing is expanding its innovative Total Solution Financing (TSF) program with the launch of a finance leasing product in key European markets. This new product allows companies to lease their Microsoft Dynamics solution by making fixed predictable payments at regular intervals. The leasing term is spread over the useful life of the assets, ranging from 24 months to 60 months, for easier cash-flow management. Customers could also gain from tax and accounting benefits, depending on their local tax and balance sheet treatment as agreed upon with their auditors.
Customers in 15 major markets worldwide can refine financing to meet their individual requirements with Microsoft Financing’s new SmartPay promotion. SmartPay allows customers to choose their preferred monthly payment for the first 12 months, starting from as low as 50 euros per month. Addressing customers’ needs for a total solution approach, TSF provides financing for not only Microsoft software, but also for partner services (including consultancy, planning, installation, implementation and training), and third-party hardware and software.
Business Ready Customer Care strengthens the total value proposition Microsoft Dynamics partners bring to customers by giving partners more customer-focused tools that provide greater flexibility in the total solution financing options they can offer their customers. These financing alternatives help reduce financial barriers for customers, providing support to supplement partner-delivered services as needed. In this way, Microsoft partners are able to assure customers that they can choose software and technology upgrades on their own timeline, which is especially important for larger, multinational and multisite customers that typically have longer implementation times.
About Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of financial, customer relationship and supply chain management solutions that helps businesses work more effectively. Delivered through a network of channel partners providing specialized services, these integrated, adaptable business management solutions work like and with familiar Microsoft software to streamline processes across an entire business.
About the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy
Customers demand a clear and consistent support road map that aligns with their needs, and Microsoft is committed to creating predictable relationships with customers. The Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy is tailored to meet customer needs for predictability and planning throughout the life of a product. More information is available at http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.