Microsoft Eases Economic Pressures With Free Product Updates and Tools for Business

NEW ORLEANS — March 10, 2009 — Microsoft Business Solutions Corporate Vice President Kirill Tatarinov today rang in Convergence 2009 in New Orleans by highlighting how businesses can maximize their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) investments to thrive in today’s economy.

Tatarinov outlined the Microsoft vision of the Dynamic Business, a way for organizations to combine the unique value of their people, businesses processes, and connections with their customers and trading partners to increase relevance, responsiveness and impact.

According to a December 2008 report from Forrester Research Inc. by analyst R “Ray” Wang, “as enterprises face an increasing frequency and intensity of change, business and IT leaders must address the continued economic and geopolitical uncertainty, the emergence of new business models, changing workforce dynamics, and rapid advances in technology. This requires that application delivery leaders increase focus on reducing ongoing operations and maintenance costs in order to respond to both expected and unexpected change. Successful alignment requires a focus on recession-relevant business drivers such as compliance and efficiency.” (“Five Steps To Building A Recession-Proof Packaged Applications Strategy”).

“Our goal is to inspire customers to embrace change, to focus on how to anticipate and plan for change accordingly, and ultimately turn this economic crisis into opportunity,” Tatarinov said. “Successful businesses will be able to endure and prevail in an increasingly complex world.”

Tatarinov emphasized specific ways in which Microsoft has helped ease costs. Microsoft Business Solutions has continued to add value to an attractively priced maintenance plan for Microsoft Dynamics ERP products (16 percent of the price of the ERP product) while several other vendors raised their fees, delivered 0 percent financing for a limited time to approved new Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM customers, and offered zero payments for six months through its SmartPay program with extended payments from Microsoft Financing.

Extending its deep commitment to giving businesses economical, cost-effective access to industry-leading applications to manage their operations and customer relationships, the company today unveiled a set of technological innovations and pricing discounts that will further drive customer return on investment, including the following:

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online March 2009 Service Update. At no additional charge, Microsoft is delivering an industry-leading, financially backed service level agreement of 99.9 percent uptime to all Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers; new Internet lead capture capabilities that help increase sales pipeline while reducing costs; cloud integration services that provide multiple options for security-enhanced Web-based authentication with third-party applications; and new quick-start tools that familiarize new customers with the application so they can realize value quickly. Additional information can be found at

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accelerators. Also at no additional charge, Microsoft is offering eight software extensions that are available for download today. The CRM Accelerators are add-on solutions that can be deployed quickly and easily to extend marketing, sales and service capabilities. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accelerators are Analytics, Business Productivity, CRM Notifications, Enterprise Search, eService, Event Management, Extended Sales Forecasting and Sales Methodologies, and can be downloaded at

  • Unleash Your Potential. An initiative designed to help customers discover further value from their Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution, Unleash Your Potential helps current and prospective customers identify the system capabilities they need to improve their businesses and plan ahead for possible strategic investments. Working in tandem with their certified Microsoft Dynamics partner, customers receive a personalized Business Solutions Roadmap that outlines the ways in which they can maximize their current ERP investments and better achieve their business goals by using functionality that in many cases they already have.

  • Savings on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP solutions for Convergence 2009 attendees. Qualified customers attending Convergence will receive savings of as much as 75 percent on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and up to 20 percent on Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics SL.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Power of Choice for Global Enterprise Customers

EDS, an HP company, announced its newly extended alliance with a global hosting offering based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This new hosting services offering will help companies reduce upfront investments and use less working capital in deploying and supporting their Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution, while helping create stronger customer relationships and position customers for long-term success.

American Red Cross and Linc Group: Customers Gain Flexibility and Efficiency

Organizations are harnessing Microsoft Dynamics to increase productivity, drive customer satisfaction and grow their business.

The Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross relies on Microsoft Dynamics to help it deliver essential services to 1.7 million people. Microsoft Dynamics has enabled the nonprofit to substantially reduce its overhead costs, become leaner and more efficient, and improve its financial transparency. The business performance improvements have freed up resources for its core humanitarian mission.

“We chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP because they replicate the familiar, intuitive user interface of Office, and gave us an easy onramp to powerful business management capabilities. The Microsoft Dynamics products have been instrumental in enabling us to become a more focused, mission-centric organization,” said Rick Hankins, chief information officer of the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland.

“For us, the bottom line is that using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP ensures that the donor dollars, which are so vital to our mission, are stewarded at the highest levels and creates efficiencies that allow more funds to be directed to the vital services that we provide to our community,” said Bob Dills, chief financial officer of the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland.

Underscoring the versatility of Microsoft Dynamics solutions, this year’s Convergence Customer Excellence Overall Award winner, the Linc Group LLC, also credits Microsoft Dynamics solutions with transforming the way it does business. Formed from the merger of several facilities services companies, the Linc Group has implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a platform for streamlining operations, measurement, analysis and continuous improvements across 385 locations worldwide.

“When we formed the Linc Group, we wanted to revolutionize the entire facility services industry through the use of software and technology and we had to hit the ground running. After looking at other vendors, we were deeply impressed with the Microsoft Dynamics business applications and chose them as the system that would best support our growth,” said Greg Lush, chief information officer of the Linc Group. “I am thrilled that in the five years since we started rolling out Microsoft Dynamics, the Linc Group has more than quadrupled annual revenue from $140 million to over $500 million.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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