English version of Column on Channelweb

An article that I wrote some weeks ago for Channelweb was published in Dutch. I have translated the article because of the many requests that I got. Read here the English version of the column 'The power of choice'.

The power of choice

Microsoft will release the newest version of its much discussed product Microsoft Dynamics CRM in 2007. There are big changes to come which will make it possible to use this application in even more organizations.

The market of Customer Relationship Management was entered by Microsoft in the end of 2003. The first version was primarily aimed at small and medium businesses, but also enterprise organizations implemented this application. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 was released in December 2005 to serve all target groups at best. Better scalability as well as a service oriented architecture (soa) was added for the large organizations and a partner hosted solution has been made available for the smaller organizations.

The successor of Dynamics CRM 3.0, which is still known under the codename Titan, will offer the clients even more choices. This Titan-release will be able to run multiple installations on the same server (multi-tenancy). The hosting partners are not depending on virtual servers anymore because of this multi-tenancy. Therefore they can lower the prices even more. Also Microsoft will offer CRM as a service themselves under the name CRM Live. This offer will be available in North America in the first place. International releases will follow as soon as possible.

International employees of a multinational will be able to work with Dynamics CRM when working with this Titan-release. This release will enable the users to choose their own language (multi-lingual) and own currency (multi-currency) within one installation. This means that large-scale, international operating companies with multiple establishments and business units can use Dynamics CRM even better. And they can do that from one centralized maintainable organization or from a decentralized maintenance organization on a hosted environment. Another large change is the extension of workflow possibilities. Dynamics CRM does now use its own workflow engine, but this will be replaced by Windows Workflow Foundation in Titan. This will further improve the integration with other Microsoft applications.

The new possibilities mentioned above do give the clients many advantages. Not only the SMB but also the enterprise organizations can optimize the use of CRM with these advantages. Microsoft does let the client choose between different offerings of CRM, but the final choice stays with you. What will you choose for?

Ronald Lemmen
Senior Associate Consultant at Avanade Netherlands

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