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Microsoft Releases Next-Gen Dynamics CRM App To Partners For Testing

Microsoft's next release of its Dynamics CRM application is moving a little closer to completion: Today, the vendor is making the new software available to several hundred business partners for testing.

CRM

The application, code-named "Titan," uses a single code base to support on-premise and software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployments.

Microsoft is making Titan available to about 300 resellers and other business partners under its Technology Adoption Program to give them an early start on developing complementary solutions. Microsoft is expected to expand the product release to several thousand partners sometime in the second quarter, with general availability of the product slated for sometime this summer.

The new version of the application uses a multi-tenant architecture that allows the application to be hosted by solution providers as well as by Microsoft itself through its upcoming Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM service. Because the on-premise and software-as-a-service versions use a single code base and metadata model, customers can switch from one version to another as needed.

That, for example, would allow a business with an urgent need for a CRM system to start out using a hosted version of the application from Microsoft or a solution provider, then bring the application in-house as the company builds the needed infrastructure, says Christian Pederson, senior director for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft expects its own CRM hosting service will be particularly attractive to small companies with few IT resources that need a basic CRM system. Meanwhile, solution-provider partners will develop applications and services that complement the CRM applications they host. The SaaS version of Dynamics CRM will let partners serve more customers with less drain on their resources, Pederson says.

"We expect to see a great deal of creativity among our partners to create new business models in the marketplace using Dynamics Live CRM," he says.

Some partners are also expected to sell subscriptions for Microsoft's hosted CRM service, earning commissions in the process. Prices for Dynamics CRM and subscription fees for Dynamics Live CRM have not been set, according to Pederson.

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