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Microsoft Pushes Dynamics CRM 4.0 Out The Door

New software will challenge Salesforce.com, especially in SMB markets.

CRM

Formerly codenamed "Titan," the application is available under two product names: Dynamics CRM 4.0 for on-premise and partner-hosted deployments and Dynamics CRM Live for the version Microsoft will host within its own data centers. Both versions are built on the same code base making it possible for customers to migrate between on-premise and hosted versions of the system when business needs change.

Hosted versions of the application are expected to compete head-to-head with Salesforce.com and Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand, especially among SMB customers.

The English language version of the software will be available by early next week, Microsoft said, with an additional nine language packs available in January 2008 and others to follow at a rate of four or more each month. Customers that subscribe to Microsoft's Software Assurance plan will receive the upgrade at no cost.

Dynamics Live CRM is currently available only in the U.S. and Canada and only to a limited number of customers through the early access program. While customers will be able to subscribe to Dynamics Live CRM directly from Microsoft, the vendor is recruiting channel partners to provide business consulting and configuration services around the hosted application in return for 10 percent of the annual subscription fees.

The software is built on a multi-tenant architecture that supports multiple customers per server. It offers business process automation based on the Windows Workflow model, improved business intelligence tools and new collaboration capabilities based on Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.

Microsoft said the new application, the first major revision of the product in more than three years, has been "in extensive use" by more than 600 partners and more than 100 early access customers.

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