Microsoft Upgrades Its Dynamics CRM Online Service


Microsoft also said the updated service now scales to support "multiple thousands of employees" and offers a direct link from the service to Microsoft's Pinpoint marketplace where users can connect to more than 200 Microsoft Dynamics partners with some 250 products and service.

Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft's first major foray into on-demand enterprise applications, went live in April available as a hosted service in the U.S. and Canada. Because customers can subscribe to the service directly from Microsoft, some resellers have worried that Dynamics CRM Online could have a negative impact on the channel. But other solution providers are building new businesses around the service, either selling the Microsoft-hosted application or hosting it themselves for their customers.

The new Internet marketing module will help users "create, monitor and optimize" Internet marketing campaigns, Microsoft said in a statement. Users can research and bid on key words for search engine campaigns and combine search engine intelligence with CRM analytics for improving campaign performance. New features help capture sales leads from Web pages hosted by the business or Microsoft, the company said, and helps sales and marketing managers calculate the return-on-investment of marketing campaigns based on click-through and conversion rates.

"This update will help customers maximize marketing returns from online advertising spending by allowing them to monitor and measure the effectiveness of online ad campaigns," said David Buggy, vice president of Beringer Associates Inc., a Pennsauken, N.J.-based Microsoft gold certified partner, in a statement.

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The new capabilities are available only in the U.S. while a later update will extend the enhancements to customers in Canada. Microsoft also said future service updates will offer enhanced enterprise integration and enterprise analytics.