Microsoft Offers Discounts, Incentives To Boost App Sales


The financial inducements include flexible payment options and discounts for switching from competing products.

Microsoft's application sales could use a boost. Revenue in the company's third quarter ended March 31 was down 6 percent to $13.65 billion, the company said last week. Revenue generated by the Microsoft Business Division, which includes the Dynamics applications, was down almost 5 percent to $4.51 billion.

Recognizing that cash flow is a major issue for many businesses today, Microsoft said it would offer new buyers of Dynamics ERP and CRM applications the option of purchasing the software today and paying for it in equal payments over three years. Microsoft contrasted the "Business Ready Flexible Pay" plan with other vendors' financing plans that carry interest charges.

To encourage potential customers to switch from Sage MAS 90, Sage MAS 200 or Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications, Microsoft said select U.S. partners could offer a 50 percent discount on licensing fees on Dynamics software. Buyers, furthermore, would receive a rebate equal to 25 percent of the suggested retail price of the Microsoft software (up to a maximum of $25,000) to help cover transition costs.

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And in a bid to encourage existing Dynamics ERP application owners to add Dynamics CRM software to their IT systems, Microsoft is now allowing customers to purchase the CRM application as a stand-alone product under its Business Ready Licensing program.

Since 2007 customers have been able to purchase Dynamics CRM under the Dynamics price list only if they already owned -- or were purchasing -- a Dynamics ERP product. Now customers can start with Dynamics CRM and add ERP software later, according to the company. (Dynamics CRM also has been available through Microsoft's volume licensing programs.)