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Microsoft Talks up CRM 2011

What was once knows as CRM 5 will soon be CRM 2011, with a beta release set for September. The new version builds on Microsoft's commitment to integrate CRM data into Outlook and provide users with the most familiar experience possible.

With the new release, Microsoft will "serve CRM data in the same way we serve Outlook data," Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM at Microsoft, told RCPU in a recent phone chat. "In the past, CRM data was in Outlook as folders and forms. We didn't natively access things like preview pane. We're treating CRM data like any other Outlook data. We really are making this much more of a deeply embedded experience."

Business intelligence gets a boost in CRM 2011 as well, with BI capabilities integrated more tightly and frequently than ever into the offering. "We are now interspersing BI elements throughout the applications," Wilson said. "We're making BI much more pervasive."

CRM 2011 also includes native SharePoint controls, which will allow users to "access and update SharePoint repositories," Wilson said. Microsoft is also introducing with this release Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, a site partners can use to put their third-party applications in front of customers. "It's meant to help our third parties around the world put apps into the cloud," Wilson said.

Wilson noted as well that CRM Online, the Microsoft-hosted version of the software, will be a benefit of the new Microsoft Partner Network. "Eligible partners can receive up to 250 seats of CRM online at no charge," he said.

Posted by Lee Pender on July 15, 2010


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