Toolkit paves way for Microsoft CRM launch

Microsoft is stepping up preparations for its move into the customer relationship management market with the launch of an...

Microsoft is stepping up preparations for its move into the customer relationship management market with the launch of an implementation toolkit to help its technology partners build a business case for the software.

The company is due to launch Microsoft CRM at the end of December in an attempt to capitalise on demand for affordable CRM from small and medium-sized businesses.

Earlier this year, Dean Carroll, business development director at Microsoft Business Solutions, said existing CRM players, such as Siebel and Oracle, had captured just 10% of the SME market.

Dale Vile, services director at analyst firm Ovum, said Microsoft would target those companies that have rejected traditional CRM packages in favour of getting greater functionality from existing systems.

"It is the casual up-sell against the traditional large-scale CRM system," he said. "Microsoft is saying it can mobilise a run-of-the-mill, out-of-the-box solution."

The implementation toolkit, available for download now, is designed to allow system integrators to scope and manage a project effectively and calculate return on investment.

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