Microsoft will add a mobile component to its customer relationship management software.
Microsoft said the latest compotent will allow end users to handle CRM workflows right from a Windows-based Pocket PC.
The company's CRM Sales for Outlook software, which will ship this summer, is designed to allow salespeople to do things such as review information before a customer meeting and then capture relevant data to feed back into a company's CRM system during synchronisation.
Microsoft will also deliver more interfaces to enable integration between its CRM suite and its back-end ERP applications, such as Solomon, said Doug Burgum, senior vice president at Microsoft business solutions group, at the Convergence 2004 business applications user show in Orlando.
All the ERP lines Microsoft has acquired, including Great Plains, Navision and Axapta, will be supported through 2013, and Burgum added that the company had "very robust" research and development plans.
Other improvements Microsoft plans for its CRM line over the long term include a campaign management module to automate marketing processes, as well as improvements designed to help workers who do more than field phone calls, said Holly Holt, group product manager for CRM. In addition, there will be tighter integration with the SQL Server 2000 reporting services application.
Microsoft also announced that it has enhanced its Great Plains 8.0 ERP software to have a Microsoft Outlook desktop look and feel and tight integration with Office. Great Plains 8.0 will ship in July.
Marc L Songini writes for Computerworld