Microsoft piles into CRM market

Microsoft has announced a customer relationship management (CRM) initiative aimed at letting businesses form new partnerships...

Microsoft has announced a customer relationship management (CRM) initiative aimed at letting businesses form new partnerships with retail outlets, wholesalers, manufacturers and e-marketplaces.

James Rogers

The software giant has signed a multi-million dollar network solutions deal with software supplier Pivotal. The two companies will develop so-called demand chain network solutions, which are designed to integrate e-commerce and CRM across a range of different networks.

Analysts have given a cautious response to the three-year deal, which combines Microsoft's .net enterprise servers with Pivotal's XML-based enterprise applications.

"While there have been loads of problems, CRM is something that users still feel is the best way forward for them," said Anoop Ubhey, enterprise industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "Users definitely need something new, but we will just have to wait and see whether this is it."

Users are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of comprehensive CRM offerings on the market. Ubhey said, "End-users aren't happy because vendors often have the technology but don't get the CRM message across."

A recent report by Ovum suggested that traditional CRM suppliers do not do e-commerce well, while e-commerce platform suppliers are unlikely to provide a service to match the rest of their firm's offering.

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