Microsoft releases 'bare bones' CRM package for SMEs

Microsoft has finally released its customer relationship management package in the UK - the next phase in the company's plan to...

Microsoft has finally released its customer relationship management package in the UK - the next phase in the company's plan to offer enterprise software to small and medium-sized businesses.

In London last week Jeffrey Young, general manager for emerging solutions at Microsoft Business Solutions, said, "We are combining Outlook with sales and marketing collaboration."

Nigel Montgomery, research director at AMR Research, said the tight integration with Microsoft Outlook would make the software easier to use and implement than rival products. "Microsoft CRM will be quicker to implement than Siebel," he said.

But Montgomery said Microsoft's CRM package was a "bare bones" product designed for customisation, rather than "out-of-the-box" use. "Resellers will build add-ons to Microsoft CRM. Pricing will depend on what the Microsoft reseller plans to offer." One such firm is ERP producer Scala, which has introduced a flavour of Microsoft CRM as its iScala CRM package. It has not sold iScala CRM in the UK, but a construction materials firm in Hungry and a Mexican pharmaceutical company have bought it.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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