WITH pricing set to attract smaller businesses the new version of Microsoft’s customer relationship management (CRM) suite offers plenty of business opportunities for resellers, the company says.
A member of the Microsoft Business Solutions family, which is being rebranded to Microsoft Dynamics, CRM 3.0 was launched at the vendor’s Connect sessions last month.
The suite includes an edition aimed specifically at users of Small Business Server, priced within reach of small and medium businesses, says Phillip Paton, business solutions specialist at Microsoft New Zealand.
The package also answers a huge demand for affordable and flexible CRM applications, as users are tired of slow, complex and expensive systems, says Paton.
This creates tremendous opportunities for resellers, he adds.
Resellers can earn a dollar of services reve-nue for every dollar a customer spends on the suite. This ratio could eventually be five to one in favour of services, Paton says.
The package can be implemented in a matter weeks, rather than months, and can lead to infrastructure work for resellers, says Paton.
Resellers who complete Microsoft’s CRM Certified Software Advisor certification can meanwhile earn additional rebates, which increase margins by around 13%, he says.
CRM 3.0 is a significant step forwards for the suite with better integration with Office and more user-centric customisability, says Paton.
“We spent a lot of time making it easy to use, because its success is based on getting every-
one to use it in the organisation,” he says.
Integration with Outlook is unrivalled, as the suite can be accessed from Outlook with a single click, says Paton.
“We wanted to build on the infrastructure customers already have,” he says.
The package also features a new marketing module, in addition to the existing sales and services modules and enhanced reporting and analysis tools, he says.
Microsoft is launching the suite with promotional pricing valid until March 2006.
The Small Business Server edition will sell for $585, plus $487 for each user, while the enterprise version is priced at $1,954, plus $975 per user.