Microsoft talks cloud CRM, ERP at partner conference

Dynamics partners will get plenty of advice on how to transition to the cloud

Microsoft is expected on Tuesday to update its strategy for cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) software during the annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles.

The next update of CRM Online will be available in the fourth quarter, and customers with more than 100 seats will be able to get unified billing and provisioning for CRM Online and Office 365, the recently launched cloud productivity suite. "We're really sort of wrapping that up in a bow and delivering it," said Microsoft spokeswoman Jennifer Pollard.

CRM Online is also getting a social media makeover with the addition of real-time activity feeds that can be tracked both within the application and on Windows 7 mobile devices, she said.

Browser access for CRM Online will be expanded as well, with support for Safari, Firefox and Chrome on both PCs and Macs, according to Pollard.

Microsoft is also planning to announce that CRM Online has now more than 30,000 customers and 2 million users worldwide, she said.

In addition, executives are expected to discuss Microsoft's plans to move its four Dynamics ERP suites to the Azure cloud service, starting with NAV next year.

Dynamics ERP has traditionally been sold strictly through partners, who help customers implement it on-premises, or offer it in hosted form. Partners will still be able to host Dynamics applications after they become available on Azure, Pollard said.

Microsoft has also been pushing partners on the idea of selling value-added extensions to Azure-hosted Dynamics installations.

There won't be a direct Microsoft sales force for Dynamics on Azure, according to Pollard. "We are definitely committed to the channel model," she said. "When we have a partner connected to a CRM Online sale, we extend the number of seats by 70 percent."

Microsoft arguably has little choice but to treat partners gingerly as it rolls out the Azure deployment option, since channel partners have long served as the company's "face" for customers out in the field, and possess deep expertise in the many verticals covered by Dynamics applications.

Earlier this year at the Convergence conference, Microsoft released the "Dynamics Cloud Partner Profitability Guide," a document that explains how partners can adjust their business models for the cloud.

"For many partners today, consulting services represent over 80% of revenue. Much of this revenue comes from deploying the software solutions," it states. "As customers shift away from on-premises deployments full of billable hours toward more of a consumable utility, the ratio of revenue sources is likely to change. Because customers are becoming more sensitive to deployment costs, partners will need to determine which offerings can be packaged and sold as an annuity rather than as customizations."

However, if partners take the right steps, cloud-based ERP can lead to higher profits over time, the document contends.

Microsoft this week will announce a similar profitability guide fine tuned for ISVs (independent software vendors), Pollard said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags enterprise resource planningMicrosoftservicessoftwareapplicationsWPC

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?