The latest version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM — 4.0, formerly code-named “Titan” — is complete and released to manufacturing. In other words, the long-awaited application has shipped from Microsoft’s engineering group and is now available from electronic download for new and existing customers.
The feature set in the product is largely the same as earlier incarnations, explained Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, except for the application’s unified communications offering, which includes instant messenger (IM) and chat.
“We integrated a ‘presence’ indication into that,” Wilson told CRM Buyer. Within the CRM application, someone can launch an IM or chat session after checking to see if that person is available.
Otherwise, 4.0 is going to market with the same features Microsoft has been heralding for much of the last year. These include the fully multitenant architecture that supports high volume hosting, business process automation based on Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation, and the ability to deploy the application either as on-demand or on-presence. 4.0 is also available as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Live for Microsoft-hosted deployment. It’s the same product as 4.0, Wilson explained.
When it was first announced, CRM Live was expected to make a dent in other Software as a Service providers’ — namely Salesforce.com’s — market share. Microsoft will not begin making this functionality widely available until next year, so the market will have to wait until then to see how that particularly dynamic will play out.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is available in more than 25 languages and has multicurrency functionality — abilities one early adopter cited as important.
The application “will allow us to easily automate innovative workflows, quickly share knowledge across our global enterprise, and develop a more productive worldwide purchasing and vendor relationship management environment,” said Dirk Karl, general manager and chief procurement officer at ING Group.
The new version is offered under two product names: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 for on-premise and partner-hosted deployments and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Live for Microsoft-hosted deployment. The English-language pack will be available within the next seven days to new and existing partners and customers. Nine additional language packs will be available in January, and the remaining language packs will be delivered at a rate of four or more each month.