If you have worked with or implemented Microsoft CRM 3.0 (or even previous versions like 1.2), you will know that there are some features that could really help improve the implementation, development, and end-user experiences.
CRM Titan (4.0) has the promise of bringing together some of these features in this third major release of Microsoft CRM (yes, they skipped 2.0). Along with multilingual capabilities, one of the main hot-points is the SaaS offerings. Microsoft CRM will be available in 3 architectural flavors:
- On-Site (Self Hosted) — as done in the past
- Hosted by Partners
- Hosted by Microsoft
The SaaS offerings mean a few very important things. One of those is easier access over the Internet.
Previous versions of Microsoft CRM were known to be “Intranet-friendly”, but almost to a point of “Intranet-only”. With the growth of virtual work environments, many customers do not want to be limited by intranets or VPN’s. Those that had chosen salesforce.com may need to rething their decisions with tighter Microsoft integration and a potentially lower TCO.
Easier access over the Internet also means that the MS CRM world for Partners and software vendors is a bit less of a barrier and I expect we will see more of the much-needed industry verticles begin to arise quickly, among other features that some of the more mature CRM solutions (like salesforce.com have had). I hope you are excited. I would expect to see CRM Titan (4.0) released around November, with some of us Partners already playing around with pre-RTM versions of the software.