Microsoft has claimed that “significant sales opportunities” lie ahead for its channel partners following the launch of version three of its Dymanics CRM software.
According to research firm the Burlington Group, UK spend on CRM will increase by 11.3 per cent by 2007, and Microsoft claimed its third version, which is suitable for both SMEs and large enterprises, will provide significant revenue opportunities for its ISV, VAR and system integrator channel partners.
The software includes a number of updated features, such as a more robust version of the marketing and field service capability and subscription-based licensing for partners that deliver hosted solutions based on Microsoft CRM.
Brad Wilson, worldwide general manager for CRM at Microsoft, told CRN that channel partners were a crucial route to market for its software.
“It is important to go through partners for CRM. By doing things this way it can give us the local people, experts and the translation into real business requirements,” he said.
Microsoft has adopted a three-pronged approach for its UK indirect sales strategy. Firstly, taking on new channel partners to expose them to CRM; secondly, exposing vertical market specialists to CRM; thirdly, working through Microsoft’s traditional infrastructure partners.
Wilson added that there has been a high volume of consolidation within the CRM space, but claimed Microsoft was the ideal business partner for many such resellers.
“Microsoft is a large and stable enough global vendor to be able to offer its partners a wide CRM value proposition,” Wilson said.
Annette Giardina, CRM business director at Microsoft CRM systems integrator Aspective, said the vendor was useful to work with.
“We get a great deal of support from Microsoft, as well as the ability to trade on its brand name, which is a huge help. However, Microsoft looking to bring on board more channel partners is not a worry for us – there are thousands of potential business customers in London alone,” she said.
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