So are you wondering about the future of Microsoft CRM? Lets take a look at the Microsoft CRM Roadmap to get a glimpse at some of the future enhancements that they are planning to make.
- The first quarter of 2004 brought us the 1.2 release which added support for countries outside of North America, streamlined the installation process, boosted performance, some GUI improvements, and added support for new technologies such as Windows 2003 Server, Exchange 2003, and Office 2003.
- In August we should see the release of CRM Mobile 1.2 for Pocket PC devices. (Even though its called 1.2, this will be the first release of the CRM Mobile product so we are anxious to check it out.) This will give the road warriors the option to access their Account, Contact, Opportunity and Activity data right in their PDA. It will support syncing to the corporate CRM system either directly thru a docking cradle or wirelessly.
- Second quarter of 2005 will hopefully bring us CRM 2.0. This long awaited release is supposed to provide more powerful customization tools, Activity customization, Account rollup, record merge, Customer Service for Outlook, the ability to email Knowledgebase and Sales Literature items, marketing automation, service scheduling, field service dispatch and more.
- Also sometime in 2005 will bring the 2.0 release of the CRM Mobile product. And way off on the horizon, currently slated for Q4 of 2005 is the release of CRM 3.0 which will have a "unified CRM client integrated with a breakthru release of Office and Windows" which sounds like they are talking about the upcoming "Longhorn" version of the Windows which i doubt we'll see by Q4 2005. And a big bullet point for this release is a Customer Portal which is a much requested addition to the product.
- The back office integration component using BizTalk has been available for Great Plains since last year. The Navision Integration is scheduled for sometime in 2005. The timeline for the Axapta Integration is still to be determined.
CRM 1.0 was great for a 1.0 product but now you know what to expect from CRM 2.0, 3.0 and beyond!