Microsoft Tries to Beat Salesforce.com with Upcoming CRM App Store
Following in Salesforce.com’s footsteps with AppExchange, Microsoft will create its own CRM application store. The Microsoft CRM 2011 marketplace will be available in beta form in September, then generally available by the end of this year.
The CRM app store will allow Microsoft partners to sell applications to complement Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft’s complex and innovative customer relationship management solution. Microsoft plans to extend the availability of the CRM App store to 40 other markets, including Brazil, Costa Rica, Chila, and Australia, by the end of the year.
The app marketplace will begin online, following Salesforce.com’s release of AppExchange in September. Microsoft is trying to keep up with its main competitor, Salesforce. Analyst, China Martens, commented on this issue. She said, “[The Dynamics Marketplace is an] important integration, since one of the reasons some customers talk about going with Salesforce.com is being able to easily identify a whole ecosystem of complementary apps and extensions around its CRM- something Microsoft does well to emulate.”
Apparently, the Microsoft CRM App store has been in the works for a while. Microsoft plans to release it alongside an updated version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which will integrate better with Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Sharepoint. Microsoft is smart to keep their CRM applications connected to their Microsoft products, such as Office, because Salesforce.com does not have the same advantage.
Microsoft plans to price their CRM app store similarly to the prices of Salesforce’s applications, but the exact pricing model is currently unclear. This new Microsoft CRM App store could help Microsoft get a leg up on Salesforce.com, but unfortunately Microsoft has a long way to go. According to IDC, an analyst company’s, report, Salesforce had $885 million in application revenue in 2009. Other companies followed, including Oracle and SAP. Microsoft came in fifth on IDC’s report, at $139 million in application revenue. Microsoft probably anticipates that their CRM App store will help them climb the list a little higher.
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