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Microsoft to Jazz Up Dynamics CRM Online to Compete With Salesforce.com

July 15, 2013

Microsoft (News - Alert) will offer tiered pricing and flexible licensing with its next release of Dynamics CRM Online. The move, insiders say, is designed to make Dynamics CRM Online more competitive with Salesforce.com (News - Alert).

Businesses can sign up for one of three tiers of Dynamics CRM Online: Essential for $15 per month, Basic for $30 per month or Professional for $65 per month. Microsoft will charge no additional licensing fees for mobile access.

According to Paco Contreras, who leads monetization, licensing and pricing strategies for Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft will also offer choices for tech support that include more than its current basic and Premier levels.

Microsoft partners will get complete access to the new prices when the next version of Dynamics CRM Online is about to roll out, which should occur in Fall 2013. Also, Microsoft will offer Dynamics Planning Services, which will be a benefit of its Software Assurance for Volume Licensing, to help customers as they plan their new deployments.

The on-premises version of Dynamics CRM has had three licensing levels for some time. Microsoft has chosen to unify its licensing levels for on-premises, online and hosted versions so that customers can more easily decide which solutions works well for their enterprises.

Microsoft is also encouraging its partners to "accelerate their [customers'] decision" to choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Software Assurance for Volume Licensing so that they can have access to upgrades at no extra charge.

"It appears the company is extending the seat to any device that a user wants to access the CRM system from, which eliminates the discussion of how many times a salesperson should pay for a seat if she or he has a desktop, laptop, tablet, handheld, etc.," Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research, told PC World.

"At the same time it preserves the idea that what runs on the devices is still considered a seat and not a freely accessible browser application written in HTML5," he added. "At some point in the future, you might see Microsoft saying that the license is on the device and it’s free on the desktop."

Edited by Blaise McNamee
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