Although, I'm not in attendance this year, I wanted to pass along some of the bigger announcements as they come along. Let's start with yesterday's press release...
Convergence 2010 kicks off showcasing new Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM technologies to more than 8,000 attendees.
ATLANTA — April 25, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. opens Convergence 2010 today with Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions Kirill Tatarinov demonstrating how the company is delivering on its vision of the Dynamic Business by providing customer-driven advancements across Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP applications to help organizations embrace change and seize opportunities that drive enduring business success.
As part of their joint keynote address, Elop and Tatarinov announced the May 2010 service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online that delivers seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP, new language support, portal accelerators and cloud-based developer tools that help improve business connectivity. They also disclosed the road map for the expected international availability of the next generation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to 32 markets worldwide. The executives also previewed Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, which will be generally available May 1, 2010, and announced a new promotion for Microsoft Dynamics GP customers to get a license for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online at a rate of $19 (U.S.) per user, per month.
"The true competitive differentiator for Microsoft is the value customers derive through a consistent and world-class user experience and well-designed interoperability across our solutions," Elop said. "Our upcoming Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM releases light up this philosophy by delivering solutions that work well together and take advantage of existing IT investments."
Offering New Innovations With Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Continuing on its commitment to deliver the best value in the industry to more than 22,000 customers and 1.1 million users, the May 2010 service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, available at no additional charge for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers, focuses on improving the connectivity of the business to other systems, data and people through developer tools and resources. Key details include the following:
- Expanded language support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The May 2010 service update is the first wave for moving Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online into international markets with multilingual capabilities for North American customers who have departments or teams with French, Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese language requirements.
- New Portal accelerators. The service update adds new Portal accelerators for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. These accelerators include Event Management, eService and Partner Relationship Management and allow organizations to extend their reach and extend the power of CRM to external constituents.
- New developer tools and resources. The service update provides new developer tools in the updated Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Development Kit (SDK) to enable the connection of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with other on-demand and on-premises applications and services such as Windows Azure.
- Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration. A new built-in integration framework for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables customers to easily connect the two systems to help provide business insight and improve user productivity across financials, supply chain, and sales and service. The integration is supported with both on-premises and cloud versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0.
"We are very excited about the May 2010 service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online," said Steven Bowles, president of Pelagic Solutions Inc., a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. "With the new portal solutions, we can easily tailor Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to meet the unique needs of our customers and extend out the powerful capabilities to external audiences. We have already seen phenomenal growth with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and with these new capabilities we expect that growth to continue."
Disclosing the road map for international availability, Microsoft announced that it is slated to expand the next release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to 32 global markets in the second half of 2010. In addition to the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, those markets are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Customers can get Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a service in those markets today, with solutions and consulting from an extensive network of Microsoft partners.
Delivering Enterprise Resource Planning Excellence
Convergence attendees also previewed Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, an easy-to-use ERP solution for midsize businesses that want advanced functionality, strong business intelligence reporting options and interoperability with other line-of-business applications. More information about Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 can be found here.
Delivering even more value to Microsoft Dynamics GP customers, Microsoft is offering them a license for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online at a promotional rate of $19 (U.S.) per user, per month. Starting today, the promotion is available to all Microsoft Dynamics GP customers until June 30, 2010. More information about this offer can be found here.
"Data, information and analytics are at the heart of everything we do," said Steve Diakowsky, president and CEO of The Allan Candy Co. Ltd. "Fundamentally, the design of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 will greatly facilitate putting information into the right people’s hands, including my own, so that we can make business decisions that are timely and accurate."
Investing in key industries, Microsoft also disclosed that Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, a new end-to-end offering designed for midsize specialty retailers, will be available in 16 countries on Aug. 1, 2010, with additional countries to follow early next year. In anticipation of this release, new and existing Microsoft Dynamics partners such as Avanade Inc., Columbus IT, Fujitsu, Hitachi Consulting Corp., Ideaca, Junction Solutions and Tectura Corp. are establishing new practices that focus on delivering retail solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Expanding Microsoft Dynamics Communities
Microsoft Dynamics, by bringing its customer community and partner community closer together to help them get more from their Microsoft Dynamics software investments, has established an alliance with the Microsoft Dynamics AX User Group, Microsoft Dynamics CRM User Group, Microsoft Dynamics GP User Group, and the Microsoft Dynamics NAV User Group, which are independent user groups based in the U.S. The alliance will allow members of those groups to seamlessly utilize the Microsoft Dynamics Community site and bring a significant amount of new, high-quality content and resources to benefit all community users, including nonuser group members. Customer feedback has allowed the alliance to also include the user groups that are driving most of the user-created content at Convergence 2010. Customers and partners can get involved by participating in their product user group, and the Microsoft Dynamics Community.
Stay tuned for additional exciting updates as they come in!