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Analysts Give Microsoft Dynamics CRM High Marks

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Posted August 4, 2010 By Stuart J. Johnston     Feedback

As Microsoft prepares for the beta test of its next version of Dynamics CRM, two top analyst firms put it on their list of CRM packages to watch.

Two leading analyst firms have rated Microsoft's customer relationship management (CRM) software as a leader in that market.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced that Gartner has rated its Dynamics CRM package as a leader in its Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation in July.

Additionally, Forrester Research placed Dynamics CRM in a leadership position in its Forrester Wave: CRM Suites Customer Service Solutions (available as a PDF) for the third quarter of 2010.

The next version of the package — officially named Dynamics CRM 2011 but codenamed Dynamics CRM 5 — is out to testers in a third community technology preview (CTP) with the public beta test of the update slated to begin in September, Microsoft said last month.

"With the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, customers will reach new levels of productivity and collaboration with a low total cost of ownership, and partners will unlock new opportunities with a single development environment for cloud-based and on-premises deployments," Brad Wilson, Microsoft general manager of Dynamics CRM, said in a statement.

In order to be rated in Gartner's Magic Quadrant, a vendor must have at least 100 customers who have deployed the package during the two previous versions, have a minimum of five new publicly identified customers in the past year, and show that it can be implemented in sales forces of at least 100 users, according to Gartner's report, which was authored by Robert Desisto, vice president at Gartner.

Microsoft is in good company. Also ranking in Gartner's Magic Quadrant are Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), Oracle's Siebel CRM (NASDAQ: ORCL), and Oracle's CRM on Demand.

Therefore, it's not surprising that besides Dynamics CRM, most of the leaders identified by Garter are also on Forrester's list. Those include Salesforce.com and both Oracle Siebel CRM and Oracle CRM on Demand.

However, also in leadership positions on Forrester's list are RightNow Technologies, SAP CRM and CDC Software.

"These products all get high marks for ease of use and relatively fast deployment times," Forrester analysts William Band and James Kobielus said in their report.

Overall, the Forrester report also indicated that CRM is a burgeoning market space with room to grow.

"Fifty-six percent of the 455 large organizations we recently surveyed in North America and Europe have already implemented a ... CRM solution... An additional 20 percent have plans to adopt a CRM solution within the next 12 to 24 months," the Forrester report said.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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