A month after Microsoft released Dynamics CRM 2011 Online for its own cloud services environments, Microsoft announced it is now shipping an edition of its customer relationship management (CRM) package that enables customers to run it on-premise or via a third-party managed services provider.
Dynamics CRM 2011 adds a new user interface with the look and feel of Microsoft's Outlook e-mail client -- with the intent that a common and popular UI will lower training and support expenses, as well as put users more at ease with the CRM applications, according to a company statement.
Further, the new version provides improved integration with Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), including Exchange, SharePoint, and Office. In addition, the update includes integration with Microsoft's Azure cloud application platform.
Microsoft's online edition hosted in its own data centers is already available in 41 languages and 40 markets globally, the company claims.
The multi-pronged delivery methods for Dynamics CRM may also help give Microsoft a leg up in its ongoing competition with Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM).
"Microsoft announced the new release scaled to 150,000 concurrent users in a single instance while delivering sub-second response times, once again raising the bar for performance and scalability in the CRM industry," the Microsoft statement continued. The company promised to release a whitepaper describing its accomplishments in the near future.
That's not the only marketing attack that Microsoft has mounted in recent months against Salesforce either.
In December, during a major Salesforce conference, Microsoft began offering rebates to Salesforce customers who switch to Dynamics CRM through the end of June.
Additionally, the company also announced that the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, which is integrated with Dynamics CRM 2011, is available in 20 countries and features some 1,400 partner offerings.
Dynamics CRM 2011, which is in its fifth major release, is available for download by customers with active Software Assurance contracts via Microsoft's Download Center, according to the company statement.