As it moves to compete faster and harder against rival Salesforce on the
relationships management (
) front, Microsoft is spreading its Dynamics CRM wings into new territories. Redmond has rolled out Dynamics CRM Online in 17 new countries against the backdrop of its broader cloud computing push.
Bob Stutz, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Dynamics, laid out how the company is delivering on the promise of the Microsoft Cloud for Business with expanded availability for its CRM solution in a recent blog post.
Beyond the U.S., Canada and other major markets, the software is now available in Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, U.S. Virgin Islands, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Latin American Advantage
Together with Microsoft Azure and Office 365, CRM Online is a critical part of the Microsoft Cloud for Business that businesses can count on, Stutz said, adding that Microsoft wants to do everything it can "to bring these cloud benefits to as many businesses and countries as possible.”
When Microsoft rolled out its Dynamics CRM spring wave updates in June, Stutz promised a broader expansion to many new markets in 2015. In a progress update, he shared how Microsoft has made investments to expand its datacenter locations to make good on that promise.
“With the global expansion, CRM Online is now available and running within Microsoft’s Latin America datacenter located in Brazil,” Stutz said. “This means that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will join Microsoft Azure and Office365 to serve our Latin American customers from our South America datacenter.”
Having the South America datacenter in place also means less latency than traversing to North America, which Stutz said will result in better service for Microsoft customers in that part of the world. He also pointed out a competitive differentiator: Microsoft is now the only CRM vendor offering this in Latin America.
“With these investments and this global expansion, Dynamics CRM Online is now available in four global regions serving over 50 global markets,” Stutz said. He also promised more country-specific announcements and events in the coming months.
Getting More Aggressive
Microsoft started getting more aggressive with its cloud strategy about a year ago. Part of the company’s stated goal is to drive enterprise cloud adoption. Last November, Redmond started offering Enterprise Agreement customers access to discounted prices for Windows Azure, regardless of upfront commitment, without overuse penalties and with the flexibility of annual payments to prime the pump.
Microsoft is also pushing harder into the government cloud, aiming squarely for Salesforce.com’s jawline with a CRM software release in July. The crux of the announcement was that Dynamics CRM Online will be joining Office 365 and Azure in servicing U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies.
Dynamics CRM Online for government will be a separate offering for government customers in compliance with FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) standards, and operated by U.S. citizens. The new version will hit the market in early 2015 and allow government customers to leverage existing Microsoft on-premise and cloud investments, including integration with the Azure and Office 365 government community clouds.