Selected Microsoft partners have been given access to the next major edition of Microsoft's customer relationship management (CRM) software, taking it into hosted territory for the first time.
Three hundred partners have got their hands on the suite, codenamed Titan, with Microsoft planning to make it available to 1,000 partners next quarter.
Titan is Microsoft's attempt to answer the run-away successes of hosted pioneer Salesforce.com and hosted suites from SugarCRM, SAP and Oracle. Titan, like the Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, SAP and Oracle services, is important because it changes the way CRM is delivered by putting it online, and also targets a new customer base - mid-market businesses instead of traditional enterprise CRM consumers.
Titan introduces two major changes to Microsoft's existing Dynamics CRM: a single code base and a multi-tenancy architecture, both of which are intended to make it easier for Microsoft and partners to efficiently deliver - and update - the same Dynamics CRM suite in one of two ways: either as an on-site product or as a hosted service - through a browser and on mobile devices.
Titan, due mid year, is expected to be made available through Microsoft partners and through Microsoft's own planned Dynamics Live CRM service, the third major "Live" offering from Microsoft after Office Live and Windows Live. Dynamics Live CRM is planned for North America only, with international rollout due "later".®