Microsoft adds business intelligence to CRM

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Microsoft has put some more meat on the bones of its forthcoming CRM applications launch, after announcing an OEM and reseller agreement with business intelligence tools vendor, Crystal Decisions.

Crystal Enterprise, which will be marketed under the monikor Crystal Enterprise for Microsoft CRM, enables customers to access data from a range of applications and sources, before analysing it and creating up new reports or up to 125 out-of-the-box ones.

The offering, which is likewise the de facto reporting tool for Microsoft's Visual Studio.Net, will be integrated with Microsoft CRM as a default at no extra charge.

The deal also includes a worldwide reseller agreement, under the terms of which Microsoft will be entitled to resell an enhanced version of Crystal Enterprise for those customers wanting to customise existing reports or create new ones, Crystal Reports Standard with a custom data driver for Microsoft CRM, training and support via its third party channel.

Microsoft said its CRM offering will ship as both a standalone offering and as an integrated package with its Great Plains Dynamics, Solomon and eEnterprise back office applications. It will be released in the US in the fourth quarter of 2002, and elsewhere in the first quarter of 2003.

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