Microsoft CRM Live is a dud

An angry complaint on a Microsoft blog tells the company to fix major problems for partners trying to host its existing CRM product.

One of Microsoft's hosting partners just blew a fuse on hearing Microsoft pre-announce its CRM Live service, if a lengthy and impassioned comment on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog is to be believed.

Apparently posted by Robert E Spivack, VP of sales and marketing at SPIV Technologies Group, the comment responds to a glowing write-up of the Live CRM announcement by David Thatcher, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. According to Thatcher:

"The coolest work we're doing is that we're building a single code base that will support on-premises deployments, partner hosted deployments, and the Microsoft Live service."

Anyone who read my previous post and the one before that will know my view that, far from being 'cool', this is the worst possible approach Microsoft could be taking. I also railed against Microsoft for pre-announcing a non-existent product almost a year before it's due to become available, which in the on-demand world is a total nonsense. It seems Robert Spivack (if it truly is he) is in full agreement. You can go read the full posting for yourself (unless Microsoft decides to take it down), but here are a few snippets from it:

"Announcing vaporware for delivery almost a year away serves what purpose? ...

"As a Microsoft hosting partner ... we still struggle to provide CRM hosting using the kludgy 'hosted CRM' update that you guys threw together half-baked ...

"It seems that every attempt by Microsoft to build a 'web services / web app' violates every rule of simplicity your msdn/development team tells us to do ...

"If CRM (and other apps) could properly tell me exactly why it is failing and fix it, then I could live with the "black art" of Active Directory, Kerberos, and other crud ...

"We have the same issue with SharePoint - running in Active Directory integrated mode has lots of problems ..."

It's my belief that the comment is factually correct, which is why I've run this without first confirming with Spivack that he is in fact the author. The whole spat is symptomatic of the huge problems Microsoft faces in adjusting its existing applications, architecture and partner relationships to the realities of competing in the on-demand space. No wonder, then, that Salesforce.com leapt on it and circulated it late last night to media and analyst contacts. A hat tip to Marc Benioff for the link.

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