Microsoft lays the foundation for ERP software and CRM-Live service integration

Summary:Given the year-and-a-half-old missive from Microsoft Chief Software architect Ray Ozzie that all Microsoft software should include services add-ons, it's not surprising that Microsoft is looking to integrate its Dynamics CRM Live service with its on-premise Dynamics ERP software. What is surprising is how rapidly that is likely to happen.

Given the year-and-a-half-old missive from Microsoft Chief Software architect Ray Ozzie that all Microsoft software should include services add-ons, it's not surprising that Microsoft is looking to integrate its Dynamics CRM Live service with its on-premise Dynamics ERP software.

What is surprising is how rapidly that is likely to happen.

At the Convergence conference for Microsoft ERP and CRM customers and partners in San Diego this week, company officials shared with attendees a roadmap for the next version of Dynamics AX (Axapta) ERP software.

By the fourth calendar quarter of 2007, Microsoft expects to be able to deliver Dynamics AX extensions supporting CRM integration, according to Microsoft's plans. And by the time Microsoft ships Dynamics AX 5.0 in the second half of 2008, the Axapta ERP product will be fully integrated with Microsoft's CRM Live service, company officials said.

Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft CRM, said Microsoft is working on the integration layer that will enable CRM Live to work with the company's various Dynamics CRM offerings. When asked whether Microsoft was looking at possible bundles of CRM Live with other Microsoft Live properties, Wilson said that was the case, but declined to provide specifics on any of the bundles under consideration.

As it is doing with the other three Microsoft ERP suites, Microsoft is gradually slowing the release pace of its Dynamics AX product line. Here's the rest of the Dynamics AX roadmap that officials shared with Convergence attendees this week:

* Dynamics AX 4.0 Service Pack (SP) 2: Summer 2007

* Dynamics AX 4.0 extensions, including CRM integration and Lean Manufacturing methodology integration: Q4 2007

* Dynamics AX 5.0: Second half of 2008

* Dynamics AX 6.0: 2010

In addition to including CRM Live integration, Dynamics AX 5.0 also will include "shared services enablement," support for additional, unspecified Web services, build-in Lean Manufacturing support; Ribbon-like user interface; 50 "role-tailored" pages; a CXO dashboard and Windows Workflow integration, according to company officials.

Topics: Enterprise Software

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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