Microsoft to enter CRM market

In what appears to be an attempt at a new spin on CRM and enterprise resource planning, the partners describe demand chain networking as the integration of ecommerce and CRM across different kinds of networks.

Under a three-year, multimillion dollar deal, Microsoft will contribute its .Net Enterprise Servers to the initiative and Pivotal will supply its XML-based enterprise applications.

The companies also plan to open a number of solution centres around the world, but initially a joint development lab based at Microsoft’s Redmond campus will provide Pivotal with engineering-level support and access to the software giant’s product groups.

The initiative will allow companies to network every element in the demand chain including partners, employees and customers. Pivotal’s products include applications to manage third-party relationships and online selling.

The software supports Microsoft’s .Net Enterprise 2000 platform, as well as Windows 2000 Server, SQL Server 2000 and Office 2000.

Rod Johnson, an analyst at AMR Research, said: ‘Companies, especially large multinationals, will aggressively begin to invest in demand-driven ebusiness platforms. Pivotal is the only vendor to come to market with a vision and customers for [such] platforms. It has combined several new business strategies, including demand chain management, business communities and shared ebusiness platforms.’

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