It seems there will be a new component of Office 14, Office for Sales.
Mary Jo Foley has some info from Alpha Testers that shows:
- It’s an end-to-end CRM product that will incorporate both software and services components
- The product is based on and hooked inextricably into SharePoint Server
- Developers will be able to customize the system to integrate with third-party products, like Siebel CRM
- Features include the ability to store customer information in Outlook; maintenance of a centralized Sales Center SharePoint site; the creation of sales communities; and support for “sales interaction management” (SIM)
It seems that Sharepoint Server 14 will offer offline support and this will be available with Office for Sales too.
To me, as a Microsoft reseller, this is pretty exciting. It’s going to give a lot of companies a real reason to upgrade to Office 14, which to be honest I feel was missing somewhat from Office 2007. It should also allow resellers that don’t work in the Dynamics/CRM arena to offer CRM services and support to their customers. The fact that it is tightly hooked in to Sharepoint should also help drive further adoption of that technology.
I think this should turn out to be another great move from MS, which will help their partners and customers become more successful, as well as showing that Redmond is still innovating and pushing forwards. I’m looking forward to Office 14 more all the time and this certainly helps ;-)