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April 12, 2011

Microsoft moves to cloud based offerings

To move ERP and CRM offerings online

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has said that Microsoft will soon make its new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software accessible online or "in the cloud" for the first time. He also said that the company has moved a version of its customer relationship management (CRM) product online.

The moves are believed to be part of Microsoft’s strategy to make inroads into the growing business software market dominated by SAP AG, Oracle and Salesforce.

"The opportunities to make a good business economically are wonderful," said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer told Reuters. "We’re pretty pumped up."

In the $21bn ERP market, Microsoft is currently at No 5, behind SAP, Oracle, Sage Group and Infor Global Solutions. In the CRM market, the company is placed at the fourth spot, behind SAP, Oracle and Salesforce.

In the "cloud" approach, users access programs over the Web and not on their own computers. The idea has grown rapidly as more businesses find it both cost effective and time saving.

Ballmer hopes the new changes will help the company outpace its competitors.

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He said, "If we don’t dramatically outgrow Oracle and SAP I’d be disappointed."

The Microsoft Dynamics ERP application will now run on the new Azure platform, which the company developed for its cloud-based offerings.

"The move to the cloud is big for this category and we’re driving ahead," said Ballmer.

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