Is this Outlook? Look again!

Take a close look at the toolbar and you shall see the words “CRM” and “Microsoft CRM” and also “Track in CRM”.

Well that’s how the front-end for Microsoft’s CRM and ERP apps will look in the near future. I was at the Microsoft office (the building, not the app) in Gurgaon on the 11th of March, 2010 listening to half a dozen product specialists rattle off Microsoft’s immediate plans. It seems their customers are really at home with Excel  and Outlook. That’s why you will have an Outlook like front-end to Microsoft CRM. Can we also expect Excel to be a front-end for SAP? And will this work straight out of the box or will it require some kind of middleware?

Meanwhile Microsoft went ahead and launched Azure, its Cloud platform in India. It claims to have 3,500 applications created for that platform and it is also SaaS enabling its enterprise offerings such as SQL Server.