Microsoft's New Dynamics CRM Pricing, CompCentral 5.0, Alteryx 2.0, Business Objects' Crystal Xcelsius

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David Sims
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Microsoft's New Dynamics CRM Pricing, CompCentral 5.0, Alteryx 2.0, Business Objects' Crystal Xcelsius

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra's Come Fly With Me album:

Microsoft has announced the Business Ready Licensing model and the Business Ready Enhancement Plan for Microsoft Dynamics that introduces "simplifications and improvements in value to the licensing and maintenance programs" for its Microsoft Dynamics business management products, according to company officials.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM customer relationship management functionality will be included on the Microsoft Business Solutions price lists over the next 12 months, starting with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Business Ready Licensing is described as an attempt to streamline pricing for Microsoft Dynamics products -- Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics SL -- by "moving from a pricing model based on hundreds of modules and granules to a new model based primarily on the number of concurrent users who actually use the software."

This new model has three offerings: Microsoft Dynamics Business Essentials, Microsoft Dynamics Advanced Management and Microsoft Dynamics Advanced Management Enterprise.

The models are based primarily on common functionality and, Microsoft officials claim, represent "a price reduction for a typical entry-level configuration, eliminating much of the complexity of licensing enterprise resource planning software."

Microsoft Dynamics industry partners will receive a reduction in pre- and post-sales administrative efforts associated with the complexity of maintaining and selling multiple product modules, the Redmond, Washington-based software giant claims.

Business Ready Licensing is focused on new customers. Customers not licensed under Business Ready Licensing today will have the choice to stay on their current licensing model (modular-based licensing) or make the transition to Business Ready Licensing.

Business Ready Licensing Plan is available for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics SL and will be available to purchase worldwide Aug. 1, 2006. The price for Microsoft Dynamics Business Essentials will start at $2,250.


In related news, Business Objects, a vendor of business intelligence products, has announced that Crystal Xcelsius Workgroup, its data visualization product, now includes point-and-click connectivity to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services.

Crystal Xcelsius Workgroup is a simple visualization design tool for users to "transform their company data into interactive presentations, business dashboards, and visual 'what if' models," according to company officials.

The new product allows dashboards and models sharing, with live connectivity to the database, right within their Microsoft Office applications, or over the web through Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

Customers can use BusinessObjects XI Release 2 to create virtually any report from Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.

SRC, a vendor of geographic business intelligence software, has announced the release of Alteryx 2.0 and Alteryx Enterprise.

Company officials say the product gives company data stakeholders "the ability to deploy complex data transforms and business rules across the entire enterprise."

Alteryx is a dataflow application containing data access, data profiling, data transformation, fuzzy data matching, data parsing, data quality, data reporting, geo-spatial mapping and analytics.

Basically, users say, Alteryx allows a company's analysts and marketing group to access corporate data that was once untouchable and unuseable within the enterprise.

The latest additions to Alteryx provides SRC corporate clients with the ability to develop content rich applications in an easy-to-use graphical user interface. With these enhancements, users can publish applications to their business users.

These new tools and capabilities work with current marketing, campaign management, business intelligence and CRM systems, company officials say.

Centive, a vendor of Enterprise Incentive Management and on-demand sales compensation management, has announced the 5.0 release of its incentive compensation product, CompCentral (formerly known as Centive.EIM).

The 5.0 release of CompCentral is designed to provide reporting and analytics, enhanced workflow and advanced security features. The product integrates with front- and back-office systems, such as CRM or ERP, to enable processing of incentive compensation.

In addition, company officials claim, CompCentral continues to provide a performance architecture that requires "minimal hardware investments," thereby reducing the costs associated with managing incentive compensation in high volume, complex deployments.

CompCentral 5.0 supports reporting and analytic capabilities to provide executives and managers with "detailed visibility into incentive program metrics," company officials explain.

An intuitive report wizard lets users create and save ad-hoc reports without reliance on IT resources (a bigger advantage the higher up the food chain you get in a company). Access to information is restricted by CompCentral's advanced security and organization hierarchy controls, enabling sales representatives to measure their own performance while providing executives with summarized analytics and the ability to drill-down to transaction level detail to further analyze performance by individual, team or region.

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