Cisco and Microsoft form united SMB front

The combined technologies, which include the Cisco Unified CRM Connector 3.0 and Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM 3.0, allow users access to customer information on both in bound and outbound calls.

By automatically linking into the Microsoft application, the Cisco Unified Connector 3.0 populates related call information including a record of all previous communications, past and current purchases, sales and billing information and order status.

“Our relationship with Microsoft goes back seven, eight years. But it’s been very enterprise focused from a technology and marketing standpoint,” said Peter Ruh, director of worldwide commercial marketing at Cisco. In the last two years, Ruh added, both companies have focused on the SMB opportunity, which has led to more developments around CRM applications for both Microsoft and Cisco IP communications (IPC).

To help drive the solution to SMBs, Cisco and Microsoft have also formed an integrated route to market.

The FastStart partner program, designed to match Cisco and Microsoft partners, includes a self-service Web site (www.ciscomicrosoftsmb.com) with resources to help partners locate other resellers as well as download sales tools and presentations, marketing kits, end-user content and partner agreement forms.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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