Microsoft to use Crystal Enterprise in CRM

Microsoft Corp. plans to bundle a version of Crystal Decisions Inc.'s Crystal Enterprise business intelligence application with its forthcoming Microsoft CRM (customer relationship management) software, the companies said Wednesday.

Crystal Enterprise will be the only third-party software included in Microsoft CRM, according to a Microsoft spokeswoman. Scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2002, Microsoft CRM is intended to improve the sales and customer service operations of small and midsize businesses.

Crystal Enterprise includes data reporting and analysis features. The bundled version of the software will offer users 125 predefined reports; an enhanced version allows customization of existing reports and provides tools to create new ones. Microsoft will sell the enhanced version of the software, along with other Crystal Decisions products and services, through its reseller channel.

Crystal Decisions, in Palo Alto, California, is the developer of several reporting, analytics and information management applications. Its Crystal Enterprise software works in conjunction with software from vendors including Oracle Corp., Siebel Systems Inc., PeopleSoft Inc. and SAP AG.

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