Greetings from Washington DC – the location for this year’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). Over 130 countries are represented here, with the highest attendance for the WPC ever! 

With the release of the next version of Dynamics CRM scheduled for later this year, there are some exciting announcements coming out during the conference this year. I’ll keep you posted on the information that is made public at the event. Already this morning, there are some interesting new revelations:

The Name: The next version of CRM will be named Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Although early adopters will begin using it late this calendar year, Microsoft decided to name it “2011.”  This looks like it will bring it into alignment with their other important products (such as SharePoint, Office, Visual Studio, SQL, etc). This is likely also a sign that Microsoft will begin to shorten the timeframe between releases of their products. To celebrate this kickoff, we’ve opened a new website to post information about this version of CRM. Check out for more information.

Beta: The publicly available beta version of CRM 2011 will be available in September of this year. Having seen some previews of this, I can tell you that there are some very exciting changes coming! Once the beta is out, everyone will be able to learn more about this version of CRM.  To celebrate the availability of the beta version, C5 Insight is announcing the “CRM 2011 World Preview Webinar” – visit to learn more or click here.

Marketplace: Microsoft announced that they will launch their new “Marketplace” this year.  The beta will launch in September, with general release in November. The marketplace will make it easy for customers to find, download and install add-ons to Dynamics CRM. Longer-term, Microsoft plans to make the marketplace a venue for downloading add-ons to any of their products.  We’re planning to have a few offerings on the initial marketplace. Any requests? Post them as a response to this blog entry.

The Cloud: Microsoft is shifting a huge amount of their attention to developing the cloud. Expect Dynamics CRM and SharePoint to play leading roles in this transition. The cloud promises to streamline operations, improve agility and flatten IT costs. Watch for a post with more information on the cloud and cloud computing coming to in the coming days.

Connections: A new message that seems to be getting a lot of attention here is the idea making connections anywhere (inside or outside of your company) using CRM.  I expect we will see more information about how this will become a reality either later in the show or as we get closer to the release of the beta version.

CRM 2011 Demos: Interested in a demo to prepare your business for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011? Contact us to make arrangements.

Stay tuned – I’ll post at least one more update in this blog from the event – including an announcement about an exciting project that C5 Insight is working on related to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.