Sydney-based Microsoft consulting outfit, Snapdragon, has launched a new Innovation division to co-ordinate and develop add-on modules for the software giant's CRM product.
The company has appointed Karl Reader to head up the new business unit. Reader's resume includes stints with GE Finance, Essential Computer Systems and Prota Tech, as well as several positions with European and US-based organisations.
Snapdragon director, Guy Riddle, said it had decided to launch the division in conjunction with the release of Microsoft CRM version 3.0, due next month.
"The product has a massive range of features and modules, but it can never cater to everybody," he said. "We are looking into the little things that help make the product more complete."
The new Snapdragon division would concentrate on developing simple add-on modules which suited either horizontal tasks, or vertical specific functions. These could be based on geographic conditions, as well as market sectors, such as financial management, he said.
"Rather than trying to incorporate the building of these modules into the same team we have for doing implementation and customisation for particular customers, we needed someone to look more broadly at designing, architecting and structuring these components," Riddle said.
The Innovation team was already working on a new horizontal add-on for the CRM product, which was expected to be certified by Microsoft later this month. It also had 12 specific vertical modules in the pipeline.
As an example, Riddle said it was developing a module that would provide multiple foreign currencies within the CRM system for sales staff across Australia and New Zealand.
All the applications developed by Snapdragon would be available to download on a trial basis from its website and be certified by Microsoft. Customer who found the module useful could then purchase a permanent copy, he said.
Depending on the success of the model, Snapdragon would look to bring on additional staff to assist Reader with the practice, Riddle said.