Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog


When presented with the opportunity to feature CRM-Project, the fourth module for project management in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, itara acted immediately. The company built a consistent marketing strategy to ensure the optimal visibility and effectiveness of its solution listing. In that effort, customer reviews and ratings are key. CRM-Project also received Certified for Microsoft Dynamics status, which greatly helps in highlighting the soundness and effectiveness of the solution. With CRM-Project ranking at the top of several Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace country sites, the company generates 70 percent of its new business through this resource. The increasing traffic from potential customers and business partners helps itara in taking CRM-Project to new markets around the globe.

” We generate 70 percent of new business through the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace. This powerful, efficient resource is invaluable in taking our solution into many new markets worldwide.”
Bernd Lachner,
Managing Director, itara

Top-Ranked Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace Solution

Many of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers who come to try out, purchase, or use CRM-Project through the solution’s listing in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace , are not even aware of itara, the company that created the solution and that continues to enhance it. That is just fine with Bernd Lachner, Managing Director at itara. “We want to be known for CRM-Project,” he says. “That’s how we deliver value to customers and other Microsoft Dynamics partners.” CRM-Project, the fourth module for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, extends the solution’s sales, marketing, and customer service capabilities with richly featured project management functionality. Lachner explains, “Customers come to us with one of two motivations: Either they are seeking project management capabilities to enhance Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or they want to add more value to their implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and they recognize that project management is one way to achieve this.”

More than 70 percent of itara’s prospective customers find out about CRM-Project through its Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace listing. Currently, the solution has the top ranking on the U.S. and several other country sites. After reviewing the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace listing with a thorough overview of the solution, customers and Microsoft Dynamics partners interested in building a business relationship predicated on CRM-Project can visit the CRM-Project site to learn more, download a trial version of the solution, or purchase it. As a horizontal solution that is Certified for Microsoft Dynamics and available in localized versions, customers in many industries around the globe have adopted CRM-Project.

Consistent Marketing Strategy

Generating that much business through a Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace listing takes commitment on itara’s part. Lachner says, “The Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is the most cost-effective marketing channel we have. Our marketing team dedicates the equivalent of one full-time employee’s time to managing the listings on the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace sites, and the payback on that is simply enormous. Since April 2011, we’ve gone from an average of 2 inquiries a day to 10 or more.”

Reviews and ratings are critical in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace strategy to support CRM-Project. Lachner explains, “We were one of the first partners to participate in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace and were listed among the top five partners from the first hour. A key element of that is our consistent, successful engagement with our partners and customers. We ask all of our customers and partners to review and rate our solution as soon as they have had a chance to test the solution or have signed a contract with us. The reviews are usually highly favorable, because customers find the solution to be valuable for them, and we also make it very easy for them to get in touch with us and implement the solution without requiring assistance.”

In addition, itara is meticulous in managing details of the solution listing. The company’s marketing writers ensure search engine optimization for all languages that the listing and the solution site appear in. itara marketers also optimize screen captures for effective display on the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace listing. Lachner and his team keep close watch on their website traffic and referring sources to ensure that the listing remains effective in bringing visitors to the CRM-Project site.

Emphasis on Certification and Horizontal Value

It’s very important to itara that CRM-Project is Certified for Microsoft Dynamics. “For customers, certification of the solution means it is credible and sound,” says Lachner. “Without certification, we would not see anywhere near the level of response we are experiencing today. The certification also helps us to achieve good visibility with the Microsoft field and potential business partners.”

Currently, itara and Microsoft are achieving more and more software-as-a-service license sales to customers who use the solution in the cloud in integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. In the cloud and on-premises, the breadth of CRM-Project helps its adoption in a wide spectrum of organizations. “CRM-Project is a horizontal project management solution, effective for organizations in many different market segments, and the potential for adding value is very high,” says Lachner. “The Microsoft Dynamics partners who connect with us through the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace and are interested in going to market with CRM-Project also appreciate this. Some of our partners take advantage of the opportunity to enhance CRM-Project by building vertical solutions that integrate with it.”

According to Lachner, much of the credit for CRM-Project’s success is due to Microsoft. “We know that Microsoft promotes the value of the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace to customers and partners every day, and we see the results of those efforts,” he says. “That helps us free resources to focus on other business development channels and take our solution into new markets.”

Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace Listing:

About itara
Headquartered in Würzburg, Germany, itara serves Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers worldwide with a horizontal solution, CRM-Project. As a fourth module in addition to the sales, marketing, and customer service functionality that Microsoft provides with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, CRM-Project offers a full set of project management capabilities for organizations in any market segment. Customers purchase CRM-Project directly from itara or from one of the company’s more than 100 partners worldwide.

About the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace
The Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is an online service designed to help customers find trusted Microsoft Dynamics experts, applications, and services that enhance and easily integrate with Microsoft Dynamics solutions.

Powered by the Microsoft Pinpoint platform, the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace provides greater visibility to Microsoft partners. With the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, customers can search partners, applications, and services by product, business issue, or location. With listings to serve customers both locally and worldwide, finding the right Microsoft Dynamics expert, application, or service is easier than ever.

For More Information
To learn more about the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, visit:


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