Cisco Systems is developing a new version of its CRM software by integrating it with Microsoft's Dynamics CRM.

The company, which is aiming the new product at SMBs, hopes that the Unified CRM Connector will work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to streamline contact-centre functions for users making and receiving calls. The software creates automatic screen pop ups with caller information, provides click-to-dial capability, captures call information and creates customer records. It delivers these features on a PC through integration with Cisco IP (Internet Protocol) phones.

The latest version, Unified CRM Connector 3.0, is integrated with the recently announced Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. In addition to taking advantage of improvements in Microsoft's software, the new CRM Connector can deliver to any Cisco IP phone a subset of the information it currently puts up on a PC screen.

SMBs are interested in IP telephony but want to see more capabilities than they have with conventional phones, according to Yankee Group SME analyst Gary Chen.

"Integration with CRM is one of the killer apps with VoIP," because customer information is so closely involved with phone calls, Chen said. Many SMEs use CRM software, and Microsoft's product has done well among them, he added.

Cisco is making the Unified CRM Connector 3.0 available immediately through certified channel partners in the US, Canada and selected European and Middle Eastern markets. It expects the software to be available in most of Europe by the fourth quarter.