Many of you probably recall that I used to work for Statera, a Microsoft partner headquartered back in Colorado.  Great company, and great people.  It was a hard decision to leave them.

I recently learned that Statera has been investing a lot of time and energy in developing some cool applications using our Azure Services Platform.  In particular, Statera built an engine running in Windows Azure that integrations Microsoft CRM Online and SharePoint Online (both of which are part of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite, or BPOS).  It’s a great example of how you can use Microsoft’s cloud to extend existing applications.

This engine is called Stratus – love the name! – and you can find out more about it at http://stratus.statera.com/.

Here’s a quick laundry list of some of the features/capabilities:

  • CRM users can provision SharePoint sites for Account, Opportunity and Case records, allowing them to store documents in a location where they are easier to collaborate on and in an environment where non-sales employees may be more familiar with.

  • CRM users can upload documents while in CRM and they are stored directly in SharePoint.

  • CRM users can view associated SharePoint document libraries and their contents and pull up documents without ever leaving CRM.

  • SharePoint users can navigate to SharePoint sites that are associated with CRM Account, Opportunity or Case records and access uploaded documents, CRM contacts, CRM activities as well as some other general CRM information.

  • SharePoint users can create new contacts or activities via the associated SharePoint site that are in turn stored in CRM.

  • SharePoint users can save CRM contacts directly into their Outlook contacts folder with the click of the mouse.

Evidently, you can also use the engine to link your on-premises versions of SharePoint and CRM to BPOS, and any combination thereof.  Currently, it doesn’t appear that the on-premise activation is available.

Watch these guys, as I’m sure they’ll have other cool things out in the future.  For more information, check out their webcast http://stratus.statera.com/.