Well, people have muttering about this for a couple of years now but Microsoft say the latest version of its Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution (designed for midsize project-driven organizations) is particularly well-suited for law firms as it features the familiar
Microsoft Office look, feel and role-specific dashboards that give lawyers a comprehensive view across their firms. It will be generally available in the second quarter of 2011.

Microsoft also say Dynamics SL 2011 further extends existing IT investments by supporting integration with Microsoft Project Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM through Web Services. Integration with Microsoft Project Server 2010 brings together project management and project accounting by adding functionality that reduces redundant data entry and provides synchronization of project and accounting information, as well as the creation and viewing of budgeting and net profit information. In addition, interoperability with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 offers people the versatility to access information from virtually anywhere, as well as adapt to specific project needs, helping to drive improved business insight and value across their organizations.

Comment: The full announcement and additional information can be found here – www.microsoft.com/dynamics/en/us/erp.aspx – in the meantime, who will be the first legal IT vendor to announce a PMS based on Dynamics SL? They all laughed when Microsoft first poked its nose into the workflow, CRM and DMS market. In fact there were some vendors who even laughed when Microsoft moved into the WP and database markets – we don't hear them laughing now.