Dearborn, Mich.--The Reynolds and Reynolds Co. took a major step Tuesday toward establishing itself as the dominant customer relationship management software and service supplier to the automotive industry, announcing a strategic alliance with Microsoft Corp. to build future software based on Microsoft's .NET platforms. Reynolds and Reynolds, Dayton, Ohio, will provide in April a suite of more than 100 Web-based applications, including sales management and contact management applications that use .NET as the architectural underpinning. The deal advances Microsoft's strategy of strengthening ties to vertical-industry specialists in order to boost sales of its operating systems, application development tools and other enterprise software products. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Reynolds' use of .NET technologies will ``fundamentally enhance the way'' automotive manufacturers and retail dealerships interact with customers. The new products will be marketed as The Reynolds Generation Series. The announcement was made at the Automotive News World Congress, under way in Dearborn.
--John Evan Frook