On the heels of Microsoft's release of the latest version of its Dynamics CRM solution, the company has announced a strategic alliance with InsideView, a real-time, social, and business sales intelligence provider. Microsoft also announced that at the end of October, it will release a new set of industry-focused business process templates to provide customers with step-by-step process guidelines designed to improve performance in specific industries.
"CRM today should be an enabler that detects trends, facilitates decisions, and suggests actions that lead to successful outcomes and relationships," Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, says. "This...new release delivers on this promise of customer centricity by bringing together Microsoft technologies in a way that helps businesses and organizations better engage and nurture their customers."
The partnership allows Microsoft to "be able to take the best of engineers at both Microsoft and InsideView to coauthor and cobuild solutions that take the power of relationship insight from [InsideView's] cloud service and deliver it seamlessly within the business process of our cloud services," Bill Patterson, senior director of Dynamics CRM strategy and planning at Microsoft Corporation, adds.
Microsoft's alliance with InsideView will enable the introduction of Social Insights capabilities into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The Social Insights functionality will put real-time company and contact information from 30,000 sources into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, thereby allowing marketing, sales, and account management professionals to engage more effectively with prospects. Social Insights will be available to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers in the United States with Professional licenses on October 30, at no additional cost.
Social Insights is powered by the InsideView CRM Intelligence platform and provides Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online users with accurate company and contact data, relevant news and social insights, and an extensive network of professional connections that can be leveraged during the marketing and selling process. "We provide personalized insight and connection information that can turn cold data that forms a base lead into an opportunity to create a warm and engaging introduction," Brian Kelly, chief marketing officer at InsideView says.
InsideView's capabilities also enable users to create custom watch lists and automatic alerts that keep sales and marketing professionals up to date with news and events that affect their accounts and provide accurate company and contact data that updates automatically.
"Microsoft Dynamics CRM is next-generation CRM that offers a fresh and effective approach to sales and marketing workflow. Our partnership with Microsoft brings two important CRM solutions together and provides essential information to a broad base of users who are doing more with CRM, and who are meeting changing buyer needs head on. We are proud to partner with Microsoft, and look forward to working together on important innovations within the rapidly changing CRM market," Umberto Milletti, CEO of InsideView, adds.
In addition to the new features provided by InsideView, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM release offers customers predefined and configurable processes where each stage of a process is clearly outlined, identifying the recommended steps to completion. Building on this design element, Microsoft is introducing new templates for a number of specific industries, such as professional services, manufacturing, and financial services, as well as processes for event management and solution selling.
"We think of these as the starter kit to a customer's CRM journey," Patterson explains.
With the Microsoft Dynamics CRM release, customers get access to new mobile client applications on Windows 8 tablets and iPads, as well as touch-enabled experiences on Windows Phones, iPhones, and Android phones coming within the next month. Microsoft Dynamics CRM's new solution, now available online in 42 global markets, will be available for on-premises and partner-hosted deployments on October 31.