• March 19, 2013
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gets Mobile, Social

NEW ORLEANS (Microsoft Convergence 2013) -- Microsoft Business Solutions President Kirill Tatarinov today announced new advancements in integrated marketing, embedded social capabilities, and new cloud and mobile scenarios enabled through Microsoft Dynamics solutions to help businesses unite with customers, unite their organizations, and unite their people and technology.

 “To realize the promises and possibilities of a world ahead, organizations must be united,” he said in his opening keynote before a crowd of 11,500 attendees. “Microsoft Dynamics solutions reimagine what’s possible for businesses, helping them unite to unlock innovation and creativity in people and to enable more meaningful experiences for their customers. When a business is truly united, great things happen."

To help businesses achieve true integrated marketing, Microsoft announced a new version MarketingPilot, which the company acquired in October. The new MarketingPilot version 15 features a simplified user interface, robust business intelligence functionality, and deeper integration into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Facebook, Twitter, and Google AdWords.

With MarketingPilot, marketers can plan, track, and optimize campaigns across digital, social, and traditional channels, manage leads, build landing pages

The new version of MarketingPilot is currently available to U.S. customers and will be released internationally later this year. Pricing is based on a per-user model.

Microsoft also announced an initiative to embed social monitoring capabilities across its Dynamics CRM offerings. This effort has been accelerated with its acquisition of Netbreeze, a Swiss social media analytics and monitoring solutions provider, for an undisclosed amount. Netbreeze delivers data mining, transactional, and text analysis capabilities with natural language processing across 28 languages, including   German, English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese.

These two acquisitions show a new direction for Microsoft, which Tatarinov later said "has become more acquisitive," to deliver more functionality to customers.

In addition, Microsoft announced plans for a mobile CRM sales application with the next Microsoft Dynamics CRM release later this year. Optimized for tablets, this application will help people manage an opportunity from lead to close and connect with customers and colleagues, regardless of location. The application brings guided selling to Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets as well as Apple's iPad. Businesses can configure this application, enabling them to tailor the experience to fit their sales processes and approaches.

Microsoft announced the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM adoption numbers, with more than 3 million users and more than 39,000 customers. 

"It's been a significant year at Microsoft," reported Wayne Morris, the company's corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions marketing. "We've had significant releases across the Microsoft Dynamics product line.

"And the coming year will be just as exciting," he pledged, with significant developments around social, mobile, and the cloud.

The cloud, in particular, will play a growing role in Microsoft's business offerings as more companies adopt the Azure cloud environment, according to Tatarinov. Who noted that for some business processes or workloads storing on premises will continue to be crucial. For those, Microsoft will be investing further in hybrid solutions, he said. 

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