Microsoft Dynamics Partners with Thunderhead.com; Introduces Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

At its Convergence Europe conference in Barcelona this week, Microsoft Dynamics CRM released the latest version of its CRM platform and announced a new partnership with Thunderhead.com, a customer engagement solutions provider. As part of the partnership, solutions from Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be integrated with Thunderhead.com's ONE Engagement Hub and together will give marketers and customer experience professionals more opportunities to drive personalized engagements for consumers across all touch points.

Once the integration is complete in 2015, the combined solution will give users expanded visibility into their customers' activity and give them the capability to connect insight, interaction context, and real-time behaviors through the Thunderhead.com ONE Engagement Hub, while keeping track of their CRM data through Microsoft Dynamics' platform. Eventually, the Engagement Hub will permeate all of the marketing, sales, service, and e-commerce solutions offered by Microsoft Dynamics to eliminate silos, streamline campaign development, and deliver more relevant engagements to consumers.

"No other companies are delivering the capability that we deliver," George Wright, senior vice president and general manager of the Americas division at Thunderhead.com, says. "There are a couple of vendors talking about marketing clouds, but they’re all complex and tough to implement. There are also a lot of vendors offering point solutions, but they're older technologies, and organizations are trying to make them sound more modern. But they're still on-premise, and require a lot of IT support," he explains.

What makes Thunderhead.com's solution unique, Wright says, is that it's agile in an omnichannel environment, and allows users to not only have a sophisticated marketing tool, but also a tool that can reach across the organization to improve engagements. "Today, in the omnichannel environment, you've got to be able to act quickly," he says.

In addition to discussing the new partnership with Thunderhead.com, Microsoft executives unveiled several improvements to the Dynamics CRM platform, including the interoperability between Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 and Office 365, and new Microsoft Dynamics AX capabilities, according to a company statement.

Microsoft Dynamics has also made significant changes to its marketing solutions, according to Fred Studer, general manager of Dynamics product marketing at Microsoft. For example, the vendor now offers a marketing service that adds capabilities to its marketing resource management tool and leverages the technology that Microsoft Dynamics brought in through the Marketing Pilot acquisition. There are also more wizard capabilities that allow users to build campaigns more quickly, and enhanced social capabilities to "democratize social," Studer says.

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant, is going to be integrated with the CRM platform. Users will be able to set up meetings, pull up account information, and create new records through voice commands. "The integration provides a new experience for people that are really mobile first," Stuber says.

Overall, Stuber says Microsoft Dynamics' strategy will now be focused on enabling users to deliver seamless interactions and experiences. "It's not just about having a powerful marketing cloud. It's about having wide-reaching capabilities that integrate sales with other areas to create better customer engagements. It's about harmonizing with the rest of the organization," he says.

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