Microsoft to Update Dynamics CRM

Microsoft announced today that its next service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be released in December. The update will include best practice sales and customer service business process guides, stronger integrations with Yammer and Skype, and support for additional browsers. In 2013, Microsoft will also introduce a Windows 8 mobile app for CRM Dynamics users.

"With these new releases, we've taken a major step forward in reimagining the business process," maintains Seth Patton, senior director of Microsoft Dynamics CRM product marketing. "Our goal is to help companies better attract and retain customers…and we are setting a new bar for collaboration and communication capabilities." "

Through its integration with Yammer, Dynamics CRM users can better collaborate with colleagues or with customers, according to the company. Through its enhanced Skype integration, users will be able to communicate via video while taking notes on a split screen and conduct video conferences from within their Dynamics CRM dashboard.

To help sales and service professionals be more productive, Microsoft is also adding user experience guides that offer best practice tips on topics like lead, opportunity, and case management processes. The guides can be tailored to a person's specific role in sales or customer service. The service update will also add new business process workflows to track and manage leads, contacts, and accounts.

In addition, Dynamics CRM is expanding its browser support to include Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome running on Windows PCs, and Apple Safari running on Macintosh desktop computers, as well as the iPad.

While customers will not need to use Microsoft's Windows 8 software to run these service updates, the company will release a Windows 8 mobile application for Dynamics CRM next year. The app will reflect Windows 8's distinctive user interface, including its "live tiles" format.

As it faces diminishing sales from personal computers, Microsoft, like other software companies, has been under pressure to produce more revenue from other avenues. Its CRM division, according to Patton, continues to grow. Between March and September, the company saw a 30 percent year-over-year growth in revenue from Dynamics CRM product sales. It has 36,000 CRM Dynamics customers with 2.7 million users and expects to pass the 3 million user mark by the end of this year.

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