• September 16, 2014
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Microsoft Previews Dynamics CRM 2015

Microsoft today gave a product road map for Dynamics CRM 2015 and updates to its Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing services. The new updates enable greater collaboration between sales and marketing.

To break down the silos between sales and marketing, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is introducing a new Sales Collaboration Panel, which allows salespeople to provide input into campaigns and targeting.

The release also allows marketers to streamline campaign creation and improve segmentation with graphical email editing, A/B testing, integrated offers, and approval workflows. Marketers can collaborate with the click-to-call feature in Lync and schedule and execute Webinars as part of their marketing initiatives. The new Interactive Marketing Calendar allows marketers to visualize and manage their end-to-end marketing plans.

The new release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM also allows sales and marketing departments to recommend products to upsell and cross-sell across product families. The new release enhances the Guided Sales Processes to help steer salespeople toward desired outcomes and ensure the enforcement of business rules across all devices. New mobile sales capabilities across mobile platforms increase productivity with flexible role-tailored dashboards and analytics, as well as personalized home pages.

"Unlike vendors that want to separate businesses by selling them countless different clouds and solutions, we have designed Microsoft Dynamics CRM to facilitate the kind of collaboration that businesses need to thrive and grow," said Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a statement. "This means that marketers and sellers can work more closely together to engage customers, bridging the chasm between marketing, sales, and service to truly deliver end-to-end experiences that customers will love."

Continuing to enhance capabilities to Microsoft Social Listening, the company added Italian as a sixth native language for sentiment tracking and analysis and expanded listening capabilities to include news sources.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will also be available in Japanese and Russian.

These updates "continue on Microsoft's goal of helping companies deliver extraordinary customer experiences," says Angela Bandlow, director of product marketing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM continues to deepen its interoperability with Microsoft's productivity applications, including Microsoft Office 365, Yammer, Lync, Skype, SharePoint, and Power BI for Office 365.

Jujhar Singh, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, says the updates "are not small, incremental changes but major upgrades across the board," with enhancements happening "in all aspects" of the Dynamics product line.

"With these releases, we're really focused on making multichannel capabilities available on one platform, and making sure that everything goes across channels," Singh says.

According to Singh, a new capability is the addition of information bubbles, allowing users to click anywhere in the data stream to get additional information "right then and there.

"Sales and marketing can both see much more information," Singh adds, noting that the new applications will work "across multiple mobile devices."

Expanding into new markets, Microsoft also released Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in 17 new markets in Latin America, making the service globally available in more than 65 markets worldwide. The company expects to reach 130 markets and be available in 44 languages by the end of the year.

"This is a really exciting time for us at Microsoft with our Dynamics product," Bandlow says. "We've seen double-digit growth and a significant amount of activity."

And, she adds, it doesn't stop there. "We have a great road map of innovations lined up."

The company's last Dynamics CRM release, made available in early June, combined new marketing, social listening, and customer care capabilities with the power of productivity.

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