Microsoft CRM update to focus on marketing, mobility and usability

Dynamics CRM 2013 will be available in the fourth quarter and will feature integration with Skype and Yammer

Microsoft is preparing to launch a new version of its Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) software that will include improved mobile applications and integrations with Yammer, Skype and the company's MarketingPilot marketing automation software.

The Dynamics CRM 2013 release, which encompasses both on-premises and cloud-based deployments, is set for the fourth quarter, according to a Microsoft representative.

MarketingPilot is used to develop and manage advertising campaigns on multiple channels, as well as keep track of spending. Microsoft purchased the company in response to industry trends, said Fred Studer, general manager of Dynamics product marketing. "We think marketing and sales have both evolved and become more blurred with regard to how they work together," he said.

Salesforce.com, Oracle and other CRM vendors have also made acquisitions in the marketing automation arena.

Meanwhile, the core CRM application is also set to get some improvements, including a more flexible user framework that allows business processes to be tweaked on the fly depending on what a customer needs.

For example, a transportation company representative may receive a call from an individual who they initially believed wanted spot pricing, said Jujhar Singh, general manager for CRM program management. But the representative may realize that the customer actually wants a "much more involved" arrangement, and can take steps within the CRM application to accommodate them, Singh said.

Microsoft also plans to deliver new CRM mobile applications for the iPad and Windows 8 tablets. Windows 8, iPhone and Android phone applications will also be released this calendar year.

In addition, Microsoft is promising "seamless" integration of its Lync and Skype communications software with Dynamics CRM.

While Microsoft is not planning to announce the full details until next week, the company has "completely rethought" licensing and pricing for Dynamics, with changes to include "soft bundles with things like Yammer and Office 365," Studer said.

Meanwhile, along with the Dynamics CRM launch later this year, Microsoft will also start a limited beta program for its Netbreeze social monitoring software, which is also the result of a recent acquisition.

Microsoft is hoping to set itself apart from the likes of Salesforce.com's Radian6 social monitoring software, which customers much purchase separately. "We will democratize social," Studer said. Any customer with a Dynamics CRM license will get access to Netbreeze at no additional charge, according to Studer.

Overall, Microsoft is hoping the new features will keep existing Dynamics CRM customers happy and attract new ones in an increasingly competitive market.

Gartner recently reported that Salesforce.com overtook SAP as the industry's largest CRM vendor, with Microsoft coming in fourth after Oracle.

As of Microsoft's third fiscal quarter ended March 31, it had 39,000 Dynamics CRM customers, spanning 3 million users, Studer said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

The changing nature of brand power

Once upon a time, life was easy: You developed products, placed them in a well-located retail shop, wrapped them under an attractive brand and hired the best creative in town to promote them. Many business and brands were successfully built on this approach, even if it wasn’t always that easy.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Putting the ‘human element’ back in marketing

During the recent CMO Momentum conference, Paul Mitchell shared how marketing leaders can create cultures that deliver

Paul Mitchell

Managing director, The Human Enterprise

The rise and rise of voice search

In 1982, an AT&T employee by the name of Plotzke predicted the rise of voice: “In fact, it has been predicted that, by 1990, well over half the communications dollars spent by businesses will be for products and services that include voice technologies.

Michael Jenkins

Founder and director, Shout agency

Have you be denied of a loan from your bank or any Financial Firm? *Do you need a loan to pay off your bills or buy a home?* Do you need ...

Mercy William

Facebook unveils 'Here Together' campaign in Australia

Read more

Bullshit

John Winkler

Kmart turnaround chief to exit Wesfarmers, Target

Read more

End your financial worriesAre you a business man or woman? And you are in need of an urgent loan as to start up your own business? Or do ...

lance

Kmart turnaround chief to exit Wesfarmers, Target

Read more

https://uploads.disquscdn.c... [magic school bus] KID: where are we going today MS. FRIZZLE: the zoo KID: but last week we went to SPACE ...

Germain3161

Sephora Asia details its journey to data-driven decision making

Read more

DP Apparel bietet große Auswahl Audi Rennbekleidung in Deutschland zu den besten Angeboten. Das Geschäft bietet auch qualitativ hochwerti...

DP apparel

Audi Australia gets a new CMO

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in