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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Creating the ultimate customer-centric environment in 2018

All businesses today that are serious about being successful have adopted a customer-centric environment.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Embrace customer obsession to transform marketing into a catalyst for growth

In 2018, Forrester believes 20 per cent of CEOs globally will fail to act on digital transformation and put their firms at risk.

Michael Barnes

VP research director, Forrester

How challenger brands can win at biddable media

Challenger brands, especially in highly competitive markets, generally can’t match established players for media spend.

Chris Pittham

Managing director, Jaywing

While a lot has been said about AI and machine learning, I don't see it put to extensive use as yet. I will be happy to have it help the ...

Atul Dhakappa

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

Wowww! What A Awsome Blog! Thanks for this wonderful post I really got many valuable information through it. As a learner it's not so eas...

Mia Joseph

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

What you have said about AI, machine learning and voice activation is very true. Some of the other things we are already observing is the...

Atul Dhakappa

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

Yes, Digital Marketing now getting growth at the higher level. we can't predict today trends in the digital world. Nice stuff! Thanks for...

lorenso

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

I believe Digital Marketing is moving more toward social media and influential marketing. People are trying to grow their influence as in...

Rachel Kieran

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in