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

Why are we dubious about deep learning?

The prospect of deep learning gives those of us in the industry something to get really excited about, and something to be nervous about, at the same time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Why you can’t afford to fail at CX in 2019

In 1976 Apple launched. The business would go on to change the game, setting the bar for customer experience (CX). Seamless customer experience and intuitive designs gave customers exactly what they wanted, making other service experiences pale in comparison.

Damian Kernahan

Founder and CEO, Proto Partners

Natural born leaders

Many business and marketing managers progressing to leadership positions face evolving their focus from operational matters to strategic decision making and planning.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Thanks for writing about chatbots. Definitely bots have the exciting future when it comes to customer engagement, transactional and conve...

Sanket Nair

7 businesses successfully implementing chatbots

Read more

Interesting article but what about the employees? There needs to be access to quick cash for everyone involved lest we have yet another '...

Joel Pencer

Suncorp outlines customer investments, digitisation as key to business improvement

Read more

Just printed out this Brad Howarth screed to read tomorrow. I need a good laugh once in a while. Or maybe shed some manly-man tears at th...

Larry A Singleton

What a diversity agenda has done for Kellogg's staff and innovation engagement

Read more

Morons. PC Nazis infiltrating and subverting every level in our lives.These scum have destroyed our education system.Read FrontPage Magaz...

Larry A Singleton

What a diversity agenda has done for Kellogg's staff and innovation engagement

Read more

It is an accepted fact that in the present times the mass makes use of digital marketing more often and are more and more enlightened wit...

Digital Marketing Course in Ja

Why RMIT is partnering with Adobe for digital marketing learning

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in