Microsoft marshals marketing, service, social for Dynamics CRM, aims anew at Salesforce.com

Pricing details for the new modules will be announced at the Convergence conference next month

Microsoft is rolling out a new marketing automation application for its Dynamics line.
Microsoft is rolling out a new marketing automation application for its Dynamics line.

Microsoft is about to make a fresh run at its CRM (customer relationship management) rival Salesforce.com with new capabilities for marketing automation, customer support and social media monitoring.

The three components, which came about in part through Microsoft's acquisitions of Parature, MarketingPilot and NetBreeze, map in a competitive sense to Salesforce.com's Service Cloud, ExactTarget and Radian6 software products.

MarketingPilot has received a "complete overhaul" to make it look and feel similar to Microsoft's core CRM application, said Bill Patterson, senior director of Dynamics CRM and Parature. Initially, Microsoft had only provided a connector to MarketingPilot. It has also moved the product, now called Dynamics Marketing, to its Azure cloud service.

While on-premises MarketingPilot customers will continue to be supported on their current implementations, Microsoft will push all new innovations into Dynamics Marketing, which is only available as a cloud service, Patterson said. Microsoft plans to make these on-premises customers migration offers, although details weren't available.

Dynamics Marketing will feature a new drag-and-drop style visual campaign designer, which allows marketers to put together ad purchases and content placements across multiple channels, such as websites, emails and social media.

Once campaigns are up and running, the software provides ongoing analytics showing their relative success. It will be easy for marketers to make changes to their campaigns on the fly as well, according to Patterson.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has also developed a new application called Unified Service Desk. The product works with both the cloud-based and on-premises versions of Dynamics CRM.

Unified Service Desk is aimed at support call center workers who must deal with high volumes of inbound inquiries while trying to keep their interactions with customers cordial and personalized. It can pull together information from CRM systems as well as other sources, into a single view, Patterson said. It will work in conjunction with Parature's tools for self-service portals, chat and knowledge-base software.

Finally, Microsoft has formalized a name for the social media monitoring software it acquired by buying NetBreeze. Dubbed Social Listening, the software tracks mentions of brand names and products on social media, then analyzes the data with natural language processing to determine the type of sentiments being expressed.

Social Listening will be included at no charge with professional edition licenses of Dynamics CRM Online at no additional charge. On-premises Dynamics CRM users will incur an "incremental" fee if they want to turn Social Listening on; Patterson declined to provide details but said pricing for it as well as Dynamics Marketing will be announced in March at the Convergence conference.

If history and a hint from Patterson are any guide, Microsoft will likely price its new wares very competitively against Salesforce.com and others. "Dynamics CRM customers have always been amazed at the price to value delivered," he 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

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

The versatility of Live Chat is really what surprises me. I’ve seen it being used not only for customer support, but also as a tool to in...

Drishti Shah

Why Bupa tapped WhatsApp for new customer messaging channel

Read more

Hi This is George, Thanks for sharing this nice information about foodpanda blockchain. During this pandemic situation food delivery indu...

George David

foodpanda launches blockchain-based out-of-home advertising campaign

Read more

Did anyone proofread this document before it was published?

Beau Ushay

CMO Momentum 2020: How to embrace agile marketing

Read more

An honest and hardworking conveyancer doesn't need a marketing strategy. His past clients will spread the word for him. These days the ho...

Bagen Andrea

What this millennial marketer is doing to shake up conveyancing

Read more

Love the post. It is so insightful for companies getting stuck in their habits and missing out on the role innovation can have on revenue...

Alessia Del Genio

How Lego built its culture of innovation, brick by brick

Read more

Blog Posts

Innovate or die

It’s hard to know if famed management and marketing guru, Peter Drucker, coined this phrase for dramatic effect. My belief is he was emphasising the notion that few products and markets are static and few organisations can survive without innovation.

Michael Valos

Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, Deakin University

Commissioning personas that get used

How to avoid the bottom drawer, and how to get value from the work you’ve paid for

Melanie Wiese

Chief strategy officer, Wunderman Thompson

Why It’s Going To Be A Bumper Holiday Season Despite the Pandemic

Behavioural science expert Dan Monheit, co-founder and strategy director of creative agency, Hardhat, writes that marketing chiefs should hold their nerve, as they have reason to be optimistic

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in