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Microsoft Readies Dynamics CRM Online Update

Microsoft Readies Dynamics CRM Online Update
November 5, 2012 6:33AM

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Customer relationship management (CRM) meets business process management (BPM) in the upcoming iteration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The Dynamics CRM update adds new business process definitions to manage leads, opportunities, and accounts. The idea is to make it simpler for sales and service reps to connect with their customers.

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Microsoft in December will release a service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The update comes just after Microsoft Dynamics CRM business posted its 33rd consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth, and as it approaches its 3 millionth seat.

Microsoft said the new update "reimagines" the way sales, customer service and marketing professionals work with CRM. With the new iteration, Microsoft is moving away from the traditional data-centric approach with a strategy to simplify and visually guide users through their business processes.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online update also includes predefined best-practice sales and service business process definitions; deeper connection to Yammer and Skype; embedded Bing maps; Microsoft Office 2013 compatibility; and cross-browser support to drive more communication and collaboration.

Boosting CRM Productivity

Microsoft promises new levels of productivity, in part, through new, role-specific user experiences that work to guide sales and service professionals through predefined lead, opportunity and case-management processes. As Microsoft describes it, the new user experiences will offer customers guidance and suggestions that can be tailored to a person's specific role to drive maximum productivity.

Bob Stutz, corporate vice president at Microsoft Dynamics CRM, said the release is the first in a planned set of rapid innovation. As the competition continues getting heavier in the social CRM space, Microsoft is relying more heavily on its Yammer acquisition to drive new experiences.

"We've reimagined the business process and infused new communication and collaboration capabilities powered by Skype and Yammer," Stutz said. "We continue to help sales and customer service professionals drive new levels of productivity on the browser of their choice, and across a wide range of devices."

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online update will also add new business process definitions to track and manage leads, opportunities, contacts and accounts. The idea is to make it simpler for people to understand their customer, and be able to better connect and collaborate with each other.

Integrating Skype and Yammer

Microsoft is pushing social CRM with its Yammer and Skype assets. Using Yammer, for example, Microsoft Dynamics CRM users can collaborate with colleagues inside their organization or with customers, partners and other stakeholders.

Yammer taps social networking capabilities to streamline information sharing around customers, business processes and key business documents. Ultimately, Microsoft said, Yammer helps customers project CRM information, activities and insights across their organization.

Meanwhile, Skype opens the door for direct interactions with customers. With Skype, users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM can initiate voice and video communications directly from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Finally, Microsoft has included browser support for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome running on Windows-based PCs, and Firefox and Apple Safari running on Macintosh desktop computers.

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