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Microsoft Dynamics 365

Can the Microsoft Dynamics CRM journey get any more exciting? Yes, it can! Our recent Convergence conference gave me the opportunity to do what I like most — talk with customers about how they are using our solutions and to find out first-hand the exciting results they are achieving. The most important take-away for me from these inspiring conversations is the level to which companies are now embracing customer engagement solutions to accelerate collaboration across  sales, service, and marketing that will help them better engage with their customers.

That’s why I am thrilled to announce the general availability of the Spring 2015 release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. Our commitment to help our customers deliver personalized, proactive, and predictive experiences has helped shape and influence the innovations we are delivering today. Our latest wave takes intelligent customer engagement to the next level by delivering enhancements that help employees be more productive in the office and on the go, make better decisions through key business and customer insight, better serve customers with integrated knowledge management, and increase the impact of marketing investments.

Productivity

We continue to unlock the potential of business productivity with solutions that work seamlessly together, leveraging familiar tools that sales professionals already prefer to use. We are now making it even easier to deliver personalized customer experiences using contextual customer information, anywhere, anytime, from any device.  

CRM App for Outlook – This new Office App surfaces contextual CRM information in Outlook desktop and browser, making it easy for users to create new records directly from Outlook and to see relevant, contextual information such as sales activities, cases, and opportunities for the email sender.

Embedded OneNote – Salespeople can share information more easily with OneNote embedded inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM. They can create and view notes containing text, photos, voice, spreadsheets, and free-form drawings, all within the context of the account, opportunity, or any other record they are working on.  

Immersive Excel experience – Microsoft provides the ability to conduct analysis in Excel, directly within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This eliminates the frustration, time and effort required to switch between applications in the middle of completing a business process. Salespeople can now view sales data in familiar Excel spreadsheets, perform what-if analysis, and upload all the changes with one click, all while maintaining the sales workflow. 

Mobility

Our spring release lights up new mobility scenarios with a seamless user experience across mobile devices, including tablets and phones, in a ‘configure once, deploy everywhere’ model. Mobile users interact with the same business processes across all mobile devices.

Mobile Phone App – Microsoft Dynamics CRM for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone provides quick access to relevant information with just a few taps. Mobile users are guided by the same contextual business process, providing a consistent experience across devices.

In addition, we have delivered powerful capabilities for customers to extend and configure the mobile platform, such as Mobile SDK, Azure App Services for Mobile Apps, and Mobile Security with MAM.   

Analytics

Microsoft is committed to empowering all people in an organization with the tools to turn data into insights for better and faster decision-making. Microsoft Power BI, with live dashboards and reports with drill-through, interactive, and powerful visual capabilities, helps people proactively improve and predict sales performance, campaign performance, service metrics, and customer satisfaction. The service also enables people to get answers fast with natural language Q&A. To help organizations get up and running quickly on Power BI, Microsoft provides out-of-the-box connectivity to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and pre-built Power BI Sales, Marketing, and Service Templates.

Knowledge

This release marks the start of Parature’s integration with Dynamics CRM for knowledge management. Customer service agents will have knowledge integrated into their daily service interactions out of the box, including the ability to both search and receive automated suggestions. 

Marketing

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing enables marketing teams to seamlessly span planning, execution, and measurement across channels. Marketers can engage customers one-to-one through a variety of different ways, build sales pipeline, and demonstrate the impact of marketing investments in real-time. As part of our continued investments in developing this solution, we have delivered advanced capabilities across the board in email marketing, campaign management, lead management, lead nurturing, and analytics. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Email marketing & lead management—With more robust support for double opt-in and contact duplication as well as advanced lead scoring modelling and analysis, marketers can deliver better qualified leads and more relevant interaction history to salespeople resulting in an increased return on marketing investments.
  • Campaign management—We have made segmentation more powerful by supporting lead-based queries for marketing contacts. And we have enabled task sync (customizable fields to support tasks in CRM).
  • TCO & performance—We have enhanced the service to make it easier to deploy, administer, and upgrade and have invested in our backend infrastructure to make it easier to scale and integrate.

To get more information about the features highlighted here, along with additional new capabilities, such as Email Tracking, Office 365 Groups, User Experience, and Platform enhancements, click here.

While we’re introducing a lot of new capabilities in the Spring 2015 release, what’s even more exciting is how businesses are seeing tangible benefits from Microsoft solutions. Below are a few examples from our customers:

AccuWeather – AccuWeather is the world’s largest and fastest growing weather company. They are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Office 365 to enable faster productivity results in business operations companywide as well as providing best-in-class service to their customers. Find out more about them here.

Sutherland Global Service Sutherland Global Service is a global provider of business process and technology management services. They employ over 30,000 professionals globally and are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to enable their employees to have access to the relevant information that empowers them to provide their clients’ customers with a consistently exceptional experience across the globe. The solution has led to a 20% improvement in front office consultant’s efficiency. Read more here

I hope you are as excited as I am about the Spring 2015 release and the increased capabilities we are delivering to businesses. To learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM, take a guided tour today.