New Microsoft Dynamics CRM release adds social capabilities

Microsoft has released its new CRM 2013 in South Africa, promising a new focus on enterprise social networking.

December 11, 2013

Microsoft has released its new CRM 2013 in South Africa, promising a new focus on enterprise social networking that will give companies new ways to engage with customers, build brand relevance, and collaborate to stay ahead of changing market and business environments.

Announcing the launch during a webinar today, Kethan Parbhoo, the head of Microsoft’s Dynamics business in South Africa, said the release would deliver more personal experiences to sales, marketing and customer care professionals. The new release gives people the ability to access their information on a variety of devices; introduces a new user experience that is fast and fluid, enabling people to access information that is relevant to their jobs; and delivers richer contextual information that helps people have deeper insights into customers and their needs.

“Traditionally, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions have helped automate sales, service and marketing for organisations. But the Next Big Thing in CRM is social CRM and enterprise social networking,” said Parbhoo.

“Three years ago, social networking was considered largely irrelevant in the world of business – but today it’s a core tool that businesses use every day to connect better to their employees and customers. Enterprise has evolved to become social enterprise.”

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates that by using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers – high-skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals – by 20 to 25 percent.

Microsoft’s strong play in the social enterprise space has been boosted with the acquisition of Yammer, arguably the best enterprise social network in the enterprise software industry, and the company has wasted no time integrating it with CRM.

Yammer gives companies the ability to stay pervasively connected to customers and resources by putting social tools in the context of what people are doing. This means customers can quickly comment on posts or start contextual conversations.

Further boosting Dynamics CRM 2013’s collaboration abilities is Microsoft’s alliance with social intelligence provider InsideView, which embeds real-time company and contact information from 30 000 sources into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, helping marketing, sales and account management professionals engage more effectively with prospects to win more deals as a result of less time spent researching and more time selling.

“CRM today should be an enabler that detects trends, facilitates decisions and suggests actions that lead to successful outcomes and relationships. The new CRM, with its enterprise social abilities, is transforming the way we share information, and allowing us to focus of flexibility, agility and effectiveness to keep our customers happy,” said Parbhoo.

The new Microsoft Dynamics CRM release offers new templates for a number of specific industries, such as professional services, manufacturing and financial services, as well as processes for event management and solution selling. These completely configurable business processes incorporate best practices from industry experts and give customers a starting point to build a solution to fulfil their specific industry requirements. The benefits to organisations include shorter sales cycles, increased win rates and less ramp-up time for new hires.

With the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM release, customers get access to new mobile client applications on Windows 8 tablets and iPads, as well as touch-enabled experiences on Windows Phones, iPhones and Android phones, giving customers powerful functionality and analytics on the go, without a separate license fee. These new tablet experiences keep people connected to their data, their team members and, most important, their customers, allowing subject-matter experts to be a click away

For more information on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Social Insights integration, a news release from InsideView is available at http://www.insideview.com/press/insideview-and-microsoft-raise-bar-crm-sign-strategic-oem-agreement-integrate-insideview-sales.