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Has Microsoft Dynamics set the tone for CRM next year?

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10th Dec 2014
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It’s been a while since Microsoft last announced updates to its CRM suite, Dynamics, and a while longer since its VP of Microsoft Business Solutions Group, Kirill Tatarinov, called its rival products in the CRM and Marketing Cloud space “tools of oppression”.

However, Dynamics has now got its major 2014 update, announced in a blog post from Bob Stutz, corporate VP for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, with the rhetoric very much focused on what it plans to do to “break down the silos” between sales and marketing, to create more personalised customer experiences for its clients.

The latest CRM updates, rolled out over the past week or so, continue to focus on Microsoft's attempts to integrate Dynamics CRM and ERP with its Azure platform and Office 365 applications, thus offering more of a Marketing Cloud suite to rival Adobe, IBM, Salesforce, Oracle and co.

Stutz called the updates “quick to deploy and easy to use”, with a new graphic-led interface getting plenty of airtime – suggesting Microsoft plans to further push Dynamics as a marketing suite.

“For marketing, we added the new interactive marketing calendar, integrated Lync webinars, new graphical marketing workflow and email editing, as well as A/B testing and integrated offers,” Stutz adds, in his blog post.

“And we continue to expand our languages and geographies with the addition if Japanese and Russian.  For sales, we focused on the needs of high-tech sellers, introducing product families for product bundling and recommended products, visual sales hierarchies and roll ups, as well as more tailored dashboards and analytics on mobile.”

Earlier in the year, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Salesforce1 that had some analysts questioning the future of Dynamics.

However, the company's new CEO, Satya Nadella, was quick to quash rumours surrounding the platform’s future when the points were raised in May, and recent figures suggest Dynamics is going from strength-to-strength - Microsoft recently announced there are now more than 375,000 Dynamics customers with over six million users worldwide.

"The needs of businesses are constantly changing and we want to keep pace with that. In a cloud-first world, businesses are increasingly moving to a services model and no longer expect releases to come every few years with major product launches," said a Microsoft spokesperson, in a call earlier in the week, with Newsfactor.

"We have responded with continuous innovation and more frequent updates on a regular and predicable cadence so our customers can get the latest features and capabilities and be able to deploy and implement in a way that gives them the most value."

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