Microsoft has done a great job talking up the social aspects of their pending upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2012. Building on its Activity Feeds foundation, Dynamics CRM 2012 will support Facebook-style liking and unliking of posts, along with the ability to filter a “time-line” view based on Twitter-style hashtags (#) or other criteria. This is just a start though. Later in the year, Microsoft CRM will also deliver even more social capabilities that connect it with external social sites such as LinkedIn.
Some people call all this social status information found in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. to be a “social dialtone”. Most business people expect – as part of their CRM tools – to be able to tap into the stream of social status activity as needed for, say, news, contacts, and sentiment analysis.
Microsoft is well aware of this, and they have teamed up with a company called InsideView that focuses on sales intelligence tools and CRM solutions. In a future release, scheduled for the end of the year, MS CRM 2012 will be able to pull in information from the web in general and from specific social networks sites. The intent is to enrich existing information in Dynamics CRM systems with publicly available content.
Microsoft has also separately struck a deal with LinkedIn to provide a way to extend a company’s Customer Relationship Management software contact network. For example, if one of the team members of a sales group has a LinkedIn connection to a potential account, Dynamics CRM 2012 will detect this and then inform you of a potential inside sales foothold. Essentially, Dynamics CRM 2012 finds the relevant path across the CRM software into LinkedIn.
The Microsoft Dynamics team has even more exciting plans to pull in and analyze social activity streams – we’ll take this up in a future post.