In his keynote address to kick off Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014, Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions, highlighted the recent and still-to-come new features that are making Microsoft Dynamics CRM such an important solution in the “era of the customer.” The presentation, delivered to an audience of 12,000, featured Microsoft Dynamics customers such as Delta Airlines, New Belgium Brewing, City Harvest, and Weight Watchers International, and it included demonstrations of new features.
Tatarinov’s address centered on delivering meaningful customer experiences in an era when customers are more empowered and connected than ever. He cited 1.4 billion internet users and forecasts of 15 billion internet-accessing devices by the year 2015. He said, “Technology has changed the social fabric, transforming how we engage, connect, and interact with one another. In this era of the customer, experience is the new currency.”
He also stressed the importance of melding CRM and ERP systems so that they function as one solution. He expects that in a few years, CRM will be a standard part of ERP solutions. As such, Microsoft has already been working to make Microsoft Dynamics CRM work seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics ERP products.
The Spring release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM will deliver Microsoft Dynamics Marketing for managing marketing campaigns, a Unified Service Desk for more personalized customer care that can be delivered on any device and at any time, and Microsoft Social Listening. The social listening functionality is the result of Microsoft’s acquisition of Netbreeze last year. It will be offered free of charge to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online users, and it will be offered to on-premises users for $20 per user per month. Tatarinov says that the feature will enable users to “listen on every channel.”
Tatarinov asserts that marketing departments have undergone the largest organizational change in recent years, trending toward growth of staff and budget. New technology is the driver. “Marketing smarter creates more opportunities to reach people, without annoying them, and giving them what they need at exactly the moment they need it.”