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Microsoft unveiled new features for its Dynamics product portfolio Tuesday, including new functionality around marketing automation, social media and mobile communications.
"We are really recognizing the changes that customers are facing. These [enhancements] are driven by customer behavior and the consumerization of IT. Microsoft is positioned to bridge that gap between business and IT," said Seth Patton, senior director of marketing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The announcements were made at Convergence 2013 in New Orleans, with more than 11,000 attendees, the largest crowd in the show's history, Patton said.
"Dynamics was refreshed last year, and in our Q2 the results for Dynamics CRM [revenue growth] was more than 30 percent," Patton said. "We also passed a key milestone -- more than three million users for more than 39,000 customers. On the AX side, we have more than 18,000 customers and more than 50 percent license growth in North America."
Microsoft expects to fuel further growth in 2013 thanks to the addition of marketing automation and more, Patton said.
Last October, Microsoft acquired MarketingPilot, a marketing automation solution to help manage products, budgets and resources, and execute and monitor marketing campaigns and customer interactions across digital and social channels, as well as television, radio and direct-mail campaigns. That functionality has been added to the Dynamics brand, Patton said.
"This is an important area for us to achieve our CRM vision. The new release brings together Microsoft CRM and MarketingPilot. It will have a more simple user experience that is more consistent with the RM user experience and will have a MarketingPilot Connector to unite the marketing and sales organizations," Patton said.
The new version of MarketingPilot should be available this month, he added.
"It allows organizations to do marketing planning, execution, measurement, but also bridge over to align marketing with sales in terms of leads," Patton said.
Meanwhile, another Microsoft acquisition is responsible for the social media enhancements within Dynamics CRM, Patton said.
Microsoft has acquired NetBreeze, a Switzerland-based company that specializes in social media monitoring and analytics.
"We've mixed the social integrated part of how people use the application and integrated it with sales, service and marketing. It shouldn't be a separate tool or app," Patton said. "It allows enterprise organizations to listen to what is happening across social media and news channels and take action. With this acquisition, we gain data mining, transactional and text-analysis capabilities and a team of data scientists in the social analytics arena."
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