Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) this week announced plans for a customer relationship management (CRM) education program with the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.
The program is the latest in the field of data analytics, data mining and business intelligence (BI) offered by higher education institutions.
Many universities offer courses of study in data mining, among them DePaul, Stanford, Central Connecticut State University, the University of Louisville, George Mason University, Central Florida, the University of Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Central Michigan and Oklahoma State.
At the new Rotman Center for CRM Excellence, the initial focus will be a three-day program on "social CRM," combining CRM and social networking.
The goal of Microsoft and the university is to "build a globally recognized hub for CRM thought leadership and research," according to a press release.
The two also posted a YouTube video on the new program.
Frank Falcone, CRM Lead for Microsoft Canada, said in a statement that "The practice of CRM is evolving as businesses increasingly tap into the power of social networks and real-time feedback. The days of simply providing better service are gone; today CRM is social, driven by personal interactions and by customers who expect control over their engagement with companies. Programs like this will help companies learn to be more responsive, transparent and personal in their dealings with customers."
IDC analyst Michael Fauscette added, "Bringing together the world's software makers with one of Canada's leading business schools makes this program unique in North America. CRM is evolving, and the launch of this program demonstrates that it has become critical to business success."