Microsoft is setting out to help businesses better connect with today's empowered, social media savvy consumer. The company's answer is the upcoming, business-made-personal edition of the Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant announced today that it was readying both the cloud-delivered and on-premise versions of Dynamics CRM 2013 for a fall release. Sometime after the sun sets on the summer months in the U.S. -- the exact timing remains officially up in the air -- organizations that upgrade to the newest edition of Dynamics CRM will be able to engage with customers in new, more personalized ways, says Microsoft Dynamics CRM vice president Bob Stutz.
"Customers don’t want to be sold to anymore. They are knowledgeable and are interacting with their social and professional networks to make their buying decisions. They expect businesses to help them make the most informed choice," cautioned Stutz in a statement.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 facilitates this with a slew of new integrations and user experience refinements that are designed to deliver mobile-friendly, social-enabled CRM workflows.
The product links with Microsoft's marketing automation tech, MarketingPilot, to help businesses manage and monitor multi-channel campaigns. Combined, the software "also helps businesses understand the digital footprint of its customers," easing lead generation for companies according to Microsoft.
On the mobile front, the company is working on new apps for Apple's iPad and tablets running its own Windows 8 operating system. Following the software's release, Microsoft also plans to roll out smartphone-optimized apps for the iPhone, Android handsets and Windows Phone 8. Dynamics CRM 2013 also boasts a new, "outcome-driven user interface" (UI) that streamlines the lead to close process and emphasizes the delivery of contextual information.
The software maker's efforts to integrate its Yammer enterprise social networking platform into practically its entire business software ecosystem also bleed into Dynamics CRM 2013. Users can use Yammer to collaborate over social media and share customer knowledge without leaving the Dynamics interface. Microsoft snapped up Yammer last year for $1.2 billion.
Dynamics CRM will also support tech from another big acquisition, this time Skype. Lync's newfound compatibility with Skype allows users to initiate more seamless communications with customers, colleagues and partners.
Taken altogether, this fall's Dynamics CRM update helps bring sales and customer service organizations into closer alignment with today's consumers, claims Stutz. "Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps people connect with these customers in a way that is personal — giving them the information they need to choose the right solutions, engage to drive sales and nurture relationships to deliver amazing experiences." he added.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.