Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Focuses on Intelligence

Microsoft this week released Dynamics CRM 2016 in CRM Online and on-premises versions.

Built-in intelligence is a key feature of the package, which is available in 130 markets and 144 languages, the company said.

It leverages the Cortana Analytics Suite’s advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities to offer the following capabilities:

  • Intelligent selling with cross-sell recommendations for the sales force;
  • Intelligent customer service with recommendations through Delve for knowledge articles and answers to questions for service agents;
  • Intelligent social with machine learning capabilities (from Azure) powering sentiment analysis;
  • Intelligent collaboration with the Delve functionality to surface trending content; and
  • The ability to process significant streams of social data to spot posts most likely to be customer service cases or new sales leads.

The Race Is On

Intelligence “is important because it’s an idea that’s current,” observed Denis Pombriant, principal analyst at the Beagle Research Group.

Microsoft is “trying to pay attention to how Dynamics CRM supports business processes in the front office and not simply enhancing transaction potential,” he told CRM Buyer. “That’s the direction I see the whole industry moving in.”

The predictive intelligence capabilities are “in line with those offered by other major vendors, such as Salesforce and Oracle,” Pombriant said, but the devil’s in the details, as “that goes directly to how well the predictive intelligence informs business processes.”

Competition in the market is moving from apps to platforms, and Microsoft’s “competing effectively” with Salesforce, which is the market leader in platforms, Pombriant said.

Potential buyers for Dynamics CRM 2016 “are all over the map, and this highlights the importance of platform,” he added. “The race is on to have the best platform and the largest group of competent partners.”

Staying Ahead of the Game

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one of the leaders in the Nucleus CRM Technology Value Matrix for the second half of 2015.

The tight integration of Dynamics CRM 2016 with Office 365 helps.

Further, Microsoft has given CRM 2016 full offline mobile capabilities for phones and tablets. Users can create task-base mobile apps in CRM 2016, have mobile application management through Microsoft Intune, and work with CRM data on their devices.

“What they are doing in mobility is very important because it surfaces CRM data for key sales activities, accounts and deals, and mobile marketing with SMS capabilities,” said Natalie Petouhoff, principal analyst atConstellation Research.

Microsoft’s use of machine learning and the Internet of Things to make customer-facing applications smarter is key, she told CRM Buyer, because “IoT of customer experience — listening in social/digital mediums and taking that feedback … to get it to the right department in real time” — is the future of customer experience.

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

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