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Microsoft's answer to the changing nature of customer relationships

25 Sep 2015

This month Microsoft has revealed what Dynamics CRM 2016 will bring to users when it’s made available in quarter four of this year.

As the most comprehensive upgrade Dynamics CRM has seen, it will include updates to enable greater intelligence, mobility, service and productivity, according to the company.

The world is changing, and Microsoft wants to be the company enabling businesses, says Christian Pedersen, Microsoft Dynamics worldwide general manager.

According to Pedersen, only 11% of the companies that were in Fortune 500 in 1955 are still in existence.

He says, “Back then companies were expected to have an average lifespan of 15 years, now businesses have an average lifespan of five years. We’ve got to ask ourselves: Why is it dropping?

“It’s because the world around these organisations and businesses is constantly changing, and any company that cannot keep up or exceed that pace of change are eventually going to be out of business.”

“It’s a fundamental matter of survival, they’ve got to be able to change rapidly and they’ve got to have the systems to support that,” Pedersen says.

This is where Microsoft comes in.

“We are not the experts of our customer’s businesses, they are. It’s our job to constantly empower them to achieve what they want do so they can exceed the rate of change in the marketplace,” he says.

A key change impacting businesses of today is the relationship between businesses and their customers.

Haresh Khoobchandani, Microsoft business solutions general manager Asia Pacific, says, "When we think about the world today, one thing that’s forcing organisations to change the way they interact and do business is about delivering superior experiences.

“The average user today is more empowered than ever before, with access to information, knowledge, power, networks.

“Organisations that do not focus on providing a superior experience because of the multiple touch points with the customer will not succeed.”

Customers have come to expect superior experiences, and those who do not receive this will go elsewhere for goods or services.

What makes this harder is that 96% of unhappy customers do not complain, according to Khoobchandani.

The new enhancements to Dynamics CRM are designed to enable businesses to deliver these superior experiences and generate the outcome they want, according to Microsoft.

This includes integration with Office 365 applications such as Excel and Delve, OneDrive for Buisness, and email; an improved mobile experience; and access to more data and analytics.

Customers can now open various Office apps within CRM or the CRM mobile app, and Excel now includes new templates that automate various core tasks, including managing sales forecasts.

In order to maximise productivity, Microsoft has enabled users to manage customer-facing activities on a single dashboard.

The data management and advanced analytics aspect of Dynamics CRM is powered by Cortana Analytics Suite, including Azure Machine Learning.

Furthermore, the next version of Dynamics CRM will provide offline capabilities for sales and service people on phones and tables across mobile platforms - Android, iOS and Windows.

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