Microsoft announces CRM updates

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Microsoft has revealed that it is updating its customer research management (CRM) software, incorporating the latest features of the technology.  

It has unveiled its spring wave of updates to its CRM solutions, which includes 54 updates operating in 42 languages. These are designed to work with a range of applications, with the company listing these as including Microsoft Office 365, Yammer, Lync, Skype, SharePoint and Power BI for Office 365.

Among the new services on offer are more widely-available Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Microsoft Social Listening, while it has added a new unified service desk to its Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft noted that one of the most important elements of the CRM software is that it meets European Union privacy rules, with it being the only firm cut whose software is recognised as being fully compliant by the EU's Article 29 Working Party.

Commenting on the updates, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella remarked: “Microsoft Dynamics CRM has made unbelievable progress over the last few years, and the amazing capabilities in this release deliver significant value to our customers as an important component of the Microsoft Cloud for business.

“Through innovative business applications in the cloud, businesses can better meet their customers’ needs and thrive in a changing world.”

Bob Stutz, the corporate vice president for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, noted that the new releases were developed through a detailed programme that involved a design of the user interface, a six-month rapid release cycle, a number of new features and three company acquisitions.

The new Microsoft developments have come at a time when the sector has been growing substantially, according to data released by Gartner last month at its 360 Customer Summit.

It revealed the market was worth $20.4 billion in 2013, up 13.7 per cent from the 2012 total of $18 billion. Of this total, 41 per cent was delivered in the form of software as a service.

Joanne Correia, the research vice president at Gartner, predicted: "CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years." 

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