In this blog, I’ll summarise what Jujhar Singh, General Manager at Microsoft Dynanmics CRM, talked about in his presentation titled ‘Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Product roadmap and future vision’, hosted at the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014. The amount of info from this conference was a bit overwhelming, so today I’m just going to give a quick summary on the following points and I’ll dive into detail on a later blog:
- A summary of how CRM is getting on
- The schedule for the releases for the rest of the year
- Microsoft’s highlights/summary of each of the releases
In future blogs I’ll go through each of the planned releases in more detail, examine the different technologies and enhancements that are being offered in each and give an opinion as to what impact they’ll have.
How is CRM getting on…
The answer is “pretty good!”
The talk started with a quick summary of how CRM is fairing as a product, with the slide below showing the headline figures. You can see that online is where it’s all heading and Microsoft has been pushing hard to get that message across in most of its marketing material.
To make sure that the sales continue to grow, they then focused on the 5 main areas of investment in CRM over the next year, which break down as follows:
The areas of investment are being broken down into 8 (yes that’s right 8!) releases between now and the end of the year. Each release, generally speaking, has a major focus but most of the releases try to touch on each of the 5 areas of investment highlighted.
The release schedule is broken down in the following slide. Though actual dates are pretty vague this does give a good idea of when each release should roughly fall.
Highlights/Summary of each release
Leo – Customer Care Release
There was a lot of emphasis that this is a non-disruptive release, and this basically means that it’s an “opt in” release, so not one that will be forced onto all customers.
The main areas focused on is the customer care area, and they have summarised this in the slide below. It is worth noting that this does not include all of the data that will be included in the later Parature release.
Subra – Social Listening/Trends Release
This one is basically the integration of the recently acquired company Netbreeze. It’s actually quite an exciting integration (social trends and social listening) and one that some of our customers have been longing for!
Mira – Marketing Release
The main focus of this area was that the marketing functionality is no longer “silo’d”, it is all integrated and interoperable. There was also a run through of the functionality that will be available in Marketing Pilot regarding the marketing automation and being able to view the journey.
Vega – Offline/Mobility Release
The main focus is to improve the offline experience and the main areas that will be affected are outlined below.
Electra – Marketing Release – Wave 2
The main focus with this release is going to be on adding in SMS and Mobile, but it will also be addressing the social integration (being able to see the Netbreeze integration in marketing) and looking at landing pages. There is also some interesting looking interaction changes between the sale and marketing functions and how they can view each others actions.
Libra and Hydra Releases – Social Wave 2
Effectively this is some more follow up to the Netbreeze integration. The three main areas are:
- Creating leads and contacts directly from the social integrations
- Geo analysis will allow you to see where social connections are coming from (so where tweets were tweeted from)
- Social triggers, which basically means being able to view social feeds and be able to respond to social feeds through CRM. This is something that, depending on how well it’s done, could have a few companies that produce software that just does this quaking in their boots!
I’m not going to get into Parature here because there are several talks and videos purely on Parature, but I’ll give a summary of this in a later blog.
Well folks, that is where CRM 2013 is heading this year!
Microsoft are giving themselves a LOT to get through but even if they only get half of it done it will still give a huge wealth of extra functionality. There are some bits that I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on and some bits that I don’t really see the point of, but I’ll go through each of those in each of the blogs on the separate releases.