Microsoft Dynamics CRM gets an analytics-infused update

Highlights include new social and mobility features, closer Office 365 integration

The Spring ’15 release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The Spring ’15 release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Following the launch of Dynamics CRM 2015 last November, Microsoft on Monday announced a Spring update to the software that promises new social, mobile and analytics capabilities along with closer integration with Office 365.

On the social front, for instance, the Spring '15 release of Microsoft's customer relationship management suite offers a new social center where marketing, sales and service teams can monitor social topics and engage directly with communities. Companies can create end-to-end customer engagements from social posts, while social analytics tools now offer text mining, cloud visualization and a social activity map. Tying it all together, Microsoft said, is a redesigned user interface.

Recognizing the need for cross-device consistency, meanwhile, the new Dynamics CRM release also a promises a "configure once, deploy everywhere" model designed to give users a smooth experience when interacting with the same sales processes across mobile devices. With a new mobile software development kit, companies can also extend and create their own mobile apps for the platform.

Deeper integration with Microsoft's Office 365 productivity suite is another part of the new Dynamics CRM offering. Thanks to a new, immersive Excel experience, for example, sales managers can now perform what-if scenarios in Excel and update their forecasts right within Dynamics CRM. With OneNote in CRM, meanwhile, it's now easier for sales teams to collaborate and share information, Microsoft said.

Finally, the Spring '15 release not only marks the start of Parature's integration with Dynamics CRM for knowledge management, but new Power BI connectors, dashboards and reports are on the way for data sources including Google Analytics, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Zuora, Acumatica and Twilio, Microsoft said.

The new release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is slated to be available by the end of the second quarter of calendar 2015.

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