More than 11,500 Microsoft Dynamics customers and channel partners gathered at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to get the latest scoop on new enhancements within the Microsoft CRM/ERP business solutions portfolio during the annual Convergence Conference.
The keynote presentation, which featured Kirill Tatarinov, President of Microsoft Business Solutions, and Wayne Morris, Corporate VP of Microsoft Business Solutions Marketing, honed in on the high-level, corporate principles that Microsoft team members follow. However, the most relevant and compelling insights shared were regarding how new acquisitions, such as MarketingPilot, an integrated marketing management solution provider, and Netbreeze, a social media monitoring company, will reflect and deliver upon these principles.
Spotlighting connectivity, integration and one-to-one communication as key themes and company-wide standards, Tatarinov shared how Microsoft is focusing on social good and responsibility as the core of all business missions. Thus far, company employees have raised approximately $1 billion for community, and completed two million volunteer hours.
“Working together in this rapidly changing world is something we need to do more of,” Tatarinov said. “Even since our last Convergence conference, the world has changed in a profound way.”
Addressing this profound change, Microsoft Dynamics 2013 is touting the slogan “a world ahead;” a significant metaphorical change from last year’s motto, which was “a world of opportunity.”
Big Data, mobility and social media were the usual suspects noted for shaking up the business world. Microsoft, however, is dedicated to driving unity in business environments and being a “people company,” according to Tatarinov. “Our commitment to people has been unwavering throughout our history. Our mission has remained unchanged. Being a people company truly drives our actions and how we build our solutions.”
To help customers and partners keep pace, Microsoft has unveiled new enhancements to its current solution suite, as well as a variety of offerings created as a result of recent acquisitions.
For example, Microsoft today unveiled MarketingPilot 15, a solution that integrates MarketingPilot and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Designed to appeal to the “new digital marketer,” MarketingPilot 15 was created following the acquisition of MarketingPilot in November 2012 to help businesses connect with prospects and customers in more compelling ways. The solution will be available to U.S. customers in March 2013, and internationally in the second half of 2013.
The new release will include an updated user interface, as well as a more streamlined user experience, and new MarketingPilot Connector that will enable it to work seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This new release, just five months after the acquisition, “reinforces Microsoft’s dedication to the marketing automation space,” according to a company announcement, “and underscores the company’s commitment to continued innovation in MarketingPilot and to joint customers.”
With the Netbreeze acquisition, social media listening and monitoring tools will be added into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, which will enable organizations to make social media an integral part of customer and prospect relationship building. In fact, key social channels, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as 6,000 online news web sites, 18 million blogs and 500,000 message boards, will be accessible through the CRM platform, offering organizations the ability to monitor a larger variety of conversations.
Netbreeze technology combines Natural Language Processing (NLP), data mining and semantic text analysis to support 28 different writing systems including German, English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, Traditional Chinese or Mandarin.
“This acquisition will help businesses and organizations analyze and act on marketing intelligence from social conversations,” Morris said. “All CRM offerings will have listening capabilities.”
During his presentation, Morris also announced that Microsoft Dynamics AX now includes mobile solutions for smartphones and tablets to “create a more relevant experience based on the devices we use.”
Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.