The latest edition of Microsoft's customer relationship management (CRM) software, Dynamics CRM 2016, is now generally available, said Jujhar Singh, the new head of Microsoft's CRM Business Applications group, in a Nov. 20 announcement. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is available on-premises and as cloud-delivered software (Dynamics CRM Online) in 44 languages and 130 markets.
"The new release is not only our most comprehensive ever, but it also represents a huge leap forward in our journey to deliver intelligent customer engagement," stated Singh. "Over the past few years, we have been focused on transforming our CRM offerings to leverage the full power of Microsoft—harnessing the strength of the intelligent cloud to help companies deliver amazing customer experiences across the breadth of sales, service, marketing and social engagements."
Microsoft has been steadily beefing up its CRM capabilities, through a mixture of acquisitions and integrations with the company's growing Office and Azure cloud ecosystems. Dynamics CRM is also helping improve the Redmond, Wash.-based software maker's bottom line.
"Our Dynamics business grew 12 percent in constant currency, slightly better than we expected. Growth was driven primarily by Dynamics CRM Online," Amy Hood, Microsoft's chief financial officer, said during an Oct. 22 investor conference call discussing the company's fiscal year 2016 first quarter. "We continue to make progress by investing in product innovation organically as well as adding capabilities through acquisitions like FieldOne and FantasySalesTeam."
Microsoft acquired FieldOne, a Mahwah, N.J.-based provider of field service and CRM software, in July. Weeks later, Microsoft announced that it had snapped up FantasySalesTeam, a "sales gamification platform" patterned after a popular pastime among office workers, particularly this time of year, fantasy sports.
Demand is up, and businesses are flocking to CRM solutions in a bid to stay competitive, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
"The companies I talk with every day are under pressure to grow revenue while differentiating themselves on customer experience. It's one reason usage of CRM is growing," he said during the Oct. 22 call. "Dynamics CRM Online enterprise seats more than tripled year-over-year." Organizations are also seeking better, more seamless ways of incorporating CRM into their other business processes, he claimed.
On the productivity front, Dynamics CRM 2016 interoperates better with the company's Office software suite. "In CRM 2016, we've enhanced the CRM app for Outlook, delivered templates for our immersive Excel experience, simplified the creation of personalized sales documents in Word and enabled seamless access to contextual CRM documents across SharePoint, Office 365 Groups and OneDrive for Business," said Singh.
Mobile enhancements include Cortana integration, offline capabilities and Microsoft Intune support to help administrators manage and keep a lid on mobile CRM apps and data. Reflecting Microsoft's focus on delivering intelligent, cloud-based software and services, Singh added the company is "bringing the advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities of the Cortana Analytics Suite to preview our first intelligent, adaptive processes for sales, customer service and social," Singh noted.