Microsoft Switches On Dynamics CRM 2013 Cloud Worldwide

Microsoft completes its staggered rollout of its cloud-enabled customer relationship management suite and announces a partnership with social insights provider InsideView.

Dynamics CRM 2013 is now available worldwide, a culmination of a weeks-long effort by Microsoft to launch the customer relationship management (CRM) suite across all regions.

Sticking to the fall release timetable set back in July, Microsoft announced on Oct. 21 that the cloud-delivered version of Dynamics CRM 2013 is now available in 42 global markets. On-premises and partner-hosted deployments will be available on Oct. 31.

On Oct. 7, Simon Hutson, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales team member in the U.K., revealed in a blog post that Dynamics CRM 2013 "is now live in our EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] datacenters. (APAC [Asia-Pacific] datacenters went live last week, and Americas will go live later this week.)" Today, the rest of the world can get in on the action, according to the company.

Describing Dynamics CRM 2013 "as a major new release," Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, said in company remarks that it "delivers on this promise of customer centricity by bringing together Microsoft technologies in a way that helps businesses and organizations better engage and nurture their customers." Of note, Microsoft's updated CRM product features tighter integration with its Yammer enterprise social networking platform along with its Lync and Skype communications offerings.

"With Yammer, customers can quickly comment on posts or start contextual conversations from within Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises and online," stated the company. These conversations can extend to "nonlicensed CRM customers from within Yammer."

Microsoft used the occasion to announce a strategic alliance with social intelligence provider InsideView. Available at no additional cost to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional customers, InsideView Social Insights helps "marketing, sales and account management professionals engage more effectively with prospects to win more deals as a result of less time spent researching and more time selling," boasted Microsoft. Social Insights will be switched on for U.S. customers on Oct. 30. Global availability is set for 2014.

In a blog post, Stutz explained that Social Insights "puts real-time company and contact information from 30,000 sources into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It populates CRM lead, contact, opportunity and account records with real-time company and contact data, insights and connections—exactly the kind of information people need to be able to meaningfully interact with their customers and prospects."

On-premises customers aren't completely left out in the cold. Stutz informed that while "not included in the on-premises CRM license, customers can get a free 30-day trial of InsideView for Sales or InsideView for Account Management, plus 3 months free when they sign a new annual license agreement with InsideView."

Dynamics CRM 2013 also offers new mobile-friendly, configurable templates for specific industries. Tablet users can download touch-optimized apps for Windows 8, iPads, Windows Phone, iPhone and Android smartphones within the next month, according to the company.

Finally, Dynamics CRM 2013 sports a "new people-first design" that focuses on customer information and interactions. New guided workflows can help organizations achieve "shorter sales cycles, increased win rates and less ramp-up time for new hires," claimed Microsoft.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...