Described by Microsoft as its "most comprehensive CRM release to date," Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 has been enhanced with Cortana's analytics and machine-learning smarts, and also provides new levels of integration with Microsoft's other productivity tools to deliver more seamless experiences for users across a wide range of tasks.
Dynamics CRM 2016 is available both online and on-premises, across 44 languages and in 130 markets. The updated offering aims to help companies apply intelligence to customer interactions, according to Jujhar Singh, who recently took over the Dynamics CRM general manager position left vacant by Bob Stutz, who moved to Salesforce.
Microsoft's latest release is the result of several years of efforts to transform its CRM offerings to become more proactive, personalized and predictive, Singh said. Dynamics CRM 2016 also adds new field service capabilities provided through the company's recent acquisition of FieldOne.
'Know Customer Needs Before They Do'
"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," Singh wrote Monday in a blog post announcing the availability of Dynamics CRM 2016. "We're bringing all Microsoft has to offer in productivity and intelligence into a single experience."
Backed by the analytics and machine-learning capabilities of the Cortana Analytics Suite, Dynamics CRM 2016 can recommend intelligence-driven cross-sell opportunities, knowledge articles and other relevant content to help service reps "know what the customer needs and wants before they do," Singh said. For example, it can analyze social posts to help reps better understand a customer's sentiments and service needs, or to identify new leads.
The new version of Dynamics CRM also works with Microsoft's Office Delve search tool, which enables users to discover other documents and resources across their Office 365 or OneDrive sites that are relevant to tasks at hand.
Less Task-Switching=Greater Productivity
Mirroring Microsoft's growing focus on universal apps and platforms -- seen most recently with its release of Windows 10, which uses the same code across all devices -- Dynamics CRM 2016 features expanded integration with Office 365, mobile apps and other productivity tools. Making the user experience more seamless significantly helps to improve productivity, according to Microsoft.
Users realize a 40 percent reduction in productivity every time they have to switch from one program or app to another, according to Microsoft-cited research on cognitive processes and task switching.
"Microsoft has taken this issue head-on in the new release with a design principle that allows organizations to manage their customer-facing activities in a single experience, with no need to export or switch, drastically reducing the time to completion and saving time by automating fundamental tasks," the company said in a statement earlier this year.
For example, Dynamics CRM 2016 features enhancements that embed it more seamlessly into Outlook, Excel, Word, SharePoint, Office 365 Groups and OneDrive for Business. It also offers full offline mobile capabilities for both phones and tablets.
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