Microsoft introduces new business apps with streamlined CRM

 In ERP, News

Microsoft introduces business apps streamlined CRM: Microsoft has introduced a set of updates aimed at streamlining its business applications. These updates include its Dynamics 365 suite and Power BI analytics service.

The new features make Microsoft more competitive against Salesforce, Tableau, Oracle, SAP, and Zoho. Microsoft’s business applications have not always been as important to them in the past. However, they have focused over the past few years on making them increasingly competitive and central to growth.

Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft delivered a new Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional service. This provides a slicker customer relationship management (CRM) system for smaller businesses that don’t need the full Dynamics 365 system. It provides marketing automation capabilities for customers so they can plan the impact of their campaigns.

VP in charge of the Business Applications Group, James Phillips has said the company still holds a lot of value in its partnership with Adobe, which offers Marketing Cloud suite. He opined that enterprises that require powerful marketing automation capabilities will be better served by Adobe. However, customers asking for a simple, business-to-business marketing software offering, could not turn to Microsoft.

Microsoft Common Data Service

Microsoft also unveiled a new Common Data Service for Analytics.  This is designed to provide a consistent platform for data analysis with a single schema. The service can be combined with Microsoft’s Power Query technology. This allows companies to pull data from different sources and put it all in one useable form. That’s an initial step that will help enable the upcoming Power BI Insights apps. As a result, customers will be provided with out of the box intelligent dashboards. These are based on the data they provide Microsoft’s analytics service.

The first two apps, which are expected to launch this spring, are Power BI for Sales Insights, and Power BI for Service Insights. For example, Sales Insights will provide salespeople with information about how they are performing, along with a score for how their customer relationships are going. Those capabilities seem similar to Sales Cloud Einstein features Salesforce has made available to its customers.

Third Party Opportunities

MS users can drive information from the Common Data Service for Analytics into Microsoft Azure. For additional processing, services like Azure Machine learning or Azure Databricks can be used. Microsoft will also allow for third parties to extend the CDS for Analytics and develop additional applications on top of it.

Introducing important data into the Common Data Service for Analytics requires some initial setup. This is especially so if users are importing information from areas that don’t conform to its schema. Once they’ve set up rules in Power Query, the system’s ingestion will continue.

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