Microsoft introduces new business apps with strealimed CRM
Microsoft introduced a set of updates aimed at streamlining its business applications, including its Dynamics 365 suite and Power BI analytics service.
The new offerings and features are geared towards making the Microsoft more competitive against the likes of Salesforce, Tableau, Oracle, SAP, and Zoho. Microsoft’s business applications have not always been as important to them in the past although they have focused over the past few years on making them increasingly competitive and central to growth.
First off, Microsoft delivered a new Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional service that’s supposed to provide a slicker customer relationship management (CRM) system for smaller businesses that don’t need the full Dynamics 365 system. Dynamics 365 for Marketing was introduced as beta last year and will become generally available. 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 alot 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 also unveiled a new Common Data Service for Analytics, which is designed to provide a consistent platform for data analysis with a single schema. The service, combined with Microsoft’s Power Query technology, 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, which will provide customers with out of the box intelligent dashboards 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.
Along with Power BI, MS users can drive information from the Common Data Service for Analytics into Microsoft Azure for more processing through services like Azure Machine learning or Azure Databricks. 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 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.