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Microsoft debuts customer engagement upgrades

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Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled new capabilities it will deliver later this calendar year with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016, the latest release of its customer engagement solution.
The most comprehensive upgrade ever for Dynamics CRM includes advancements in intelligence, mobility and service, with significant productivity enhancements to help businesses and workers achieve more.
The new enhancements are designed to increase productivity for organisations by providing a simple and seamless experience across their Dynamics CRM application and their productivity applications like email, Excel, OneDrive for Business for easier task management, an enhanced mobile experience for the worker on the go, and enriched data and analytics, all of which will be available later this calendar year.
“Microsoft’s obsession with customer success is rooted in our ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes,” says Bob Stutz, corporate vice-president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “Dynamics CRM 2016 is designed from the ground up to deliver core capabilities all in a single system to eliminate distractions, to make it easier to get things done, and to dramatically increase productivity so our customers can spend more time serving their customers.”
According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, every time a user switches programs or applications, there is a 40% reduction in productivity. 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.
Through an enhanced Excel experience within Dynamics CRM, complete with new Excel templates for various tasks, functions and scenarios, users can now efficiently toggle between functions as opposed to time-consuming and complex exporting, enabling them to augment their customer processes with simple, familiar analysis within their CRM experience. Organizations will also have access to their documents within Dynamics CRM via integration with OneDrive for Business and new document generation capabilities.
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 release also introduces Delve functionality into the application. Powered by Office Graph, Delve helps users increase productivity by surfacing key content – enabling salespeople to discover information that may help them with their opportunity or account, such as popular sales presentations and proposals.
Turning data into intelligent action is a cornerstone of business transformation and productivity, and the new Dynamics CRM release includes data management and advanced analytics capabilities powered by Cortana Analytics Suite. This includes Azure Machine Learning that can enable business insights so that sales reps are able to predict their customers’ needs.
Mobility is core to productivity, and the next version of Dynamics CRM will provide full offline capabilities for sales and service professionals on phones and tablets and across all major mobile platforms (Android, iOS and Windows). The release also introduces the ability to create task-centered mobile apps to streamline the completion of sales-related activities on the go and next-generation Cortana integration to surface core deals, accounts and activities within the personal assistant.
Customer service is a critical element of any customer engagement strategy. The next version of Dynamics CRM delivers an end-to-end solution for customer service across self-service, assisted service and field service to close the customer relationship loop.