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Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013 Recap

As another Convergence comes to an end I wanted to share some of the key items from the anual conference. It is impressive to see how far Microsoft Dynamics CRM has come. Just five years ago CRM was barely mentioned and all the attention was focused on the Dynamics ERP packages. Though the conference covers all Dynamics products lines, the CRM product is all the talk. From the keynote speakers to the demos of new features it was all about CRM this year- which is very cool. Relating to CRM there were three key items that were focused on.
1. Marketing– Last year Microsoft acquired MarketingPilot. They have now re-written the user interface and are launching some imbedded and integrated elements with CRM. This will allow for functionality like email blasting, tracking and analysis that in the past was not available with CRM. A very cool look and feel and some outstanding functionality for professional marketing departments. Details on how and how much should be available in the next 30 days.
2. Social Interactions– Microsoft announced this week that is has acquired NetBreeze (you can read more details here). This will enable multi-lingual social analytics. This should ultimately be included innately in the application once Microsoft has worked out all the details on how the two platforms will work together. Look for something in the next few quarters. By the way, some Yammer integration is currently available with CRM but a lot more to come.
3. New Process Driven User Experience– in December Microsoft released it’s December 2012 release to the CRM Online environment. This new User Interface will be the groundwork for their future direction of the product. Flat, modern, less clicky user interface that will be accessible and useable on all types of devices (laptops and tablet devices). In the next release of CRM (Orion) which will come this summer, the new process driven user interface will be available for both on-premises and on-line and will be available on all entities (even custom). The processes will also be available to go across multiple entities like lead to opportunity to quotes to orders. Very useful and more expandable.
These three items are setting the stage for a very exciting 2013 with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and many changes/enhancements to come to the product. I hope that more of our Dynamics clients can join us in Atlanta in March 2014 for Convergence next year.

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Robert Fitzer

As part of Perficient's Microsoft National team I manage our CRM practice. As part of the Microsoft practice senior leadership team I am focused on the stewardship of our Microsoft xRM/CRM Practice. The primary objectives of our Microsoft Practices are to drive consistent and successful sales and delivery of solutions within the CRM solution space across all Perficient business units. Areas of responsibility include: partner management, sales and marketing and delivery & staff enablement.

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