Microsoft launches update for Dynamics CRM, hints at IoT future


news Microsoft has announced the release of the Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 update, along with a preview date for its new product, Connected Field Service, which will offer the option to monitor Internet of Things devices.

The release of the Dynamics CRM update – a customer relationship management software package – is aimed to help drive user adoption, boost productivity, and enhance customer experiences.

Microsoft said in a statement:

“The Spring 2016 Wave of Microsoft Dynamics CRM introduces new and enhanced capabilities that help drive user adoption with embedded learning path, and drive service productivity for field and project service employees through deep processes for field service delivery and project service automation.”

According to Microsoft, Dynamics CRM Online has so far proved popular with Australian public sector organisations, including the recent adopters Sustainability Victoria, QLD Performing Arts Centre and NSW Trustee & Guardian.

“Using Dynamics CRM Online has freed up our staff to spend more time doing what we employed them to do, which is to figure out ways to improve recycling or get more people to use solar energy,” said Chris Moon, Information Systems Business Manager at Sustainability Victoria.

“Having Microsoft manage the cloud environment and infrastructure meant that we didn’t have to commission a separate system on premise. As we know, funding is changing and for us, the move from on-premise to Cloud with CRM online has paved the way for further digitisation,” he said.

The package has reached the financial services industry too, with Beyond Bank being the latest customer trialling Dynamics CRM Online to increase customer engagement and speed up responses to enquiries.

“Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 provides our business with a clever ecosystem of tightly coupled applications that will improve staff productivity, business process efficiency and importantly enable us to deliver an exceptional customer experience,” said Robert Aitken, Chief Information Officer at Beyond Bank.

Dynamics CRM Online will allow the bank’s staff to view customer details, accounts, communications and product information, Aitken explained.

“The combination of tightly-integrated applications makes it possible for Beyond Bank to gain the 360-degree customer view, and to act quickly on portfolio insights to meet customer needs and improve business performance,” he said.

Connected Field Service (CFS) is a new product that will be available for preview on 7 June, and follows Microsoft’s 2015 acquisition of field service specialist FieldOne.

CFS will allow IoT-enabled devices to be continuously monitored so anomalies can be quickly detected.

Any alerts generated will be able to trigger automated actions, or service tickets and workflow according to service level agreements, the firm explained. Appropriate service technicians can then be sent to customer locations to take preventive action.

“For many service oriented businesses, this represents a truly revolutionary shift from more of a reactive break-fix posture, to a model that is built on predictive service,” said Microsoft. “These proactive companies will be focused on outcome driven service, as opposed to work order billing business models.”

Image credit: Microsoft