Microsoft is DYNAMIC

A little play on words there.  Microsoft bought a number of ERP software vendors a few years ago — Navision, Axapta, Great Plains and Solomon Brothers.  They renamed them under the heading of “Microsoft Dynamics” — replacing the names with initials.  Navision begame “Microsoft Dynamics NAV”, Axapta became “Microsoft Dynamics AX” and so forth.   Each had a particular niche in ERP (mid-range companies) so there wasn’t much conflict, and one day (promised Microsoft) there would be a common code base.

Along with the plethora of ERP offerings Microsoft came out with “Microsoft Dynamics CRM.”     This has become the “little product who could.”  This week Microsoft announced its 1 millionth CRM customer.

The Microsoft CRM product is pretty cool and really is a “contender.”   If considering sales force automation (SFA) then Microsoft Dynamics CRM should be on your short list.  The contact center and customer service is not yet a strong suit — but give them time!

Microsoft’s CRM product grew over 50% last year — in a market where most software companies are simply trying to survive.  The customer base is global — with plenty of systems integrations, value added resellers and even a SaaS (software as a service) model.

Aside from the familiar Microsoft Outlook desktop (so very intuitive “look and feel”) the product has workflow automation and analytics at a very reasonable cost.  Today at Worldwide Partner Conference 2009, Microsoft announced new sales and marketing programs for xRM.

xRM is the name Microsoft has given its new development platform.  With xRM sophisticated relationship-tracking applications can be built (says Microsoft).  Microsoft has come out with some pretty sweet licensing options if you also align with Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint and other MS technologies.

One of the coolest announcements is “CRM accelerators.”   This allows Microsoft Dynamics CRM users to pull data from social networks (didn’t I write a blog about CRM and social networking?  Yes, yes I did!).  The first accelerator is for Twitter, with others to follow soon.  The best part?  They are FREE.

Along with he social network accelerator is the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Accelerator for distributing sales leads to channel partners, as well as the ability to centrally manage sales opportunities and a Portal Integration Accelerator connecting Microsoft Dynamics CRM to an organization’s Web site.

Cool stuff.

Congrats, Microsoft.

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About Sandra Eisenberg

Dynamic pragmatic marketing and sales executive whose biggest asset is converting technology to real corporate value -- for a variety of industries including health care providers (Adventist Health System Sunbelt), Teradata (Data Warehousing), RWD Technologies (quality improvement and professional services), Siemens and AT&T (telecom). Sandra brings twenty years of experience in sales, marketing and IT management. Her career spans entrepreneurial firms (E5 Marketing) and senior positions in sales, sales management (direct and indirect), marketing, channel development and product management at Bell Labs and NCR Teradata. A few career highlights: • Total product lifecycle management (PLM) using ISO 9001 and other quality methodologies. Sunset aging product lines and developed a migration path to a new, open standards platforms at Avaya, NCR and Bell Labs. • 1st woman to win the AT&T and NCR Teradata national sales awards -- top sales manager and sales rep at AT&T, NCR Teradata and Avaya • Delivered profitable marketing campaigns in the area of CRM, Business intelligence, contact centers and other high tech areas • Run call centers, sold call centers and been in product management of call centers (Avaya, AT&T and NCR) • Director of CRM Strategic Planning and Alliances at Avaya and NCR Teradata • Senior Manager of Product Management Bell Labs (business intelligence, data warehousing and CRM) Most recently Sandra managed the Central Florida territory for Siemens' telephony division. Siemens is selling this division soon and their loss can be your gain.

Posted on July 13, 2009, in customer relationship management. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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