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.