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Dynamics CRM - Convergence 2014

Microsoft wrapped up Convergence, its annual Dynamics conference, just a few days ago. It’s always a big deal for those of us in the CRM world, so if you didn’t make time to live stream the keynote address, I’m going to let you know what’s coming down the pipe for CRM 2013.

Complete Convergence

The conference was aptly named this year, since the focus was on unifying the experience for both owners and users. With Microsoft Dynamics Marketing just about ready to launch (supported by a semi-annual release schedule), Dynamics CRM will soon have options for social listening, marketing automation and customer service baked right in.

This functionality is nothing new, but in the past you had to rely on ISVs. (i.e.ClickDimensions or Silverpop) By rolling these external services into Dynamics CRM, Microsoft is trying to keep some of the customer dollars currently being spent on CRM add-ons in the Microsoft ecosystem. This is good news for anyone considering CRM, since it should translate to lower costs and simpler implementation.

You can expect the service to start rolling out with the planned Q2 releases, with enhancements and refinements to follow in Q4.

Money Well Spent

Over the last year or so Microsoft has acquired MarketingPilot, a marketing automation firm, and Parature, which specializes in customer service software. If you look closely, you’ll notice those areas of expertise dovetail nicely with the CRM features being hyped for 2014. It’s a good sign, since it drastically improves the odds that the new additions won’t arrive half-baked.

Dynamics CRM is constantly evolving and Convergence 2014 was another opportunity for Microsoft to show us just how committed they are to their vision. That’s something we at Prophet Business Group have in common with the House of Gates, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve got questions about the future of Dynamics CRM.

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