Seven years ago we launched Microsoft CRM 1.2 to a small but enthusiastic audience. CRM 1.2 was a market breakthrough for us but it was only after a healthy independent software vendor community came to fill critical feature gaps. One of the first people to recognize those needs in CRM 1.2 was John Gravely. He built a tremendous business around add-on utilities for CRM 1.2 and was instrumental to the early success of Microsoft CRM.
As we get ready to launch Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 I see fewer product gaps but no less opportunity for ISVs. ISVs will continue to add tremendous value to CRM through both horizontal and vertical industry extensions to the product. Once again John has identified a critical set of customer needs around CRM and has been driving great innovation with his new ClickDimensions product built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
ClickDimensions is a digital marketing automation application that connects your Web and e-mail analytics to your sales and marketing efforts within CRM. The application provides lead scoring based on Web tracking, social discovery of leads and multi-channel communications capabilities powered by the ExactTarget engine. Today, most of these digital marketing tasks have to be managed with a hodge-podge of tools that aren’t well integrated. ClickDimensions will make it easy to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the one place you can go to manage and execute digital marketing campaigns.
The CRM portion of the product can run on premises or in CRM Online but the real intelligence of the application is in Windows Azure where the lead scoring, Web tracking and logic for social discovery occur. This will let ClickDimensions provide mass scale without the need for a complicated deployment – a key selling feature for nimble marketing organizations.
I am hoping to get John to share some of his architectural learnings with us at Extreme CRM 2010 this November (please encourage him to come out for the event and do a presentation for us) but if you’d like information and a demontration sooner you can register for a September 28th Webinar hosted by ExactTarget.