The 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference is in full swing and it has been an exciting event for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM team. Yesterday in his keynote address to more than 15,000 attendees, Kirill Tatarinov highlighted the continued and unrivaled growth experienced by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM, now at more than 30,000 customers and 2 million users worldwide – and for partners and customers, he presented the newest opportunities that will help them cut costs and grow their business and become Dynamic businesses.
We sat with Jim Sheehan, COO of PowerObjects and partner of Microsoft Dynamics CRM since 2006, he shared his thoughts on Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the Cloud and the opportunity for him in the business applications space so take a look.
Here is also a feature story we posted on PowerObjects.
Additionally, at the event, Kirill announced the next update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be released in Q4 2011. Some key features that will be available in this update include:
Enhancements for Enterprise Cloud
- Identity Federation to support single sign-on to improve the experience for end-users switching between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Office 365 applications. IT administrators will benefit from a more seamless user management experience.
- Improved disaster recovery with in-region replication to further protect data and offer higher levels of business continuity in the event of a disaster.
New Social CRM Capabilities
- Continuing to invest in a long-term vision for Social CRM whereby Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be the central location for businesses to manage all their relevant important relationships and interactions and connect employees, vendors, partners, prospects, customers and other stakeholders to each other, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is introducing, new social collaboration capabilities including:
- Micro-blogging: Status updates and notifications regarding business events and actions, bringing simple experiences for users similar to Facebook and Twitter.
- Activity feeds: Configurable real-time notifications on all important relationships and significant business events via a blended view of micro-blog posts and all interactions for a person, customer or sales opportunity.
- Conversations: Users will be able to post questions, observations, suggestions and status updates, allowing them to collaborate quickly and efficiently, locate information or expertise and gather feedback from others.
- Automated activity updates: Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be able to post information directly to the Activity Feed based on configurable event rules, e.g. a sales opportunity is closed. Users can subscribe to or “follow” these Activity Feeds, and consume them in a variety of ways.
- Windows Phone 7 mobile application: With a new Windows Phone 7 mobile app, users will be able to view their Activity Feeds, while away from the office.
Unification with Office 365 for Enterprises
- Today Dynamics CRM Online delivers a seamless end-user experience for end-users of Office 365 – Office, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online – but the billing, provisioning, and admin experience is different. With the Q4 2011 update, mid-market businesses and enterprise customers can get Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with any Office 365 Enterprise Plan providing a complete business productivity experience for sales, service and marketing professionals
- Getting Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with Office 365 will provide customers with a-
- Unified business productivity experience for sales, service and marketing professionals
- Single bill for both Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
- Common user identity and authentication (e.g. single sign-on) and streamlined administrator experience (e.g. user set up and management)
Other updates announced include, support for Safari, Firefox and Chrome browsers on both PC and Mac platforms will be available in the first half of CY 2012- helping open up Microsoft Dynamics CRM to a whole new audience. And for partners, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Advisor Program (CSA) is being extended through June 2012, providing partners a CSA fee of 40% on new subscription sales of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
I was super inspired by Kirill and Brad’s presentation during WPC. Both spoke of the enormous opportunity for partners to take advantage of CRM. The ability to extend and differentiate, the capability to develop once and deliver anywhere, and the ability to maximize value by integrating CRM with Office 365, Lync, SharePoint, etc. Huge opportunity to deliver huge value at a lower cost than the competition.
P.S. If you haven’t already, sign-up for a free 30 day trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online today.