Menu
Cortana to give voice and ears to Dynamics CRM

Cortana to give voice and ears to Dynamics CRM

The new version of Microsoft's customer relationship management suite will be integrated with the Windows Phone 8.1 personal assistant

Dynamics CRM 2015 will ship next month with multiple enhancements, including one literally audible: using Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1 devices, users will be able to talk to the customer relationship management suite.

Tasks available via Cortana voice commands will include setting up meetings and reminders, searching for contacts, accounts and activities, calling up customer lists and creating new records.

The integration has a futuristic shine to it, but analysts say the move isn't a technology-for-technology's sake gimmick from Microsoft, which will unveil the Dynamics-Cortana tie-up along with other CRM and ERP announcements on Tuesday.

"This is very significant. Salespeople spend a lot of time on the road, so this lets them leave voice memos on an account while on the go, without having, for example, to be typing and driving," said analyst Ray Wang, chairman and founder of Constellation Research.

It also ties in with an ongoing push by the Dynamics CRM team to make the product simple to use so that it can help salespeople be more productive. "That's why Dynamics CRM has been doing so well," he said.

Meanwhile, analyst Rebecca Wettemann, vice president at Nucleus Research, said it's been proven that adding mobile access to CRM drives significant productivity gains. "This is just the tip of the iceberg in vendors leveraging the voice capture and analytics technologies to deliver CRM productivity," she said.

Wetttemann also views the integration as part of a broader and recent Microsoft trend to leverage its product portfolio to boost its enterprise applications under new CEO Satya Nadella. "The bigger story is that this is a great example of how Microsoft is bringing its product strengths to bear on CRM," she said.

Another recent example of this approach was last month's launch of the Sales Productivity bundle, which combines Dynamics CRM Online Professional with Office 365 and Power BI.

Tuesday's announcements, which Microsoft will make at its Convergence 2014 Europe business conference in Barcelona, also include updates to the suite's platform, which lets customers tailor Dynamics CRM in various ways; and an interoperability between Thunderhead.com's One Engagement Hub and Dynamics CRM to offer omni-channel customer engagement capabilities.

Also on tap is an update to Dynamics AX, Microsoft's ERP suite for large customers, which is due in December and which will let customers run the ERP suite in hybrid environments -- on premises and on Azure, according to the company. The update also adds a new point-of-sales client for Windows tablets and phones, and capabilities to streamline warehouse and transportation operations for faster order fulfillment.

Microsoft will also demonstrate Dynamics NAV 2015, the new version of the ERP suite for small and medium size businesses, which features a user experience optimized for tablets and other touch devices, personalized home pages for users, and simpler invoice design and production via interoperability with Word.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsCustomer Relationship ManagementMicrosoftsoftware

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2015 and 2016 inductees - Darryl Swann, Dave Rosenberg, Gary Bigwood, Keith Watson, Mike Hill and Scott Green - to the inaugural Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed how the channel can collectively work together to benefit New Zealand, the Kiwi skills shortage and the future of the industry. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch
Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Show Comments