Company Highlights Innovations to Help Businesses Unite Their Organizations, Connect With Their Customers and Get the Most Value From Their Information Technology Investments.
Microsoft Corp. today opened a sold-out Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013 with a keynote address from Microsoft Business Solutions President Kirill Tatarinov featuring Microsoft Dynamics customers Chobani Inc., Habitat for Humanity International, Revlon Inc., Shock Doctor Inc. and Weight Watchers International Inc. Microsoft Dynamics is a line of simple to learn and easy to use ERP software and CRM solutions for the small to mid-market sector.
Speaking to more than 11,000 attendees, the largest in conference history, Tatarinov addressed how business leaders can reimagine the way they engage with customers, build brand relevance and collaborate with employees to stay ahead of the changing roles across all levels in business. Observing the increased influence of marketing and other areas of business over a company’s technology investments and the value of collaboration, Tatarinov reinforced the idea that business functions can work more effectively when they unite with their IT counterparts. Tatarinov noted that Microsoft Dynamics is uniquely positioned to serve as a catalyst for unity, and he announced new advancements in integrated marketing, embedded social capabilities, and new cloud and mobile scenarios enabled through Microsoft Dynamics solutions that will help businesses unite with their customers, unite their organizations, and unite their people and technology.
“To realize the promises and possibilities of a world ahead, organizations must be united” Tatarinov said. “Microsoft Dynamics solutions reimagine what’s possible for businesses, helping them unite to unlock innovation and creativity in people and to enable more meaningful experiences for their customers. When a business is truly united, great things happen.”
Revlon, one of the strongest consumer brand franchises in the world and a Microsoft Dynamics customer, brings the concept of unifying IT and business to life. The company is transforming the way people work and collaborate, starting by replacing 21 disparate business systems and 531 point systems with Microsoft Dynamics AX.
“The speed of beauty and glamour is unforgiving,” said David Giambruno, chief information officer of Revlon. “We are in a hypercompetitive market, and Microsoft Dynamics provides our employees with real-time information to access business-critical information virtually anywhere, anytime on almost any device, helping unite them with each other so they can innovate in a collaborative way across product development, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
Unite With Customers
Strengthening relationships by successfully engaging with customers is vital to business growth. Marketing, sales and customer service are essential to effective customer engagement, and the right ERP solution can unite these various functions. In addition, integrated marketing management has emerged as a critical strategy for companies that want to reach and engage with new customers while differentiating their brands, driving market excellence and making the most of their investments.
To help businesses achieve true integrated marketing, Microsoft announced a new version of the recently acquired MarketingPilot, which features a simplified user experience, a familiar look and feel, and seamlessly works with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Through MarketingPilot, marketers get access to a complete marketing automation solution with rich business intelligence, enabling them to successfully plan, track and optimize customer interactions across digital, social and traditional channels. This capability, when combined with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, fulfills the Holy Grail of marketing: omnichannel marketing that enables top-line revenue growth while managing costs and measuring return on marketing investment. The new version of MarketingPilot will be available to customers in the United States in March 2013. Microsoft plans to make MarketingPilot available to additional international markets later this year. More information is available at https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/default.aspx.
“Marketing is changing and evolving rapidly, and we need business solutions that help us grow top-line revenue while managing costs. Our marketing needs require us to engage and interact with our customers, while providing technical solutions to efficiently distribute the appropriate information to our dealers to complement and enhance the sales process,” said John Johnston, director, Digital Marketing at Volvo. “We’ve been using Microsoft Dynamics to better align our marketing and sales processes and are constantly developing our solutions to increase our sales potential and personalize our customer interactions.”
Microsoft’s vision is to deliver social monitoring and analytics features as an integral part of the user experience and provide these capabilities to all roles and functions in an organization. To help businesses analyze and act on market intelligence from social conversations, including measuring sentiment across a wide array of social channels, Microsoft today announced an initiative to seamlessly embed social monitoring capabilities across Microsoft Dynamics CRM offerings. This effort has been accelerated with the acquisition of Netbreeze GmbH, which delivers cutting-edge native language analytics combined with data mining, transactional and text analysis capabilities. More information is available at https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/default.aspx.
Chobani, maker of America’s No. 1-selling yogurt brand, uses a wide range of Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM to keep pace with its aggressive plans for future global growth. The company uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to communicate and connect with its consumers around the clock.
“As our company grew, so did the volume of messages from consumers across the world. We receive hundreds of contact messages and phone calls daily,” said Maureen Hurley, vice president of information technology at Chobani. “Microsoft Dynamics solutions have enabled us to make that feedback actionable, better track and understand what our customers want, and continue to provide best-in-class service. This has helped us build deeper, more immediate connections with our fans and continue our growth.”
Chobani also recently opened a new domestic manufacturing facility in Twin Falls, Idaho — considered the world’s largest of its kind — and was able to bring it online with Microsoft Dynamics AX in just 27 days.
Unite With Technology
Microsoft today announced a set of new applications for phones and tablets, which will be available with the next update to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Designed to be personal, social and immersive, these mobile applications will provide a more relevant experience based on people’s roles and devices, help them connect with their social networks, and provide an engaging and actionable experience. In addition to the Business Analyzer application, which is currently available in the Windows Marketplace, the company unveiled a new set of application capabilities for mobile usage, targeting the following:
• Expense management. Helps workers both capture and reconcile expenses while traveling, cutting down time and effort — meaning getting money back more quickly; helps organizations implement expense policies more seamlessly
• Time. Captures time on projects “on the go,” simplifying this administrative burden while providing businesses with the opportunity to improve working capital through decreased billing cycle times
• Approvals. Enables managers to approve business requests such as budget requests, time sheets, submitted expense reports and purchase requisition to cut down on administrative task and time spend
These applications will be available for Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, Windows Phone 8, Android phones, and iOS phone devices.To ensure extensibility and encourage innovation, Microsoft is also releasing documentation for its mobile APIs to help customers and partners build their own mobile applications. Learn more about these new applications at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dax.
In addition, Microsoft will deliver a mobile CRM sales application with the next Microsoft Dynamics CRM release in the second half of 2013. Optimized for tablets, this application will help people manage an opportunity from lead to close and easily connect with customers and colleagues, regardless of location. The application brings guided selling to Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets as well as the iPad. Businesses can configure this application, enabling them to tailor the experience to fit their sales processes and approaches.
Microsoft today announced the availability of the Community Technical Preview of the new Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services helping IT professionals simplify the application lifecycle experience. These services help organizations improve predictability of Microsoft Dynamics AX implementations by simplifying and standardizing implementation processes. They also allow them to proactively manage the application and reduce downtime. As an online service, Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services helps minimize an organization’s IT burden. Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 were released in Q4 2012 and were received positively by customers and partners. Enabled for the cloud, these solutions offer customers a complete choice of deployment both in the cloud and on-premises. In addition, these products will be available through partners to customers hosted on Windows Azure in June 2013.
Reaffirming the road map for Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft expects to release updates to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in the second half of 2013. In addition to new mobile scenarios for phone and tablet devices, this release will also include capabilities such as warehouse management and transportation management, giving customers a real-time global view of supply chain operations. The company also reaffirmed availability of the next major release of Microsoft Dynamics AX in the cloud on Windows Azure and on-premises with early adoption programs commencing in 2014.
Microsoft Dynamics Momentum
Microsoft announced the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM adoption numbers, with more than 3 million users and more than 39,000 customers. Microsoft Dynamics AX continues on a strong growth path with more than 18,000 customers and an increase of more than 50 percent license growth in North America in the last Microsoft fiscal quarter. Microsoft Dynamics also announced a number of global independent software vendor (ISV) partners supporting Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, including Acorn Systems Inc., Bull, Flintfox International Ltd., Dominion, Hitachi Solutions Ltd., Hubwoo and XAPT Corp. These partners join Microsoft’s broad portfolio of other leading global ISVs, which view Microsoft Dynamics as a critical component in helping propel customers become Dynamic Businesses.