Microsoft Dynamics CRM Pushes Social Productivity - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Software // Enterprise Applications
12:06 PM
Connect Directly

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Pushes Social Productivity

Software update integrates with Office 365 and hooks into Microsoft SharePoint, Office, and Lync.

Office 365 Vs. Google Apps: Top 10 Enterprise Concerns
Office 365 Vs. Google Apps: Top 10 Enterprise Concerns
(click image for larger view and forslideshow)
Microsoft's latest Dynamics CRM update focuses on the online version of the customer relationship management software, social software features, and integration with Office 365.

The Dynamics CRM 2011 November service update, released Tuesday, adds activity feeds and configurable notifications; microblogging so users can post status updates and carry on conversations; automated activity updates for events like the closing of a deal; and mobile activity feeds to Windows 7 phones. Seth Patton, senior director of marketing for Dynamics CRM, said Microsoft will press the advantage it gets from controlling many of the other productivity tools workers use--for example, by letting users monitor activity feeds from within Outlook.

"Success will really land with those businesses and organizations that can cut through the chatter," Patton said, working in a dig at's Chatter social collaboration tool. "Our focus is not on being more social, but on being productive."

[Chatter is coming under fire from every direction. Read Oracle Social Network To Challenge Salesforce Chatter.]

Since January, when Microsoft introduced a series of upgrades and began more aggressively pushing Dynamics CRM Online, the product has been looking increasingly competitive with As of January, Microsoft was claiming 23,000 customers for Dynamics CRM, and it now says it's up to 30,000. While those figures include both cloud and on-premises deployments, Microsoft said two out of three new customers are opting for the online version.

Microsoft is promising to deliver two updates per year to the Dynamics CRM platform, starting with this release. Dynamics CRM is now integrated with Office 365 and offers a single sign-on experience with both hosted and on-premises versions of SharePoint, Office, and Lync, Patton said. Provisioning and administration interfaces have also been unified across the platforms, he said. Microsoft is also introducing identity federation and backup and recovery features targeted primarily at large enterprises that want to operate some of this infrastructure in the cloud environment, he said.

Microsoft's approach to social software is to combine it with its existing collaboration tools, Patton said. "Our customers are telling us they don't necessarily want some separate application for social. They want it to be a natural extension."

Viewing the Dynamics CRM Activity feeds on the Web currently requires Internet Explorer, but Microsoft is promising to deliver a Dynamics CRM version that also reaches Chrome, Firefox, and Safari in 2012.

Doug Henschen contributed to the reporting on this story.

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 25-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
10 Top Cloud Computing Startups
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  8/3/2020
Adding Fuel to the MSP vs. In-house IT Debate
Andrew Froehlich, President & Lead Network Architect, West Gate Networks,  8/6/2020
How Enterprises Can Adopt Video Game Cloud Strategy
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/28/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Enterprise Automation: Do More with Less
In this IT Trend Report, we highlight the benefits of automation and the various tools as enterprises navigate turbulent times, try to do more with less, keep their operations running, and stay on track with digital modernizations.
Flash Poll