With 2010 drawing to a merciful close, it’s instructive to reflect on the various IT preoccupations of the year past, with a practical view to the year on deck. Prominent among them? A burst of interest in the social CRM (SCRM) space, and the increasing role Microsoft Dynamics CRM promises to play in it.
With major vendors added new functionality to existing products, enterprise software competition galvanizing and vendors introducing new applications that facilitate progress in this arena, it’s clear this is the spot to watch as the calendar pages flip into another decade.
The surging popularity of social networking—the convergence of technologies that makes it possible for individuals to communicate, share information and form funky new communities of all stripes online—is irrefutable. That many corporate entities still struggle to translate this elephant in the room into specific strategies from which they might authentically benefit is, too.
Take heed, anxious businessperson, for real help is afoot.
By acquiring tools—such as those in Microsoft’s evolving stable of customer relationship management products—that let you manage your social networking initiatives alongside traditional marketing, sales and service activities, organizations can develop relationships with customers they could never have imagined.
-Microsoft Dynamics CRM is currently used by some 23,000 organizations and 1.4 million individual users, in 80 countries, in more than 40 languages. The end-of-year release of the 2011 version portends even higher counts.
-With a dedicated focus on the user experience and mindful integration with familiar products—including Outlook, Office, SharePoint and Bing, as well as the iPhone and the spanking-new Windows 7 phone—Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is well poised for relevant adoption across all functions within a company. That the software is also strongly aligned with the concept of XRM (Anything Relationship Management) and its promises to users of effective management of any kind of relationship—customer, partner or supplier—is significant.
-Microsoft’s Social Networking Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an add-on module that allows Microsoft Dynamics CRM users to explore the possibility of identifying and engaging with influential individuals on social networking sites—to say nothing of the potential revenue that awaits their profitable tapping here.
-The announcement of new research that finds that 3.4% of global advertising spending will be on mobile marketing by 2015—a compound annual growth rate of 41%—augers well for the future adoption of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. As more organizations work to increase their revenue streams along customer relationship pathways, programs that facilitate their mobile marketing potential are poised for growth.
–Microsoft recently announced that in 2011 its Dynamics CRM will be available to be hosted locally or in the cloud–with relatively painless movement between the two environments. This option offers companies the ability to create sales forecasts and cash-flow predictions without the burden of internal hosting responsibilities.