Will Dynamics CRM move toward CXM?

26 June 2014

Though no announcements have been made to re-brand Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a customer experience management (CXM) solution, the software's characteristics would suggest that Microsoft is headed in that direction. The Redmond, Washington-based corporation is responding to enterprises' desires for CRM that enhance the way consumers interact with brands.

CXM is largely perceived as a concept, rather than a separate kind of program, but the approach of contemporary CRM systems moves past maintaining relationships with individuals and toward assessing how a company's practices affect buyer-seller rapport. Business leaders are realizing consumers feel more empowered now than they did 15 years ago: They're the ones producing the data collected by enterprises, and they expect to be reciprocated for their contributions. As Dynamics CRM is regarded as one of the most reputable solutions on the market, organizations will likely search for personnel who have undergone Microsoft certification courses and obtained thorough knowledge of how technology can be leveraged to maintain active, healthy relationships with customers.

Measuring up to competition
According to MSDynamics World, research firm Gartner recently revealed the global market for CRM software reached $20.4 billion in 2013, up 13.7 percent from 2012. Salesforce.com continued to be the largest vendor overall in the market – making up 30.3 percent – and Microsoft's share stood at 6.8 percent. Although this stark contrast may seem discouraging, Gartner discovered that Microsoft's CRM revenue last year rose 22.8 percent from 2012. Some have speculated that this growth may be attributed to Microsoft's reinvigorated commitment to cloud computing, which has pushed Dynamics developers to make solutions (CRM being one of their biggest projects) compatible with cloud servers.

Pushing on-premise into the future
Microsoft has been known for producing quality in-house systems that have become signature products for the majority of enterprises. However, competing with developers offering flexible, scalable programs has convinced Microsoft's leaders to give Dynamics CRM on-premise users a nudge in the right direction. eWEEK reported that the corporation will drop support for Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2 and all versions of Small Business database. The goal is to get Dynamics customers to use SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012, two solutions the company has dubbed as cloud operating systems. The shift in priority is sure to spawn a need for those with the latest SQL training, especially for businesses trying to get the most out of their on-premise deployments.

Setting the stage
This latest move is all about setting up a platform upon which Microsoft can deploy future versions of Dynamics CRM that are characteristic of the experience-focused tools enterprises are looking for. Laura Bassett, a contributor to Business 2 Community, noted executives are recognizing the importance of applying metrics that chart a customer's lifetime value. In other words, they are deploying a solution that identifies how consumers perceive and react to specific processes. Essentially, it involves adopting advanced analytics tools, which require cloud technology to survive. Having employees knowledgeable of this technology on staff may mean enrolling them in Microsoft training.

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