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Microsoft Refreshes Parature Solution with Spring '15 Release

The "Spring '15" release of Parature, a key component of Microsoft's Dynamics CRM product, is now available.

Microsoft purchased Parature one year ago for an undisclosed amount, part of a series of Microsoft acquisitions that were aimed at boosting Dynamics CRM. (The other acquisitions were that of marketing software company MarketingPilot in 2012 and social analytics firm Netbreeze in 2013.)

Parature is aimed at sales and marketing professionals, offering them tools for multiple customer service-oriented functions. It provides users with knowledgebase management tools, ticketing and auditing tools, and the ability to interact with customers on various social media platforms.

The Spring '15 release announced Wednesday "is the largest release in the history of Parature in terms of features and functionality," according to Bill Patterson, senior director of customer self-service solutions at Microsoft. It is available in 10 languages and 50 markets worldwide, and includes over 30 new features, Microsoft said.

Many of those features and improvements are described in the Parature Release Preview Guide here (.PDF). They include updates to the mobile UI, improvements to the knowledgebase API, greater insight into a customer's support history, improvements to the ticketing functionality, support for more social media platforms and the ability to translate live chats in real time.

Users also now have the ability to create and manage Parature environments through the Microsoft Online Commerce platform. According to Microsoft, "This will make integrated purchasing and billing capabilities with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other Office 365 applications even easier, and will be done through the Microsoft Online Portal (MOP), an online management portal which allows customers and administrators to configure and manage products within Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft Office 365, and to configure user access."

Microsoft plans to release another update to Parature "that will add more capabilities" in the second quarter of this year, according to a Microsoft spokesperson on Wednesday. A Microsoft roadmap that was leaked in September suggests that Microsoft is also planning to update its core Dynamics CRM product in Q2.

The last major Dynamics CRM release, Dynamics CRM 2015, hit general availability in December.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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