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Microsoft Releases Dynamics CRM 2016

Microsoft on Monday released its next-generation customer relationship management (CRM) offering to general availability.

The on-premises Dynamics CRM 2016 and its cloud-based counterpart Dynamics CRM Online are now available in 44 languages and 130 markets.

Chris Capossela, Microsoft's chief marketing officer, announced the availability of Dynamics CRM 2016 during the opening keynote of the Convergence EMEA conference, taking place this week in Barcelona, Spain. According to Capossela, the new Dynamics release -- along with the new Office 365 E5 suite, also announced at Convergence on Monday -- fits into Microsoft's goal to provide tools for today's business culture, which requires marrying "the unstructured work of the average employee with the very structured work of business process."

These tools aim to support employee collaboration, give insight into individual productivity, leverage "adaptive systems" such as machine learning, and improve security for an increasingly mobile and cloud-enabled workforce, he said.

"We think about [Dynamics CRM 2016] as an intelligent customer-engagement tool," Capossela said during the keynote. "We can engage with the customer at every lifecycle of our relationship with that customer, around sales, around support, around marketing, around social engagement. So it's much bigger than just salesforce automation."

In a demo, Capossela highlighted Dynamics CRM 2016's integration with Azure Machine Learning (Azure ML), a brand-new feature for Dynamics CRM. Azure ML gives Dynamics CRM 2016 the capability "to predictively, proactively suggest the next best product for a particular customer," Capossela said.

In addition, integration with the Groups feature in Office 365 lets Dynamics CRM 2016 users set up customer-specific message boards. Dynamics CRM 2016 also features deeper integration with Cortana, which lets users quickly view Dynamics CRM information on their home screen.

In a blog post, Jujhar Singh, general manager of the Dynamics CRM group, touted Dynamics CRM 2016 as the "most comprehensive" version of the product.

"We're bringing all Microsoft has to offer in productivity and intelligence into a single experience. We're bringing the advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities of the Cortana Analytics Suite to preview our first intelligent, adaptive processes for sales, customer service and social," wrote Singh, who replaced former Dynamics CRM chief Bob Stutz earlier this month.

Singh described a few of the new features and capabilities in Dynamics CRM 2016, which include integration with Delve, Microsoft's enterprise search tool; integration with Microsoft's Office 365, SharePoint and OneDrive products; integration with Microsoft Intune to enable mobile application management; offline mobile capabilities for phone and tablet apps; and integration with technology acquired this summer from FieldOne, which provides solutions for field-service agents.

Microsoft provides more details about new Dynamics CRM 2016 features in its Release Preview Guide.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the Senior Site Producer for RCPmag.com.