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Next Dynamics CRM Update Wave Coming in Q2

The next round of updates to Microsoft's Dynamics CRM product, dubbed the "spring wave," will arrive in the second quarter, the company said on Wednesday.

Jujhar Singh, general manager of the Dynamics CRM group, gave an overview of improvements coming with the spring update in a blog post. It should be noted that the spring update applies only to Dynamics CRM Online. For on-premises users, the new features will become available "in the next on-premise release of Dynamics CRM in the fall of 2016," according to a spokesperson.

According to Singh, the spring update will focus primarily on integrating two of Microsoft's recent CRM-related acquisitions -- FieldOne, which provides cloud-based solutions for field-service personnel, and Adxstudio, whose "portals" technology lets organizations build customer-facing Web sites that connect to their Dynamics CRM account. Microsoft bought both companies in 2015, one of its most acquisitive years.

On the service side (FieldOne), the update will bring new capabilities aimed at helping organizations schedule, assign and execute on-site service appointments. "Field service matches the requirements for service calls with the available resources and end-to-end processes span from case management through to work order completion," Singh said. "Project service enables complex, multi-day engagements and optimizes resourcing with intelligent, skills-based assignments."

On the customer engagement side (Adxstudio), Singh said the spring update will "enable organizations to better connect with customers, partners and employees, and provide these groups with a streamlined way to access information, obtain assistance and perform tasks."

The spring update will also bring improvements to Dynamics CRM's social media-based marketing tool, called Social Engagement. Social Engagement uses machine learning to enable marketers to score their products' performance based on user "sentiment" across social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. With the spring update, Microsoft will add two new machine learning scenarios to the Social Engagement tool -- "adaptive learning" and "automated triage."

Adaptive learning will let users "customize sentiment scoring models" for more precise scores. "For example, a ski or snowboard manufacturer receiving posts with slang expressions such as 'crazy' or 'sweet' can adjust the model to reflect language commonly used by their communities," Singh said. "Going forward, sentiment analysis will understand these expressions reflect a positive comment."

The automated triage scenario, meanwhile, is designed to "automatically detect intention in social posts and, using machine learning, route them as cases or leads into CRM."

The latest version of Dynamics CRM, Dynamics CRM 2016, was released at the end of last November. Microsoft has previously stated that Dynamics CRM updates are generally issued every six months, which would put the spring update on track for a late-May release.

About the Author

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