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Microsoft Inks Partnership for Omnichannel Engagement in Dynamics 365

New York-based CafeX Communications will be Microsoft's preferred solution provider for omnichannel engagement within the soon-to-be-released Dynamics 365 for Customer Service application, the companies announced Wednesday.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service is one of the five initial applications coming in the Enterprise edition of Dynamics 365, which is set for availability on Nov. 1. Dynamics 365 is Microsoft's new flagship business application platform that serves both ERP and CRM functionality from the Azure cloud.

The add-on will be called LiveAssist for Dynamics 365 powered by CafeX and will be available slightly later than the underlying Microsoft application. A trial version is set for release in November, with general availability set for Jan. 31, 2017. That initial release will feature live chat and co-browsing, which allows an agent to see and assist with pages and forms that a customer is viewing.

CafeX will follow that release with click-to-call, audio call and video call capabilities, to be delivered later in 2017, CafeX Chief Marketing Officer Sajeel Hussain said in a telephone interview Wednesday. The list price for the LiveAssist capabilities in Dynamics 365 will be $49 per agent per month for chat and co-browsing, and $65 per agent per month for all the communications channels, Hussain said.

Microsoft and CafeX have been working together on bringing CafeX's LiveAssist technology to the Dynamics 365 platform for about nine months, he said.

"We have tightly integrated our solution with Dynamics 365 in such a way that all of those experiences are seamless across the stack. If an agent is in our console, they don't have to leave our console. If an authenticated chat comes in, the case record pops up -- the agent doesn't have to go back and forth between the different consoles. Intelligence is shared between the chat console and Dynamics."

Hussain described three key elements of the partnership: hosting of the CafeX solution in the Azure cloud, the immersive integration, and a joint CafeX-Microsoft roadmap for engineering and go-to-market efforts.

In a statement, Jujhar Singh, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, said omnichannel was at the heart of successful customer engagement solutions and confirmed CafeX's position as a preferred solution provider for the technology.

"Enterprises can now extend real-time assistance within the context of business processes to create more unified and intelligent customer journeys," Singh said.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 19, 2016 at 2:40 PM