“The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave Release takes Microsoft’s vision of having one single platform to manage all touchpoints of business relationships one step further,” proclaimed KPMG in its review of the latest release, which came out in early June but which had been well foreshadowed by Microsoft and commentators.
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 covers the whole gamut of the customer service spectrum, from your traditional washing machine repairperson to agent assisted service in a centralised call centre and even self-service on a web portal,” KPMG continued.
It said the integration of technology from Adxstudio, a recent Microsoft acquisition, “means web portal functionality is now integrated into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as an add-on offering. Users can build modern web responsive portals from scratch or use the pre-configured solutions including Customer Service Portal, Community Portal, Partner Portal and a Employee Self Service Portal.”
Microsoft itself introduced the Spring Wave release by saying: “This release is focused on the integration of two of our recent acquisitions (FieldOne and Adxstudio), providing our customers with market leading capabilities for field service and portal solutions for community engagement. We are also extending our service capabilities with the introduction of project service, and we continue to invest in enhancing our intelligence capabilities.”
It added: “The release covers three major themes: Transformative Service, Community Engagement and Intelligence.”
To be precise, CRM 2016 Spring Wave comprises three distinct updates, officially named: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Service Pack 1; Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 1; Microsoft Social Engagement 2016 Update 1.5.
Microsoft has also upgraded the ability of Dynamics CRM to monitor social media for customer sentiment. Users are able to tap into Azure Machine Learning to analyse sentiment and identify customer intentions, and automatically create records for cases and leads in Dynamics CRM based on these intentions.
Azure Machine Learning is a cloud-based predictive analytics tool that is part of Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite. It enables people who do not know much about predictive analytics, or people without programming skills, to mine datasets for insights.
In its Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Wave Release Preview Guide, Microsoft appeared to announce another innovation, not part of Spring Wave, saying: “Continuing with our effort to be transparent, we have established the CRM Trust Center as a single location for you to access all information regarding our approach to security and compliance. Each time we receive a new certification, information will be posted at this location. We have achieved a number of industry certifications which ensure that we are meeting the appropriate regulatory and country requirements.”
However, there is nothing new about this. An earlier Microsoft press release said: “Microsoft Corp today announced the availability of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center, a website that provides in-depth information about the privacy and security practices for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service. As data security and compliance are critical key considerations for organisations evaluating cloud services, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center delivers to customers and potential customers high-level information about the privacy, transparency, independent verification and security features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.”
The date of that announcement? July 2012.
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