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Today – Microsoft Launches Dynamics CRM Online  

Driving through Microsoft campus this morning, I found slick green banners flying all over that talked about Dynamics CRM On-Demand and here is the news about Microsoft unveiling its latest CRM Online software.

CRM On-Demand is a very crowded market and Microsoft is set to take-on Salesforce.com directly this time. I’m sure its going to turn out as a much better experience for the customers.

Here’s the news snippet. For more check out the Press Release

Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, an on-demand customer relationship management service hosted and managed by Microsoft. The new Internet service delivers a full suite of marketing, sales and service capabilities through a Web browser or directly into Microsoft Office and Outlook.

It provides “instant-on” access to businesses that want a full-featured CRM solution with no IT infrastructure investment or setup required. Businesses can learn more about Microsoft’s strategy for delivering next-generation CRM solutions from a new webcast being launched today at http://crmchoice.com, featuring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Martha Rogers from the Peppers and Rogers Group.

“At Microsoft, we’re revolutionizing how companies deploy marketing, sales and service solutions to users within their organization,” said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM at Microsoft. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM delivers the power of choice to customers, with a familiar and productive user experience and a multitenant platform that enables fast on-premise implementations or ‘instant-on’ deployments over the Internet.”

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online reinforces Microsoft’s broad software plus services strategy for delivering integrated business solutions over the Internet, and it is a part of Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar investment in global datacenters. In addition to full access through a zero-footprint browser client, the new service delivers marketing, sales and service information within a native Microsoft Office experience, integrated with the desktop tools that employees already use every day, enabling businesses to ramp up end-user adoption and productivity rapidly.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is initially packaged in two service offerings:

• Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional delivers a full suite of CRM capabilities with extensive configurability and extensibility options. Businesses get 5 GB of data storage, 100 configurable workflows and 100 custom entities. The Professional edition is priced at $44 per user per month, with an introductory offer of $39 per user, per month.

• Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional Plus delivers all the capabilities of the Professional version plus offline data synchronization with expanded data storage, workflow and customization options that give businesses 20 GB of data storage, 200 configurable workflows and 200 custom entities. The Professional Plus edition is priced at $59 per user per month.

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Written by Guru Kirthigavasan

May 14th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Using Marketing Analytics to Slingshot Sales  

According to Ian Michiels, an analyst with Aberdeen Group Inc., successful companies find a way to more tightly integrate marketing and sales. “How do you prioritize the leads that go into the sales pipeline? Metrics that help you do that are going to make you more effective,” he said. The goal is to find ways to define the best leads, whether that’s by the number of times a potential customer has gone to a Web site, attended a webinar or visited a trade-show booth. Only send the best leads to sales.

Once you provide this information, Rego said, your reps have the information they need to close more sales. “The carrot is providing sales with as much ammunition as needed to close the sale. The way you need [to] do that is tight integration from the marketing automation system into the SFA system.” Once you do this, you begin to build a consensus around the definition of a “good lead.” Rego said this approach gives marketing a view into the sales funnel and can provide marketing-level information as the sales staff approaches a sales opportunity.

Read the entire article on Marketing analytics at Inside CRM.

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Written by Guru Kirthigavasan

May 14th, 2008 at 6:50 pm

The BI Boom – Part 1  

CRM Buyer is running a series on the BI Boom. Obviously I’m looking for to read the series. Here’s more -

“In the face of a recession, BI could be a tool to improve efficiencies in a tough climate by analyzing and measuring operations,” Dan Sommer, Gartner senior research analyst for software markets, told CRM Buyer. “However, we have adjusted previous forecasted North American BI growth in 2008 because especially the financial sector will cut spending on IT for the coming one to two years. Worldwide, growth is forecasted at 11 percent for 2008.”

..

More specifically, Sommer and Gartner analysts see up-and-coming vendors making headway in five important areas of BI IT: in-memory data management technology, interactive visualization, alternative delivery models, bringing together traditionally structured BI and unstructured search methods and tools, and optimizing data warehouses and databases.

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Written by Guru Kirthigavasan

April 21st, 2008 at 8:14 am