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Microsoft Previews Dynamics CRM 2016 Roadmap

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Customers can expect new licensing options, mobile marketing features and customer feedback capabilities in the coming months.

Following the Dec. 1 launch of Dynamics CRM, Microsoft is previewing some of the new capabilities the company has planned for the customer relationship management software and cloud services suite.”We are introducing several other capabilities and licensing changes to our Service workload,” said Denis Ford, senior business planner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a Dec. 10 announcement. “The new Interactive Service Hub, a powerful purpose-built User Interface for customer service applications, will be available both online and on-premises at the Basic CAL/USL [Client Access License/User Subscription License] level and higher.”As part of the licensing update, knowledgebase authoring rights are coming to CRM Online Professional. New voice of the customer feedback and sentiment capabilities “will be licensed via Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise when it is released in the coming months,” he added.Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will gain a Mobile Marketing add-on that enables customers to add SMS text messaging to their customer engagement initiatives. “Mobile Marketing will initially be available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Singapore, with additional geographies coming in the near future. This Add-On is priced in packages of 10,000 outbound SMS credits,” said Ford.

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FieldOne, the field service CRM software platform the software giant acquired in July, is now available directly from Microsoft, but some work remains before it is brought into the fold completely, suggested Ford. “Prior to its full integration into Microsoft’s full contractual and technical estate, organizations interested in acquiring FieldOne capabilities are encouraged to contact their Microsoft representative to learn more about packaging and pricing options.”

Customers with both Dynamics CRM and Office 365 licenses have new pricing options to explore.Clarifying the new pricing structure, Ford said Microsoft replaced its “successful Sales Productivity promotional pricing on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional with a more permanent, programmatic license, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Add-On to Office 365. Priced at $50/user/month, a 23% discount off our regular price of $65 for CRM Online Professional, this license is available as an add-on to Office365 Plans E3, E5 and Business Premium.”Last month, Microsoft announced the company would begin offering Dynamics CRM as an Office 365 add-on for business customers.”We are making it easier than ever for customer service organizations and teams to purchase Dynamics CRM with the power and productivity of Office 365 and Power BI,” said Bob Stutz, former corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a Nov. 5 statement. Naturally, those pleased with their current contracts can keep them. “Existing licensing options for organizations who want to purchase CRM on-premises, CRM Online, customer service and customer self-service solutions separately will continue to be available.”Dynamics CRM 2016 is a major push by Microsoft to gain ground in a growing market for CRM solutions currently led by Salesforce. “Over the past few years, we have been focused on transforming our CRM offerings to leverage the full power of Microsoft—harnessing the strength of the intelligent cloud to help companies deliver amazing customer experiences across the breadth of sales, service, marketing and social engagements,” said Jujhar Singh, the new head of Microsoft’s CRM Business Applications group, in a launch announcement.

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