Microsoft Previews Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Wave

Microsoft today announced that the spring wave of Dynamics CRM 2016 will be available to online customers in the second quarter of this year. The new release will bring a number of changes, including the addition of field service capabilities and portal solutions.

"Together, our field and project service solutions take the definition of service to a new level in the industry," Jujhar Singh, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, wrote in a blog post today introducing the product. "With our full range of service solutions for self-service, agent-assisted service, and onsite service, we are helping our customers transform customer service."

This latest software release integrates technologies that Microsoft gained in its acquisitions of FieldOne Systems, a provider of field service management solutions, in July, and Adxstudio, a provider of Web portal and application lifecycle management solutions, in September.Microsoft also contiunues to build on its acquisition of Parature, a provider of cloud-based contact center technologies, in early 2014.

With the new field and project service capabilities in the Dynamics 2016 spring wave, organizations will be able to schedule, manage, and deliver onsite service. Field service matches the requirements for service calls with available resources and follows the project from case management through to work order completion. Project service enables complex, multi-day engagements and optimizes resourcing with intelligent, skills-based assignments.

The CRM Spring 2016 wave also introduces social online community engagement through portals that enable organizations to better connect with customers, partners, and employees. It provides these groups with quicker access to information to obtain assistance and perform tasks.

"We are taking a unique approach where portals for these communities are powered with the same data and processes accessed by traditional CRM users," Singh wrote. "Organizations can easily configure the amount of information accessed by their communities, enabling more coordinated communications among different teams and facilitating a single, consistent voice.

"Through our service delivery foundation, we bring project service and field service together within the core CRM solution to help companies manage resources across all sources of demand," Singh explained.

The spring wave of Dynamics CRM 2016 also introduces guided navigation capabilities that provide users with guided tasks and support, personalized to users based on their roles and the context of the interactions.

Microsoft also added machine learning to Social Engagement. New to the app is adaptive learning, powered by Azure Machine Learning, to enable users to customize sentiment scoring models. Also new is the automated triage function that will allow, Microsoft Social Engagement to automatically detect intention in social posts and, using machine learning, route them as cases or leads into CRM.

Additional upgrades to Dynamics CRM 2016 were designed to make the software more user-friendly and include even deeper integrations with other Microsoft business applications, including Office 365, Word, Excel, OneDrive, Cortana, and Delve.

"It's an exciting time to lead the CRM business at Microsoft," Singh reported. "I couldn't be more optimistic about the future of our product and of our customers. Advances in the cloud and intelligence are making possible new capabilities and scenarios that not only help companies adapt their customer engagement to the digital era, but also use that engagement to secure and expand their business."