Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 debuts with predictive intelligence

Driven by Cortana

Microsoft announced that Dynamics CRM 2016 is now available for online and on-premise deployments in 130 markets and 44 languages. The company's customer relationship management platform leverages machine learning to deliver a personalized, predictive and proactive experience.

"We're bringing all Microsoft has to offer in productivity and intelligence into a single experience," said Jujhar Singh, General Manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a statement. "We're bringing the advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities of the Cortana Analytics Suite to preview our first intelligent, adaptive processes for sales, customer service and social."

Microsoft claims that Cortana integration helps CRM 2016 surface the right tools at the right time, so businesses can deliver a more personalized experience to engage customers with the right content.

Integrated experience

The Dynamics CRM 2016 suite better integrates with Microsoft's productivity software. The CRM app for Outlook has been enhanced, and Office 365 users will be able to create more personalized sales documents in Word. Files can be seamlessly shared between SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Office 365 Groups.

CRM 2016 also delivers a single, unified customer service experience across self-service, agent-assisted service and field service. There is an interactive Service Hub, Knowledge Management center and surveys.

Mobile users will benefit from offline capabilities in CRM 2016 on phones and tablets. Users can also create task-based mobile apps, and Microsoft says that CRM integrates with Cortana to surface data for key sales activities, accounts and deals.

Machine learning intelligence

Cortana integration promises to make CRM 2016 smarter, thanks to machine learning. The integration with the Cortana Analytics Suite surfaces cross-selling opportunities. Sales reps will now be able to use the data to predict which products and services to pitch to a customer during different stages of the sales cycle.

Customer service representatives can also rely on CRM 2016 to surface important knowledge articles to resolve customer issues. The software can also analyze data from social networks to predict new sales opportunities or service issues.

And finally, with Delve integration, CRM 2016 can also surface relevant trending information.

This smarter, predictive integration will help CRM 2016 compete more effectively against Salesforce's improved Lightning interface, which also comes with a digital assistant with predictive intelligence. And even though Microsoft and Salesforce may be competing in the CRM space, the companies have collaborated on other projects, and Microsoft was even rumored to be in talks to acquire Salesforce in the past.

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