Keeping Up With the Ever Growing Dynamics CRM Roadmap and More

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Microsoft has been consistently offering new technologies and amazing upgrades to existing ones. Their product team has done an excellent job filling in the gaps and identifying areas to expand on current products to make them even more functional, and the CRM Spring 2014 upgrade is no exception. But with all the new products and or services they are bringing to the table and some names changes,  it’s easy to lose your place. In order to help keep it straight, in this blog I am going to share some info from my cheat sheet for Microsoft Dynamics products, and in a follow up blog I am going to share my cheat sheet specifically for CRM versions and new features.

First things first, let get our CRM versions straight. The CRM versions are still 4.0, 2011, and 2013… but you may start to hear some buzz about the Spring 2014 update and it’s definitely worth mentioning here because it offers so much new functionality even though it’s not technically a new version. More on this in my next blog. Let’s move on to other products.

You may have noticed that the Dynamics family has expanded recently with two products called Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Microsoft Social Listening. Well not to fret, you may actually be more familiar with these products than you realize… Here is the high level explanation.

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Microsoft Social Listening (aka Netbreeze): This is a social listening tool which delivers cutting-edge native language analytics combined with data mining, transactional and text analysis capabilities. This is a standalone product that Microsoft acquired that does have integrations into Dynamics CRM some of which are part of the Spring 2014 release.

  • I think this new feature alone in the Spring 2014 release is worth the upgrade!
  • Microsoft Social Listening is not to be confused with InsideView's integration into CRM which in CRM land is now called just “Insights”.


Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (aka MarketingPilot): This is a complete marketing automation solution with rich business intelligence, allowing users to plan, track and optimize customer interactions across digital, social and traditional channels. This is also a standalone product that Microsoft acquired and it too has integrations into Dynamics CRM. This robust solution is traditionally a good fit for companies with larger marketing departments.

  • We have MDM experts on the Hitachi team that would be happy to discuss the product with you and can answer any questions you may have, so just ask!


Now you may have heard about these next two products at convergence or other Microsoft publications. While they are not technically under the Dynamics umbrella on the Microsoft official website, they are certainly used by Dynamics customers and they do have integrations into Dynamics CRM.


Parature: This is an integrated, multi-channel customer service and support software suite. It’s the only true, on-demand 100% customer service software available. It features live chat, self-serve knowledgebase, Parature Portal (yep that’s right, a customer service portal feature), and reporting. It also features its own social listening tool. This is a standalone product with integrations into CRM and you can read more about its full set of features here:

  • We had 6 Hitachi employees attend Microsoft’s Parature Bootcamp from sales, implementation, and Development so feel free to ask questions of any kind if you want to know more.


Unified Service Desk or USD (similar to CCD or CCA in functionality): This product is Microsoft’s solution to accessing and unifying disparate data systems into one view. It’s great in a customer service or call center environment. It allows the user to view data from different sources in one “unified” view and then take action. It can integrate with telephony systems as well. This is also a standalone product with integrations into CRM.


If you have any questions about these products or want to learn more about them, visit the dynamics product site here or ask your consultant for more information.

by Customer Effective

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