Customers big up Dynamics as Microsoft updates apps at Convergence 2014

By Sooraj Shah
04 Mar 2014 View Comments

Microsoft showcased several new features it would be adding to its Dynamics portfolio at its Convergence 2014 conference in Atlanta, Georgia today as Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions, urged end-users to focus on the consumer.

In a keynote address, Tatarinov claimed that Dynamics would help businesses to succeed in a ‘customer-centric world', and that those CEOs who take ownership of customer data are more likely to be successful.

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He called on customers including Weight Watchers, Chobani and the Lotus F1 Team, among others, to explain how they were using Microsoft Dynamics, and their thoughts on the software. 

Mike Olsson, director of CRM at Weight Watchers, said that the organisation's take-up of Dynamics was "exciting", and that it was now looking to expand its use in multiple channels to improve customer services.

Maureen Hurley, vice president of IT at yoghurt-maker Chobani, explained that the ability to rapidly deploy solutions in an ever-changing environment was the most impressive aspect of Dynamics.

"I think it provided more cohesiveness and insight into our supply chain and inventory and enabled us to become better at operational excellence," she said.

Meanwhile, Lotus F1 team CEO Matthew Carter told delegates that a key area for the company at the moment is in controlling costs. Microsoft Dynamics AX helped it to keep costs under control by collecting relevant metrics and being able to calculate the most cost effective ways that the car could be improved.

And while customers were explaining how Dynamics was working for them now, Microsoft revealed several updates, including a significant one for its ERP solution, Dynamics AX.

AX 2012 R3 is the update name, and it includes an apps and services framework that allows businesses to work on and distribute apps for tailored situations.

The update also adds support for deployment on Windows Azure through infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS); one of many new features that Microsoft claimed would ease integration, lower costs and enhance functionality.

Professional licence fee payers will also get a new tool - Microsoft Social Listening - for free. The tool is the result of Microsoft's acquisition of Swiss analytics firm Netbreeze GMbH.

Tatarinov told the media that the feature will be incorporated into the Dynamics CRM platform later this spring.

"Netbreeze have done something revolutionary. It listens in to a broad range of [social] channels, and Microsoft can give them access to even more. They build listening technology that can generate sentiments by listening to innate languages, of which it supports 28," he said.

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