Microsoft boosts Dynamics CRM with marketing, social media analysis

The additional functionality will help Microsoft compete with Salesforce.com and Oracle

Microsoft is hoping to shove aside rivals such as Salesforce.com and Oracle in the CRM (customer relationship management) software market by linking its own Dynamics CRM application with new capabilities for marketing automation and social media analysis.

Microsoft's recently acquired MarketingPilot marketing automation software has been given a "simplified user experience" as well as a connector to Dynamics CRM, the company announced Tuesday during the Convergence conference in New Orleans. Marketing automation applications, particularly ones that allow customers to run campaigns across multiple channels, are becoming increasingly important to CRM vendors.

The updated MarketingPilot software will be available this month in the U.S. and other countries later this year.

Microsoft's move to tie MarketingPilot with Dynamics CRM is not much of a surprise. It ties into a growing desire by CRM vendors to augment core sales automation functionality with a broader array of related capabilities. Oracle and Salesforce.com both boosted their marketing software prowess with the respective acquisitions of Eloqua and Buddy Media.

Another key area for CRM vendors lies in social media sentiment analysis. To that end, on Tuesday Microsoft announced the acquisition of Netbreeze. The Swiss company's capabilities will be embedded into Dynamics CRM.

The technology will go up against Salesforce.com's Radian6 software as well as Oracle's Collective Intellect and Involver applications, all of which were also the result of acquisitions.

While many such "listening platforms" have been in the market for some time, customers have used them in stand-alone form.

They generally target the same goals, meaning competitive differentiation comes down to the amount of social data an application can ingest and analyze, and the ultimate quality of that analysis.

Netbreeze stands out from the pack since its natural language processing technology can parse nearly 30 languages natively, according to David Pennington, director of Dynamics CRM product marketing. Microsoft is also gaining the intellectual firepower of Netbreeze's staff, which started out in data science and later moved into social monitoring and listening, he said.

The Netbreeze acquisition "is part of a broader strategy by Microsoft to disrupt the social analytics market," said analyst Michael Krigsman, CEO of consulting firm Asuret. "Clearly, Microsoft has Salesforce.com in its sights."

"Netbreeze was a technology acquisition, to hire the smart guys," he added. "Microsoft wants to create a simpler and easier-to-use social analytics product."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesNetBreezeCustomer Relationship ManagementapplicationsSalesforce.comenterprise resource planningdata mininginternetOracleconvergencebusiness intelligenceMicrosoftRadian6softwaresocial mediaMarketingPilot

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?