I attended the launch of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011* earlier today.
Dynamics CRM 2011 is really version 5.0 (should you forget how there was not a version 2.0), but Microsoft has synchronized its products’ releases nomenclature. The usual feature advances were touted. Among these were Connectivity, Familiarity and Intelligence. However, the emphasis was the ‘Social’ aspect of the release. The phrase ‘Social CRM’ was uttered more than once, as was the connectivity to the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter.
Case in point: aside from Microsoft Canada President Eric Gales, presenters and panellists were Jordan Banks, Managing Director, Facebook Canada, Jonathan Lister, Managing Director, LinkedIn Canada & Latin America, Brian Solis, author of Engage! and Paul Greenberg, author of CRM At The Speed Of Light.
The ‘Social Media’ aspect and emphasis of the new release is evident. How many companies are actually paying heed? Is there a need out there? Could it be a case of ‘build it and they will come?’ Where does the input occur? Is it hype to differentiate product? In reality, time will tell, but how many companies are actually making ‘Social Media’ integration a search criterion is one question. The answer is ‘not many.’
Earlier this year Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had introduced the product in a Webcast. Clearly, Microsoft is not ignoring this product.
*I do work on behalf of Microsoft