Microsoft Convergence: How Redmond is integrating its voice assistant with Dynamics CRM 2015
Cortana is set to become your very own business assistant after Redmond integrates it into Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.
The latest iteration of Dynamics CRM, released in December, will be widely integrated with Azure, Office 365 and other products as Microsoft makes good on its cloud-first, mobile-first strategy.
Salespeople will be able to rely on Cortana, the Windows Phone 8.1 voice assistant based on the Xbox Halo character of the same name, to set up meetings and reminders, search for contacts and create new customer records, as one of the new features rolled out next month.
Speaking at Microsoft Convergence in Barcelona, business solutions VP Kirill Tatarinov told the audience: "We’ll put Cortana to work for business. It will be your personal assistant and business assistant."
Eric Boocock, director of technical product marketing, showed the 4,000 attendees a demo of Cortana’s integration with Dynamics, demonstrating its ability to monitor traffic in order to advise you to leave earlier for a meeting than planned, then notify you about a follow-up from the meeting afterwards.
Once you have instructed Cortana on your Windows Phone to remind you about an action, Cortana’s integration with Dynamics enables the reminder to appear at the top of your to-do list inside your Dynamics profile when you have returned to your desk.
Boocock said: "By simply speaking to my phone I can capture all those voice actions into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. That allows me to capture some data on the move and get back to the office [and be reminded about it]."
Redmond claimed CRM 2015 will work "seamlessly" with Office 365 and Power BI across mobile devices to increase sales productivity and help boost customer loyalty.
To that end, it revealed a partnership with customer engagement specialist Thunderhead.com to combine Dynamics with Thunderhead’s One Engagement Hub.
Tatarinov stressed the power of integration offered by the new Dynamics release to automate sales admin tasks to make workers more productive and efficient, adding: "If you have not automated your sales people, now is the time to do it with CRM 2015 coming to market next month."
Dynamics CRM 2015 will also boast significant platform updates including near real time calculations and roll-ups for business information and API enhancements offering more UI consistency across devices.
Redmond aims to add 27 industry-specific templates for verticals including financial services and retail to the product by the end of the year.
Tatarinov said: "Dynamics now is a true integral part of Microsoft’s core, delivering business process automation, delivering business productivity, enriching and expanding the experiences coming from Microsoft Azure and Office 365."