Cloud

With Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM upgrades, manage your customers everywhere — even the prison yard

Microsoft wants you to use its Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) software to manage customers everywhere. And we mean everywhere.

The American software giant today announced a host of upgrades for its CRM software, including support for mobile phones and 18 industry templates, like prison offender management. So, hypothetically, prison wardens could track and update “customer” case files on their mobile devices as they stroll through the exercise yard. (Whether that’s a good idea is a question for a different article.)

Dynamics CRM apps are now available for iPhones, Android phones, and Windows Phones. Microsoft released companion apps for iPad and Windows 8 tablets in early October. The apps are free to use for current Dynamics CRM subscribers.

In addition to prisoner management, industry process templates for Dynamics CRM include sports management, healthcare, government, and non-profit. All 18 are free to download from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketplace and should provide Dynamics subscribers in those industries with a basic model to get their CRM solution up and running quickly.

Additionally, Microsoft announced that it would bring the third of its four ERP (enterprise resource planning) suites to the cloud by April 2014. Microsoft’s Dynamics AX 2012 R3 product will be hosted on Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, by next April, the company revealed. Microsoft brought its Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV ERP products to Azure June 2013. It’s currently unclear whether Dynamics SL, the last product in its ERP line, will make the jump to Azure.

Microsoft made these announcements in the opening keynote of its Dynamics Convergence 2013 EMEA conference in Barcelona.

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