ATLANTA, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq "MSFT") on Tuesday opened its sold-out Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 conference with a keynote address from Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions. The event offers attendees hundreds of sessions showcasing new innovations the company will deliver in the coming months that will help businesses succeed in a customer-centric world.
In his keynote featuring Microsoft Dynamics customers Chobani Inc., City Harvest Inc., Delta Air Lines, Lotus F1 Team, New Belgium Brewery Co. and Weight Watchers International Inc., Tatarinov called on businesses to change their approach and adopt a customer-centric view to enable them to deliver meaningful customer interactions. In this era of the customer, he underscored the importance of technology combined with cultural changes in the organization as critical for businesses to gain insight into their customers' needs and deliver experiences that help build lasting relationships.
To help businesses deliver amazing customer experiences, Microsoft unveiled a comprehensive set of new capabilities across its business solutions portfolio. The additions will allow organizations to take advantage of cloud services, run agile operations that exceed customer needs, and help engage them on their terms across the Web, social, apps and mobile fronts to help fuel growth.
"Technology has changed the social fabric, transforming how we engage, connect and interact with one another," Tatarinov said. "In this era of the customer, experience is the new currency. Microsoft is best positioned to help businesses deliver amazing experiences for people at work and on the go."
Business applications through devices and services
At the event, the company showcased Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 (expected to be available May 1, 2014), its ERP solution for enterprises. This update introduces a new end-to-end apps and services framework, allowing businesses to develop and distribute modern apps for specific scenarios and mobile devices that can easily and securely connect with Microsoft Dynamics AX. Adding to the growing number of mobile apps, the company announced a new app for shop floor operators that lets them report on production jobs with touch-enabled Windows devices. Customers and partners can learn about Microsoft Dynamics AX's apps and mobile capabilities at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dax/archive/2014/03/03/microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-r3-devices-and-services-framework.aspx.
To rapidly serve more customers in new segments and emerging markets, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 adds support for deployment on Windows Azure via infrastructure as a service. This capability delivers high availability of data and disaster recovery data, as critical business data is stored in the cloud and can be retrieved by businesses virtually anytime, anywhere. Pre-configured environments are also available on Windows Azure for businesses to speed deployment, and significantly reduce time to value from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, for demonstration, development, testing and production usage.
Powered by Windows Azure, this release of Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services introduces new solutions for serviceability and support to help organizations improve the predictability of implementations and provides them with the agility required to keep up with ever-changing business environments. Early adoption of this service has demonstrated that customers have been able to significantly reduce time spent to define, develop and operate their business application. For example, in cases where early adopter customers needed incident support, more than 65 percent of them were able to address issues and questions on their own through the use of this service.
Reinforcing the value Microsoft Dynamics AX is delivering to businesses, Microsoft released a commissioned Forrester Consulting TEI (Total Economic Impact) study. Based on customer surveys and interviews, Forrester determined that a composite organization using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 had a three-year ROI of 92 percent, a payback period of 21 months and benefits of over $6 million,* highlighting the real benefit and time to value this solution delivers to customers.
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 is a significant step for the entire industry toward the future of ERP, with apps, devices and services in the cloud as cornerstones of its new capabilities. The advancements it offers in business logic and data model, cloud and new apps, and services and devices scenarios all set the stage for continued future innovation evolving directly from the functionality being delivered today.
Delta Air Lines, a Customer Excellence Award winner for the Enterprise category at Convergence 2014, is an example of a Microsoft customer that is using devices and services to deliver amazing experiences to their customers. Designed and developed by Avanade on the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile point-of-sale platform and running on Nokia Lumia devices powered by Windows Phone 8, Delta is transforming its passengers' in-flight experience and bringing flight attendants closer to the company's 160 million plus customers per year.
"Delta's mission is to provide safe and efficient transportation and outstanding customer service on over 5,000 flights a day to our customers on six continents," said Joanne Smith, senior vice president – In-Flight Service, Delta. "Technology innovation is essential to helping us connect with our customers and deliver an experience that exceeds their expectations. Partnering with Microsoft gave Delta an opportunity to equip our more than 19,000 in-flight professionals with a combination of devices and services to offer more personalized service on board every flight."
Delivering on the promise of rapid innovation to more than 40,000 customers and nearly 4 million Microsoft Dynamics CRM users, the company today reinforced the upcoming capabilities in the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM expected in the second quarter of 2014. This release introduces Microsoft Dynamics Marketing to help businesses drive and manage their marketing campaigns, Microsoft Social Listening to empower more employees with deeper insights, and new capabilities such as the Unified Service Desk to help businesses engage with and care for customers in a personalized manner on virtually any device, anywhere.
Giving customers more value, Microsoft Social Listening will be offered at no additional charge as part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online professional licenses; on-premises customers will be offered Microsoft Social Listening for an additional $20 per user, per month.** Microsoft is also introducing a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise license, priced at $200 per user, per month.** This offers customers all functionality offered in the professional license and access to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and the new Unified Service Desk. More information about the new pricing and packaging structure can be found at https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/default.aspx.
As part of the event, Microsoft also announced that the next update of Microsoft Dynamics GP, due in the second quarter of 2014, will deliver new identity management and workflow capabilities, together with new self-service companion apps later this year. Demonstrating new capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the company previewed new mobile capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics NAV that are expected to be delivered with its next update in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The company highlighted the investments being made by leading global businesses and system integrators (SIs) such as Accenture and Avanade, IBM and Hitachi Ltd., in building global Microsoft Dynamics practices, giving customers high-quality resources to implement their business applications worldwide. Microsoft also continues to expand the number of global independent software vendors (GISVs) building industry solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics, announcing a new GISV partnership with JustEnough for demand planning and an expansion of its existing partnership with Dominion, a company that focused on automotive dealer solutions.
More information about Microsoft's Dynamic Business vision can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/about.aspx. More information and news from Convergence 2014 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/dynamics. The opening keynote presentation and general session keynote speeches are available on the new virtual event platform for Convergence 2014 at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/atlanta14. Those who want to follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics Twitter community can do so at @MSFTDynamics and @MSFTConvergence using #Conv14.
About Microsoft Dynamics
At the heart of every successful business are the people who make things happen. Microsoft Dynamics designs modern business solutions that empower individuals with intuitive tools that allow them to do their best work. Our proactive, easy-to-use business applications adapt to the way people and systems work, enabling businesses to rapidly deploy and be forward-looking in an ever-changing world.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* Total Economic Impact Study of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft, December 2013
** CRM Online list price shown per user, per month in USD; actual pricing might vary by geography. Other fees may apply for add-on services, such as additional storage, testing and production instances. Prices are exclusive of any fees you may incur to procure Internet connectivity.
SOURCE Microsoft Corp.