Microsoft: Competitive in Customer Service

Microsoft Now has a Serious Customer Service Offering: Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

December 5, 2016

Here's an overview of Microsoft's latest customer service offering: Dynamics 365 Customer Service. It can be deployed in-house or in the cloud. It includes knowledge management, case management, customer portal, tools for creating customer communities, social customer service, and a graphical use interface for managing all fo this. It integrates into Microsoft's other applications to provide a competitive customer service offering for Microsoft shops. It is only appropriate for enterprise accounts and large non-profits. Microsoft does not yet offer a competitive SMB offering for customer service.

NETTING IT OUT

We published an in depth evaluation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service on November 30, 2016. This is the first time in a decade that Microsoft has had a customer service solution worth consideration, in our opinion.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of a suite of integrated Microsoft applications that can be deployed on premise or in the cloud. As with the other applications in the suite, the customer service it provides seamless integration with Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, and a range of other Microsoft apps. This article provides a brief overview of some of the highlights of our in-depth product evaluation.

Now a Serious Contender in Customer Service

In our more than 10 years of customer service research, publishing, and consulting, we’d never before published a report about a Microsoft offering. It’s not because Microsoft hasn’t had a customer service offering, or that the company hasn’t had success in business applications.

Since 2003, its CRM suite has always included a customer service app. And, its Dynamics CRM brand has built a customer base of tens of thousands of accounts and millions of users.

But, Dynamics CRM had always been more about its sales app and that app’s integration with Office and Outlook. Customer service capabilities have been a bit limited.

No longer.

Microsoft's High End Customer Service Offering

Beginning in November 2015, the improvements in two new releases—CRM 2016 and CRM 2016 Update 1—and, in November 2016, the introduction of the new Dynamics 365 brand have strengthened, even transformed, Microsoft’s customer service app and have made Microsoft a player to consider in the high end of the customer service space.

Dynamics 365 Editions are Enterprise Edition and Business Edition. Microsoft positions Business Edition for 10 to 250 users and a maximum of 300 users. The company positions Enterprise Edition for more than 250 users.

Business Edition includes the Dynamics 365 for Financials App. Microsoft plans to add Sales and Marketing Apps to Business Edition sometime during 2017. Microsoft did not provide any plans to add a customer service App to Business Edition. So, for the time being, and this is significant, Microsoft does not have a customer service offering for the SMB market.....

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