Tag Archives: engage

Microsoft and Genesys expand partnership to help enterprises seize the power of the cloud for better customer experiences – Stories

Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure is a new trusted and secure cloud offering built to ease the transition to the cloud for large enterprises

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Tony Bates, CEO of Genesys
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (left), and Tony Bates, CEO of Genesys (right)

REDMOND, Wash., and SAN FRANCISCO — Jan. 23, 2020 — Microsoft Corp. and Genesys have expanded their partnership to provide enterprises with a new cloud service for contact centers that enables them to deliver superior interactions for customers. With the omnichannel customer experience solution Genesys Engage™ running on Microsoft Azure, enterprises have the security and scalability they need to manage the complexities involved with connecting every touchpoint throughout the customer journey.

Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure will be available in late 2020. To accelerate adoption, the companies are providing Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure through a joint co-selling and go-to-market strategy. Customers will benefit from a streamlined buying process that puts them on a clear path to the cloud.

The power of Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure

With its multitenant architecture, Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure gives customers the ability to innovate faster and improve their business agility. In addition, by running the Genesys customer experience solution on this dependable cloud environment, enterprises will be able to maximize their investment in Microsoft Azure through simplified management and maintenance requirements, centralized IT expertise, reduced costs, and more. These solutions make it easier for enterprises to leverage cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies so they can gain deeper insights and provide tailor-made experiences for their customers.

Nemo Verbist, senior vice president of Intelligent Business and Intelligent Workplace at NTT Ltd., one of the top five global technology and services providers for the world’s largest enterprises and a partner of both Microsoft and Genesys, sees great value in the partnership. Verbist said, “Many of our customers have standardized on Microsoft solutions, and Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure gives them an additional opportunity to take advantage of their investment. Together, these solutions provide enterprises a secure and powerful foundation to communicate with their customers in creative and meaningful ways.”

“Large contact centers receive an exceptionally high volume of inquiries across a growing list of channels and platforms. One of the biggest challenges is connecting the details of every interaction across all channels to ensure each customer has a seamless experience,” said Kate Johnson, president, Microsoft U.S. “By leveraging Microsoft’s Azure cloud and AI technologies, Genesys is helping enterprises create a seamless customer journey with Microsoft’s trusted, secure and scalable platform.”

“We are thrilled to give large enterprises the opportunity to run their mission-critical customer experience platform in the cloud environment they already know and trust — Microsoft Azure,” said Peter Graf, chief strategy officer of Genesys. “Together, we’re making it simpler for even the most complex organizations to transition to the cloud, enabling them to unlock efficiencies and accelerate innovation so they can build deeper connections with customers.”

The companies are also exploring and developing new integrations for Genesys and Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Azure Cognitive Services to streamline collaboration and communications for employees and customers. More information will be released about these upcoming integrations later this year.

Register for the upcoming webinar, Genesys Engage + Microsoft Azure: Transform Your Customer Experience in the Cloud, to learn more on March 4.

To learn more about how Genesys and Microsoft are partnering, please visit the Microsoft Transform blog.

About Genesys

Every year, Genesys® delivers more than 70 billion remarkable customer experiences for organizations in over 100 countries. Through the power of the cloud and AI, our technology connects every customer moment across marketing, sales and service on any channel, while also improving employee experiences. Genesys pioneered Experience as a ServiceSM so organizations of any size can provide true personalization at scale, interact with empathy, and foster customer trust and loyalty. This is enabled by Genesys CloudTM, an all-in-one solution and the world’s leading public cloud contact center platform, designed for rapid innovation, scalability and flexibility. Visit www.genesys.com.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

©2020 Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved. Genesys and the Genesys logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Genesys. All other company names and logos may be registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.

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Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, +1 (425) 638-7777, [email protected]

Shaunna Morgan, Genesys Media Relations, +1 (317) 493-4241, [email protected]

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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Salesforce.org Education Cloud updates enhance student engagement

Students will be able to better engage with school staff and track their college coursework with the help of some new features in Salesforce.org Education Cloud.

These features can help students and staff get a better view of the student journey throughout the college lifecycle without having to use external systems and help better connect K-12 schools in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Higher education is an industry that lags in terms of digital transformation, said Joyce Kim, a higher education analyst at Ovum. But Salesforce’s foundation in the enterprise has a lot of applicability to the higher-education model.

“Student retention and completion are really important targets for institutions but having the right data and insights that will help a school achieve those goals is a challenge,” Kim said.

Enriching the student journey

A feature that could have a widespread effect is Salesforce Advisor Link Pathways, which assists in degree planning and helps keep students on track to graduate.

Currently, staff and students in the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) use a third-party system called DegreeWorks to aid with degree planning. Students currently have access to Salesforce, but they can only see members of their success team and alerts from faculty — such as a student failed a test, and tasks such as applying for a summer internship, resume review and updating a LinkedIn profile. The Pathways feature can bring degree planning right into the Salesforce system, eliminating the need for a third-party app.

“The big thing for staff and students is being able to have everyone integrated onto one system, and be able to take action in real time,” said Karrie Mitchell, vice president of planning for the SMCCCD. “There are so many different systems that are siloed, and Education Cloud brings it all together.”

Student retention and completion are really important targets for institutions but having the right data and insights that will help a school achieve those goals is a challenge.
Joyce KimHigher education analyst, Ovum

Many students take extra credits and extra student loan debt that don’t add up to a degree, and this will help advisers proactively manage and support students to make it to their graduation goal, said Nathalie Mainland, senior vice president and general manager of Education Cloud at Salesforce.org. Salesforce.com acquired Salesforce.org in April 2019 at a price of $300 million.

Another feature that could be beneficial to SMCCCD is the Einstein Analytics template for recruitment and admissions, using the Education Data Architecture as a foundation. These templates may help admission staff find trends in each year’s class, including demographics, areas of study and who’s taking what classes — and prevent the need to manually input information into the system, Mitchell said.

“This gives you a 360-degree view of the student, and that’s critical for us,” said Daman Grewal, CTO at SMCCCD.

Other new features

Also, in the Education Data Architecture, Salesforce is adding application and test score objects, making it easier to bring in data for the recruiting and admission process, such as application data and test scores. Previously, schools were doing custom builds, and now there will be a standardized way to bring this data into the system, Mainland said.

Other new Salesforce Advisor Link features include queue management — the No. 1 most requested feature from customers — and Salesforce Advisor Link for onboarding and pre-advising. Queue management will enable students to proactively make an appointment with their advisers, and the onboarding and pre-advising feature help catch students that received offer letters to be sure they accept and show up on campus.

And while K-12 institutions already have been using Salesforce.org Education Cloud, there is now a K-12 architecture kit. This will accelerate schools’ ability to use Education Cloud and Salesforce technology, and users will no longer have to customize it themselves, Mainland said.

While Oracle, Ellucian, Jenzabar and Campus management are all competing vendors with end-to-end CRM suites, Salesforce is positioned competitively in the higher-education CRM market, Kim said.

“Because of its user-friendly interface and ability to use emerging technologies for things like predictive analytics and automating processes, end users find their products are intuitive and effective,” she said.  

Salesforce plans to dig into this Education Cloud news during Dreamforce, which takes place Nov. 19 to 22 in San Francisco, Mainland said.

The Education Data Architecture and K-12 architecture kits are both free, open source and available to both Salesforce and non-Salesforce users. They will be available on AppExchange and GitHub.

The Education Data Architecture features will be available in January. Everything else will be available by Nov. 18.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 updates add AI features to CRM

When incorporated into business applications, AI can provide insights into how best to engage potential customers, predict customer needs, answer questions and, ultimately, sell products. Microsoft hopes to enable all that in its latest Dynamics 365 updates for marketing, sales and customer service.

At the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2018, James Phillips, corporate vice president of the vendor’s business applications group, said in a keynote that the Dynamics 365 updates change the platform from something that feels like “a surveillance system” to a business intelligence (BI) tool incorporating AI-driven analytics.

CRM “is not a category of software that people are deeply in love with,” Phillips said. “A salesperson sits down and enters their leads and opportunities. It’s for someone else, so they can track the forecast, understand the pipeline [and] whether you’re doing your job or not.”

The granularity of the AI tools Microsoft added with the Dynamics 365 updates will likely be useful for the average end user, said Kate Leggett, analyst at Forrester Research.

“What Microsoft is really excelling at is infusing AI into all their applications to help the business user — whether it is a marketing or salesperson or customer service agent — make the right decisions for that particular interaction,” Leggett said.

Business-user AI: Microsoft’s strength

On the stage at the July 2018 conference, Tammy Mihailidis, vice president of digital customer engagement at Polaris, a maker of power sport vehicles based in Medina, Minn., spoke about how Polaris uses Dynamics 365’s marketing, sales and service platforms to give its customers a more personalized shopping experience.

Phillips said Dynamics 365 and its Power BI tools help organizations analyze traffic patterns of email and other communications and marry that information with LinkedIn to help understand where they should focus sales efforts.

Microsoft is trying to break down the artificial division between the front office and the back office by making the CRM assets available to all users.
Kate Leggettanalyst, Forrester Research

“As a salesperson, I have got a tool now that helps me focus my attention, helps guide me to success and isn’t simply about keeping track of what I am doing,” Phillips said.

Using Polaris as an example, Ryan Darby Martin, a senior product marketing manager at Microsoft, demonstrated how this process would look to both the customer — in this case, a fictional municipality — and to the Polaris agents, from within Dynamics 365.

The process with the Dynamics 365 updates includes a chatbot answering questions from a potential customer, predictive lead scoring recommending that sales staff focus on this particular lead, making the sale and welcoming the customer.

“We are actually able to track all of those interactions and calculate the health score of this particular lead,” Martin said. “We could see the time that was spent by us, but also the time that was spent by them. For example, I can actually see if they opened [an] email, if they clicked on the attachment, if they viewed the link [and] how many times they were responding to us.”

Getting AI into end users’ hands the end goal

The integration of the marketing, sales and service platform is an example of what Leggett said makes CRM features more accessible to end users.

“Microsoft is trying to break down the artificial division between the front office and the back office by making the CRM assets available to all users with its integration into Skype and the Office products,” she said. “They are making it very easy to consume. It’s probably one of the most inexpensive enterprise solutions available.”

In addition being a venue for unveiling the Dynamics 365 updates, the conference was an opportunity for Microsoft to announce it would be releasing updates to its suite of products twice a year. Each release will be preceded by release notes that will help IT professionals prepare for the software updates months in advance, according to Microsoft.

“Companies have to be continually innovating,” Leggett said. “You are getting new releases twice a year, and when that happens, you need to have change management processes in place to be able to understand the changes, communicate them to the end users and then roll out these new releases to you CRM users.”