Tag Archives: Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft cheers on girls who like science and the women they grow up to be – Weekend Reading: March 13th Edition

Welcome to Weekend Reading, with stories about Microsoft encouraging girls – and women – in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), an exciting first partnership event with Real Madrid, and four creative folks who are helping design the future of Microsoft.

In “Girls Do Science,” a video from Microsoft released for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we hear from young girls who like science – a lot. But in some cases, they already feel discouraged from pursuing it because of the stereotype that science is more for boys than girls. Seven out of 10 girls are interested in science but only 2 in 10 will pursue it as a career. “I built a garage door opener and I’m working on my own website,” says Anya, one girl in the video. Then she is handed a letter from Microsoft. “Dear Anya, Keep opening those garage doors. Our doors will always be open for you.” Also this week, “Big Dream,” an inspiring film about seven young women breaking barriers as they follow their passion in the STEM fields, was shown at South by Southwest Education (SXSWedu), a spinoff of the SXSW festivals of music, interactive and film.

The partnership between Microsoft and Real Madrid scored its first goal Thursday, when players met thousands of their fans via a newly created online “Fan Sticker Album.” The album features thousands of fans from 118 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, a kind of United Nations of football fans for one of the world’s most popular teams. Twelve fans from the album were chosen to participate in a Skype video chat with players at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain. “This is what our partnership with Real Madrid is all about – bringing people together in a different dimension of community and connectedness,” said Orlando Ayala, Microsoft corporate vice president and chairman of Emerging Markets.

Real Madrid, Skype

Real Madrid fan Karla Esther Aguilera Rioboó of Venezuela chats with Real Madrid players, from left, Marcelo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Chicharito, via Skype on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

We met some of the imaginative people who are helping to design the future of Microsoft: Kat Holmes, Operating Systems design director; Jonah Sterling, Azure creative director; Yeongkyu Yoo, Devices creative director; and Ralf Groene, Surface creative director. “As a kid, I adored ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and straying from the path,” Holmes tells writer Emily Alhadeff. “Curiosity and play are central to design.” You can hear more from Holmes, as well as from principal researcher Bill Buxton, in the second episode of Next at Microsoft’s podcast series on inventive people.

Weekend Reading

Clockwise, from top left: Yeongkyu Yoo, Kat Holmes, Ralf Groene and Jonah Sterling. Photo by Brian Smale / © Microsoft

For the 5th year in a row, Microsoft is on the list of The World’s Most Ethical Companies, announced this week by the Ethisphere Institute. Also this week, Microsoft was ranked as one of the world’s most innovative companies in the Internet of Things (IoT), according to “Fast Company.” The magazine highlights how Microsoft IoT has helped improve health care, elevator maintenance and emergency response systems.

Many of us think of Lync as being used for work meetings, but it’s also being used to help new moms bond with their babies when they’re in neonatal intensive care, and can’t be together. At Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, patient Maribel Castillo was “stressing” from her hospital bed about not being able to see her newborn son in the neonatal intensive care unit. So she was thrilled when a nurse handed a tablet showing her son via a secure Lync connection. “Even though you can’t be there, the next best thing is to be able to watch him,” she says in the video, below.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service became available from local data centers in Japan. With the announcement, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online joins Office 365 and Microsoft Azure in “providing the complete Microsoft Cloud for Business to our customers from these local datacenters,” said Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. By the end of this month, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be deployed in six global regions, with Japan and Australia joining North America, European Union, Asia-Pacific and South America.

If your Spidey sense is tingling, it might be because of the fun games that await you. In “Disney Infinity 2.0: Play Without Limits,” you can create your own worlds and games with more than 60 characters from Marvel and Disney, including new play sets from “The Avengers,” “Spider-Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The latest update to “Sonic Dash” gives your favorite hedgehog extra points when you unleash Sonic’s dash move. In “TurnOn,” a new game exclusive to Windows Phone, the lights are out and you have the power to make it bright again. “Age of Empires: Castle Siege” is updated, with a new musket tower that can attack over short and long distances, and new economic and military tech upgrades. Meanwhile, players have been dodging falling boulders, collecting gems and avoiding scary enemies with Rockford for 30 years, but time flies – and you will, too, in action-puzzler “Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary Premium,” which has 240 levels and physics galore. And, basketball fans – be sure to install NCAA March Madness Live app, free from the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, before the tournament starts Tuesday.

Weekend Reading, games

“Disney Infinity 2.0: Play Without Limits”

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we introduced the thinnest desktop set Microsoft has ever created.

hardware, Weekend Reading

The new Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop wirelessly pairs to your laptop or tablet.

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. Rest up, relax and breathe. And we’ll see you next Friday!

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

Reinventing productivity with the Microsoft cloud for business

BARCELONA, Spain — Nov. 4, 2014 — In a sold-out Convergence 2014 Europe business conference, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) on Tuesday highlighted the wave of innovation designed to enable organizations to benefit from the Microsoft cloud for business through the combination of Microsoft Dynamics business solutions, Office 365 productivity applications and the power of Microsoft Azure.

In the opening keynote delivered to business leaders from 71 countries, Microsoft Business Solutions executive vice president Kirill Tatarinov featured customers, including City of Barcelona, Ingram Micro, JJ Foods, Nagra, Onduline and the Spanish Association Against Cancer that are differentiating themselves with Microsoft Dynamics solutions through the power of the Microsoft cloud. Tatarinov showcased new technologies that bring machine learning and mobile capabilities to help businesses increase productivity, demonstrating capabilities of the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 release, the interoperability between Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 and Office 365, and new capabilities to Microsoft Dynamics AX in the latest update to its flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.

In addition, he announced a new partnership with Thunderhead.com to build interoperability between the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform and Thunderhead.com’s ONE Engagement Hub.

“To better engage with their customers, businesses are looking to the cloud for greater collaboration and the right insights to help them be more productive,” Tatarinov said. “Microsoft is reimagining and reinventing productivity by harnessing the power of the cloud through a flexible platform in Azure, a cloud productivity suite in Office 365, and customer-centric business applications delivered through Microsoft Dynamics solutions that are helping organizations transform the way they engage with customers and run their business.”

Breaking silos between sales and marketing

The company on Tuesday announced that the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 release will be generally available in December 2014. The new release is designed to address the growing need for businesses to deliver seamless experiences to their customers by helping them break down the barriers between divisions and collaborate like never before. New capabilities in this release, showcased on Tuesday, include advancements in natural user interface and integration with Cortana, the intelligent personal assistant on Windows Phone 8.1. With Cortana, users will be able to set up meetings and reminders; search for contacts, accounts and activities; view customer lists; and create new customer records — all with voice commands.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 will also include significant updates to its platform capabilities, enabling businesses to create predefined and configurable processes with enhanced branching logic for complex scenarios, near-real-time calculations and roll-ups for business information, and client API enhancements that will allow automation and consistency across devices. Using these design elements, Microsoft is adding new Industry Templates for a number of specific industries, such as financial services, retail, public sector, manufacturing and professional services. Twenty-seven templates will be available by the end of 2014, helping customers jump-start their implementation with industry-specific requirements.

Microsoft also reinforced the benefits of its Sales Productivity solution, which gives sales professionals the leading productivity tools that work seamlessly with business applications to enable them to do more and achieve more. The new solution is offered to customers at a promotional price of $65 (52.70 euros) per user, per month. Existing users of Office 365 can upgrade to the Sales Productivity solution for $45 (34.50 euros) per user, per month.

At the event, the company also announced a new partnership with Thunderhead.com that will bring to market a complete omni-channel customer engagement solution based on the interoperability of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform and Thunderhead.com’s ONE Engagement Hub. The solution gives chief marketing officers and customer experience leaders the ability to build customer engagement by tying together customer insight, context and journey behavior and enhancing omni-channel customer experiences with greater visualization and analytics capabilities across all touch points.

Transforming business with the cloud

Microsoft also on Tuesday introduced a new update to Microsoft Dynamics AX, its flagship ERP solution that harnesses the power of the cloud to help organizations transform their businesses and deliver amazing customer experiences. This latest update enables businesses to combine all the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Azure in a full end-to-end cloud solution. It enables companies to run hybrid environments with an optimal mix of development, test and production instances, and it adds a new, modern Point-of-Sales client for Windows tablets and phones, giving in-store sales associates the ability to access product and customer information at their fingertips to deliver great shopping experiences. In addition, this update adds capabilities that streamline warehouse and transportation operations to help organizations fulfill orders quickly and flexibly to exceed their customers’ expectations.

Using the cloud, Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS), the Microsoft Azure-based application lifecycle management service for Microsoft Dynamics AX, provides new implementation methodologies, based on industry best practices, to help organizations drive business process innovation and implementation and get value from these projects faster. Giving businesses the ability to design, develop, test and deploy their projects in the Microsoft cloud, LCS is increasing agility and saving time for thousands of customers and partners. With the cloud-powered support service in LCS, Microsoft is reimagining the support experience for partners and customers. Businesses that currently use the service are realizing a significant 60 percent drop in days-to-resolution of their support cases.

The new update for Microsoft Dynamics AX will be available to customers in December 2014. More information on the update and LCS can be found at Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Customers such as J&J Foods are benefiting from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 as they use machine learning capabilities to turn automated processes into intelligent processes for a more personalized experience for their customers. The capability, demonstrated during the conference keynote, is based on the implementation of a machine learning algorithm in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 that is used by J&J Foods’ call center agents to engage with their customers directly on the Web storefront. The cross-channel implementation of machine learning-infused processes has helped J&J Foods improve customer service, better understand customers and in just four weeks increase its Internet sales revenue by 3.5 percent.

As part of the event, Microsoft also demonstrated the new Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 release that adds a new tablet and touch-optimized user experience, enabling small and midsized business customers to access their company data and processes regardless of location or what device they choose to use. It adds faster access to information that matters with personalized home pages that let users view their most important business data and key performance indicators at a glance. New capabilities within this release also radically simplify invoice design and production through new interoperability with Microsoft Word. Power users can now create customized, branded invoice templates on their own in Microsoft Word without having to engage a technical consultant. The release also includes additional optimizations to deploy in the cloud on Microsoft Azure and, with Office 365 to lower costs, increase flexibility and boost employee productivity.

Advancements in Microsoft Dynamics cloud solutions follow closely on the heels of several enhancements Microsoft announced last month to its hyper-scale, enterprise-grade, hybrid cloud platform, as well as updates to Office 365, which now include unlimited storage with OneDrive. All these updates combined underscore the company’s commitment to its cloud solutions to help customers do more and achieve more.

More information

More information and news from Convergence 2014 Europe is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/dynamics. The opening keynote presentation and general session keynote speeches are available on the virtual event platform at http://convergence.evo-td.com. 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.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. 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 http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.””

From manufacturers to retailers, European companies run on Microsoft Dynamics in the cloud

Companies big and small are turning to cloud technologies to keep their customers happy. At this year’s Convergence 2014 Europe, Microsoft is celebrating a handful of companies doing just that, and recognizing them with the 2014 Europe Customer Excellence Awards. The winners are diverse in many ways, but they all have one commonality: They understand the value that business insights and collaboration tools can play in delivering amazing customer experiences.

One such company is Victrex, this year’s winner of the Industry Excellence: Manufacturing award. The leading producer of cutting-edge polymeric solutions is in the business of creating innovative technologies that help customers maximize performance. Unfortunately, its legacy business management solution wasn’t nimble enough to keep pace.

Companies across industries, from medical to industrial, rely on Victrex’s raw material supplies to create durable products that last — but Victrex was missing opportunities because of its internal system complexity. More than 60 independent systems were in place, making it difficult to collect data and to share information across business groups. These challenges drove operational costs up and manufacturing efficiency down.

“A fundamental change had to happen if we wanted to grow bigger than we are today,” says James Fleming, group IT director at Victrex. “We were disconnected across the company, and we were basing decision-making on what we believed rather than on hard facts.”

The company worked with Microsoft Cloud Partner of the Year Zero2Ten to evaluate and implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM within 12 weeks; Microsoft Dynamics AX is currently being deployed throughout the business using the U.K.-based partner IBRL. Fleming acknowledges that the manufacturing industry as a whole is over-reliant on manual processes, and that Victrex gains a competitive advantage by consolidating its disparate systems into one cloud solution.

As they’re rolling out the full suite, Victrex employees already have improved visibility into sales and supplies, so they can manage customer demands in a more efficient way. They now see sales cycle data, cost of manufacture, warehouse turnaround rates, and many other trends they hadn’t previously tracked.

“I love to deploy software solutions that make my colleagues’ lives easier,” Fleming says. “To see the reaction when we show how much more effective they can be in a shorter amount of time is priceless.”

Since implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Victrex experienced a 13 percent revenue increase in the first six months of 2014, compared with the same timeframe in 2013. The whole organization now has a view into customer dashboards, and improved business insights have motivated Victrex to consider deploying other Microsoft solutions, such as Office 365 and Microsoft Power BI.

Even young startups can reap benefits from a customized CRM solution. North South Wines, a wine importer based in the U.K. and winner of the Technology Innovation: Small and Medium Business award, needed a cost-effective system that allowed its employees to remain productive and access information from virtually anywhere.

“All our employees travel a great deal and work remotely,” says Hamish Gillespie, finance and operations director at North South Wines. “We need to have access to all company data wherever we are to deliver excellent customer service.”

Gillespie and his colleagues are passionate wine lovers who aim to import and deliver high-quality wines at low prices. Cashflow was a major challenge as North South Wines prepared to open its doors in May 2014, and the eight-person team needed to deploy a user-friendly system for efficient cash management to be successful.

North South Wines decided an end-to-end cloud solution would best meet business and customer needs.

“Our customers have high expectations,” Gillespie says. “Implementing a cloud-based solution avoids the need to invest in IT infrastructure, and it means we have a solution that can quickly adapt and scale to projected growth.”

Partnering with TVT Cloud Ltd., North South Wines built its Web presence using Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Office 365 on Microsoft Azure. From start to finish, implementation took less than a month, and the solution’s go-live date coincided with the company’s launch. The low cost enabled North South Wines to begin sales operations with minimal operational, IT and administrative expenses.

When working directly with customers, employees can quickly pull up information about wine inventory, helping to delight customers on the spot. Important decisions are based on the sales data that Microsoft Dynamics NAV provides, including sales, margins, financial reports and logistics.

“Our business model is not only cost-effective, but it adds value by helping us recognize trends and deliver on those in a timely fashion,” Gillespie says. “We want to deliver good wines to good people. Microsoft Dynamics NAV gives us instant access to live data, ensuring we sell the best available — whether it’s red, white or something in between.”

To learn more about Victrex, North South Wines and other companies reinventing productivity with Microsoft Dynamics, visit http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/europe14.

Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band: Getting in shape has never been so productive — Weekend Reading: Oct. 31st Edition

This week, we’ve got stories about the new Microsoft Health platform and Microsoft Band device, a new partnership with the Special Olympics and new cloud services and mobility solutions announced at TechEd Europe.

Microsoft Health, an exciting new platform, includes a cloud service where consumers and industry can store and combine health and fitness data to gain powerful insights using Microsoft’s Intelligence Engine. Those insights include: which exercises burned the most calories during a workout, recommended recovery time based on the intensity of a workout, and the amount of restful vs. restless sleep you’ve gotten. The free Microsoft Health app is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Activity-tracking devices like the new Microsoft Band, smart watches and mobile phones, plus services like RunKeeper or MyFitnessPal connect to Microsoft Health. The Microsoft Band, designed to be worn whether you’re at the gym or on the job, has 10 smart sensors for 24-hour heart rate monitoring, calorie burn measurement, advanced sleep quality tracking and more. It also keeps you productive and connected at a glance with helpful, smart notifications including incoming calls, emails, texts and social updates, as well as access to Cortana.


Microsoft announced a three-year, multimillion dollar partnership with the Special Olympics that will modernize the nonprofit organization’s technology and place it in the cloud. The Azure-based games management system will enable instant access to real-time updates and athlete information. Microsoft also will sponsor the summer 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles (and provide 800 Surface tablets and 1,200 Lumia phones to track all events at the Games, while connecting volunteers across multiple venues), and the winter 2017 World Games in Austria. The company has also committed to raising additional funds for the nonprofit, pledging $1 million over the life of the partnership in the spirit of Microsoft’s company-wide Giving Campaign.

Microsoft-Special Olympics

New cloud services, mobility solutions, APIs, tools and an expanded ecosystem of partner solutions were announced at TechEd Europe. They’re all designed to help IT professionals and developers compete and thrive in today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world. Microsoft also announced management, security, privacy and compliance enhancements for the Enterprise Mobility Suite and Office 365. “We are using the power of our cloud platform — Azure, Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics — to deliver technology solutions that empower IT professionals, developers and end users to do more,” said Jason Zander, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure.


It’s a holiday bundle bonanza: Xbox One will be $349 for a limited time, starting Nov. 2, and there are several exclusive bundles to choose from, including the Xbox One “Assassin’s Creed” Bundle and the Xbox One Special Edition “Sunset Overdrive” Bundle, each $349. There’s also the Xbox One “Assassin’s Creed” Bundle with Kinect, which comes with “Assassin’s Creed: Unity,” “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” and “Dance Central Spotlight,” for $449. You also might be salivating over the Xbox One Limited Edition “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” Bundle, with a 1TB hard drive, custom console, custom controller and Limited Edition exoskeleton, plus a digital copy of the “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition.” That bundle is $449 and is available starting Nov. 3.

There are no limits anymore when it comes to OneDrive cloud storage for Office 365 subscribers, a change that took effect this week for Office 365 Home, Personal and University customers, and will be rolled out during the coming months, says Chris Jones, corporate vice president for OneDrive & SharePoint. “For OneDrive for Business customers, unlimited storage is now listed on the Office 365 roadmap and we will begin updating the First Release customers in 2015, aligned with our promise to provide ample notification for significant service changes.”

One Drive, Office 365, cloud storage

Have some ghoulish, game-playing fun this weekend with “Minecraft” and the Steampunk and Halloween Texture Packs that will give your worlds a spooky look, and are free for all Xbox One and Xbox 360 miners worldwide. “Despicable Me: Minion Rush” has an update for Windows and Windows Phone that includes a new Frankenstein Minion character and haunted decorations, and lets you storm Vector’s Fortress and the Bunker. If you’re out trick-or-treating, you might miss the first airing of “Remaking the Legend – Halo 2: Anniversary Documentary,” but it will be shown again this weekend on www.twitch.tv/Xbox, and you can also download it for free on Xbox Video, or watch it on the Halo Channel on Nov. 11.

Minecraft, Halloween, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Thanks for reading this edition of Weekend Reading. Have a fun – and safe – Halloween!

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

Microsoft Dynamics CRM redefines sales productivity for businesses today

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 8, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) on Wednesday announced that it will offer a new Sales Productivity solution that combines Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional with Office 365 and Power BI. This powerful combination gives sales professionals the leading productivity tools that work seamlessly with business applications to enable them to do more and achieve more. The new solution will be offered to customers at a promotional price of $65 per user, per month. Existing users of Office 365 can upgrade to the Sales Productivity solution for $45 per user, per month. This is almost 50 percent lower than comparable offerings in the industry. This offer is available in all markets worldwide where Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Office 365 and Power BI are available, starting Wednesday.

Productivity is an important component of any business applications offering, and that is especially critical for sales organizations where people need to quickly respond to customers’ needs. By combining Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, a recognized leader in CRM, with Office 365, the leading productivity solution in the market, Microsoft is empowering people to work across their entire enterprise and beyond with partners and customers directly. And by bringing Outlook, Lync, Skype and Yammer for social collaboration into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online experience, the company is enabling true sales productivity for customers.

“The importance of combining powerful productivity tools with business applications is something that Microsoft Dynamics has recognized all along — indeed it is core to our strategy,” said Bob Stutz, corporate vice president, Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “We have been building our products to work seamlessly together from day one, and this new offering makes it even easier for our customers to benefit from this combination of solutions today: Microsoft Dynamics CRM plus Office 365 plus Power BI is a winning bet.”

Customers are already benefiting from the power of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with Office 365 and Power BI analytics. Businesses are choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online over competing vendors for its ability to work seamlessly with Office 365 along with its world-class and intuitive process-driven user experience and real-time insights through easy-to-use tools that empower users to get the answers they need.

Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd., one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton chose Microsoft’s Sales Productivity solution over Salesforce.com to enable the firm to offer its clients something the competition cannot — personalized service and closer relationships.

Grant Thornton has revenue in excess of $1.3 billion with more than 500 partners and 6,000 employees and has seen some incredible results. One of its key goals as a business was to increase team collaboration among its sales associates. With Microsoft solutions in place, Grant Thornton has seen a 700 percent increase in the number of contacts in its system over the legacy solution and a 450 percent increase in the number of opportunities. That translates to five-and-a-half times more deals managed in the firm’s system. With Microsoft, Grant Thornton’s sales teams are able to easily identify trends affecting their customers so they can proactively reach out to them. The sales teams’ pipeline has increased, their win rate is 39 percent higher and, most impressively, their average win value has increased by 36 percent. Not only are they closing more deals, those deals are significantly larger. These insights into client demand “make very smart people even smarter, which creates a more personalized client experience,” said Rick Stow, head of Client Relationship Management at Grant Thornton.

CSX Transportation, a business with more than 31,000 employees, $12 billion in annual revenue and 21,000 miles of railway in 23 states across the United States and two Canadian provinces, also selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM. More than 1,300 people at CSX Transportation use Microsoft Dynamics CRM on a day-to-day basis, and the company has seen improvement in its productivity, collaboration, ability to identify new business opportunities and relations with customers.

“Now, all related customer information is available in one solution, helping people collaborate more effectively across the company,” said Vicki Burton, director of CRM for CSX Transportation. “And having a single tool to manage much of their day-to-day work has also meant a boost to productivity for CSX staff. Before Microsoft Dynamics CRM, people had to go to multiple systems to get the information they needed. Now, they just go to one.”

Metro Bank was founded on a simple precept: to offer the best customer experience, how, when and where the customer wants it. It chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Office 365, Yammer and Power BI analytics to give its people the apps they need to support the personalized interactions that are the hallmark of its business and to be operationally flexible. For a company like Metro Bank — where customer experience is everything — Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Office 365 has been essential to its business.

Microsoft partners around the world, including Microsoft 2014 Global CRM Partner of the Year Hitachi Solutions, continue to see success with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

“While many of Hitachi Solutions’ customers are already using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Office 365 and Power BI in combination, this new solution, which is simple, powerful and affordable, is a perfect opportunity for companies looking to boost their sales productivity,” said Mike Gillis, chief operating officer, Hitachi Solutions America. “In fact, many of our successes come from helping clients migrate off alternative cloud-based solutions, which promise low monthly fees but frustrate customers when they receive a bill for over double that amount.”

PowerObjects, a top Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner, has grown its business by over 1,000 percent in the past six years as a result of picking Microsoft over Salesforce.com. It expects to add thousands more Microsoft Dynamics CRM users over the next few years.

Other partners worldwide, such as Ciber in the United Kingdom and OnDemand4You in Germany, are also excited about the opportunity and potential the new Sales Productivity solution opens up for them to help their customers be more efficient and deliver amazing experiences.

More about the Sales Productivity offering from Microsoft can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/sales-productivity-promo.aspx. In addition, all can follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community @MSDynamicsCRM at http://www.twitter.com/msdynamicscrm, #MSDYNCRM.

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.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. 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 http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Weekend Reading: Aug. 22nd Edition – Microsoft and TracFone partner on a pilot project and the HTC One (M8) comes to Windows

As summer winds down, Weekend Reading delivers stories on a project that helps diabetes patients, a profile on the chief technical officer of Microsoft’s Cloud and Services organization, the debut of the HTC One (M8) for Windows smartphone and Steve Ballmer stepping down from the Microsoft Board of Directors.

A new pilot project, in conjunction with Health Choice Network, will provide Windows Phone devices to diabetes patients to help them better manage their care. Microsoft and pre-paid wireless leader TracFone announced Thursday a better way for underserved and high-risk populations to access and keep up with their care, on the go.

Microsoft and TracFone collaboration on pilot project

Microsoft and TracFone collaboration on pilot project

A profile on Dave Campbell, Chief Technical Officer of Microsoft’s Cloud and Services, uncovers why he’s disruptive. And by that, we mean how one of the company’s elite corps of Technical Fellows can be considered transformative, tearing something down to create something new and better.

Dave Campbell

Dave Campbell

Tuesday, we saw the debut of the HTC One (M8) for Windows. It’s the first device to ship in the U.S. with the Windows Phone 8.1 Update, will be available exclusively through Verizon Wireless online and in stores. It comes loaded with features such as Cortana, Live Folders and Action Center. It’s made from a single block of aluminum, and has a 5-inch Super LCD3 1080p HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

HTC One (M8) for Windows

HTC One (M8) for Windows

Steve Ballmer steps down as Microsoft board member. Effective Aug. 19, 2014, Steve Ballmer has stepped down from the Microsoft Board of Directors. Read Ballmer’s letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Nadella’s response.

A profile on teenager Alejandra Tristan, who has a rare genetic disorder that made it impossible to use a mouse or computer, revealed how Windows 8 has helped transform her life. Tristan suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which makes her joints fragile and loose. With its customizable design, enhanced accessibility features and touchscreen, Windows 8 has helped Tristan reclaim her studies, her friends and her voice. She writes research papers by gently touching the on-screen keyboard and dictates notes using speech recognition software. When she works on vocabulary words, she uses digital notecards.

Bing Maps crossed a major milestone: more than 100 cities are now available for viewing from a street level perspective and in 3D, including Atlanta, Las Vegas and Omaha. These could come in handy if you’re planning to visit any of these places and want to preview the sights to get oriented. You can see Streetside imagery in both Bing Maps and the Bing Maps Preview app exclusively on Windows 8.1. With this release, Streetside has more than 100 cities. In 3D, more than 125 cities are available through the Bing Maps Preview app.

Las Vegas new on Bing Maps Streetside and 3D

Las Vegas new on Bing Maps Streetside and 3D

Apps and games ranged from working out with the Seattle Seahawks champion quarterback to working on creatures that have invaded a mad professor’s brain. Athlete Fit with Russell Wilson for Xbox Fitness is now available exclusively on Xbox One now and free with Xbox Live Gold memberships. The App of the Week is also on Xbox One: MTV. The weekly Red Stripe Deals included sales of Windows and Windows Phone apps and games – slashed in price by at least 50 percent, and sometimes free. AccuWeather has launched a new version of its Weather for Life app for Windows Phone, which has MinuteCast, a minute-by-minute precipitation forecast for your exact street address or GPS location. And then there’s “Tentacles: Enter the Mind” from the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store, that plunges you into what Blogging Windows describes as “the crazy story of Dr. Phluff and his tentacled mascot, Lemmy. In the game, they embark on a journey inside the mad Professor to take out the creatures that have overtaken Phluff, progressing through the many layers of his mind from Super Ego to Paranoia.”

Athlete Fit with Russell Wilson for Xbox Fitness

Athlete Fit with Russell Wilson for Xbox Fitness

The Lotus F1 Teamuses Microsoft Dynamics AX under the hood to manage the design, manufacturing and testing of the 20,000-plus parts on each of its cars.

Photo credit: Steve Wiens

Photo credit: Steve Wiens

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we challenged fans to tweet an #8WordEssay about this photo, for a chance to win a Surface Pro 3 prize package. Join us on our page for more info on how to win.

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we challenged fans to tweet an #8WordEssay about this photo, for a chance to win a Surface Pro 3 prize package

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we challenged fans to tweet an #8WordEssay about this photo, for a chance to win a Surface Pro 3 prize package

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. Hope you’re enjoying summer’s last hurrah! See you next week!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Weekend Reading: Aug. 8th Edition — Surface Pro 3 to launch in 25 more countries and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online adds new markets

Summer slowdown? Not really. We learned that Surface Pro 3 is heading to 25 more countries soon, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is adding new markets and Peggy Johnson was named executive vice president of Business Development. So, let’s jump in:

Surface Pro 3, already in the U.S., Japan and Canada, will be available in 25 more countries starting Aug. 28: Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom. All versions of the device, featuring 4th-generation Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 models, will be available from Microsoftstore.com, Surface retail partners and Authorized Surface Resellers.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online went live in 17 additional markets, bringing the total number of global markets it is available in to more than 50. Those 17 new markets are: Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, U.S. Virgin Islands, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates. “Together with Microsoft Azure and Office 365, CRM Online is a critical part of the Microsoft Cloud for Business that delivers experiences that users love and businesses can count on,” wrote Bob Stutz, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a blog post.

Margaret L. (Peggy) Johnson was named executive vice president of Business Development, reporting to Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella. Johnson joins Microsoft from Qualcomm, where she most recently served as executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and was president of global market development. In that role, she was responsible for commercializing new business opportunities and developing strategic relationships. She has a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from San Diego State University.

Peggy Johnson

Margaret L. (Peggy) Johnson

Some NFL players won’t just have a football in their hands this season — they’ll also be grabbing a Surface and using Microsoft’s Sideline Viewing System App to make it easier and faster for them and for their coaches to see pre- and post-snap photos. They’ll be able to review what went well and what didn’t in previous possessions, as well as strategize ways to attack the opposing side. It’s all part of Microsoft’s groundbreaking partnership with the NFL. Surface, NFL, Sideline Viewing System App

Never give up. Ever. That philosophy lives big for Mario Bonfante Jr., whose story we learned about this week. Bonfante, who started racing when he was a young teen, was in an accident that resulted in his becoming a quadriplegic. Because of his passion for racing, his competitive nature and some determined engineering, Bonfante, now 24, is back in the racing game. He also looks to “Forza Motorsport” to hone his driving skills.

In the app world, PBS KIDS Video could be your new best friend, especially if you’re planning any late summer road trips, or even for the day-to-day drive to and from school. The app, available for Windows and Windows Phone, has 1,000-plus videos from more than a dozen shows, including “Curious George,” “Dinosaur Train” and “Sesame Street.” Want to go wild with your selfies? You can touch them up with one of the most popular apps for doing so, Facetune, now available for Windows Phone. Then, when you’re done taking them, you can use Wal-Mart’s PhotoMart app to order up prints, ready in one hour or less. The app is exclusive to Windows Phone. Check out the NFL Preseason Live Windows app. With it, you can watch every game in high definition live or on demand. For Xbox One, STARZ Play is now available for your binge-watching pleasure, delivering hit movies and original series, free with your STARZ subscription. And, if you missed the recent premiere of the “awesomely bad” “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” you can still catch up with the Syfy Now app for Xbox One. PBS KIDS Video app, Windows Phone

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we prepped for back to school by awarding an HP ENVY TouchSmart Notebook to the second winner of our #8WordEssay contest! Join us on our page for the next chance at a prize.

Microsoft Facebook page From Snaps this week, National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez captured his epic journey to Mount Everest using the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 930.

Stephen-Alvarez-Mount Everest-11

Photo credit: Stephen Alvarez

Okay, now you can rest – we hope – this weekend. Hope it’s a great one for you, and we’ll see you back here next week.

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff