Microsoft to integrate Twitter into its CRM

Microsoft to integrate Twitter into its CRM

Summary: Microsoft announced that its Dynamics CRM software will have a 'Social Networking Accelerator' component which will allow companies to monitor what customers are saying on Twitter.

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Microsoft has integrated Twitter functionality into its customer relationship management software.

The company announced on Friday that its Dynamics CRM software will have a 'Social Networking Accelerator' component which will allow companies to monitor what customers are saying on Twitter, and to provide information about products and services based on that data.

In a Microsoft statement, Ovum analyst Warren Wilson said: "In this market, insight into what customers are saying is extremely valuable."

While starting with Twitter, Dynamics CRM will have further social-networking components added to it in future releases. Social Networking Accelerator will be available "in the next few weeks", Microsoft said.

The release lags CRM competitor Salesforce.com, which in March produced software that would integrate Twitter functionality into its Service Cloud offering. Salesforce CRM for Twitter is designed to allow companies to search, monitor and join conversations taking place on Twitter, while using Service Cloud. The Service Cloud software captures and aggregates communications on cloud platforms including Google and Facebook, allowing cloud customer services.

Microsoft faces further competition from CoTweet, a start-up web-based platform that companies can use to engage with customers on Twitter. CoTweet on Friday announced it had secured $1.1m (£700,000) in venture funding from firms including Baseline Ventures, Founders Fund, First Round Capital, SV Angel, Maples Investments and Freestyle Capital.

Microsoft also announced on Friday that it will release software to incorporate a sales information distribution component into Dynamics CRM. The 'Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Accelerator' is designed to distribute sales leads and centrally manage sales opportunities across channel partners.

In addition, Dynamics CRM will get 'Portal Integration Accelerator' software. This will have a point-and-click facility that will allow firms to extend business processes to the internet without the need for further web development.

This article was originally posted on ZDNet UK.

Topics: CXO, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Software, IT Employment, Social Enterprise

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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14 comments
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  • I don't like Microsoft's new direction.

    I remember when data security and privacy meant something. Are people forgetting the lessons of the past? Is everyone jumping on the trust-the-big-guys wagon? Privacy and security are PARAMOUNT!

    There is too much temptation for MS to abuse this power (knowledge is power) to embed "preferences" into the delivery model, limiting and "tailoring" an experience that I've enjoyed using anonymously.

    I don't want advertisers or websites to know who I am. I check out the competition too much for that. Can't I put on a desguise and walk into a store to investigate my competition? Why shouldn't I be able to do the same online?

    I have stopped using Microsoft and moved to a wholly Linux environment, just because I don't want my businesses workers "tastes" recorded for use by advertisers. We will remain anonymous. (except when voicing opinions, such as this.)

    -Craig
    zbw9eds3d
    • And they continue to be almost exclusively business centric

      not consumer centric, what I think is the main reason Windows continue
      to be such a terrible platform. Computing isn't all about business, it's
      should be a lot about fun too.
      Mikael_z
    • New direction?

      No, no, no you just don't like Microsoft. What linux product are you using for CRM? Is it open source? What protects you from getting you preference settings pilfered by them? Open source? So you're going to look at the code?
      bmonsterman
      • *sigh*

        You're that paranoid about Open Source?

        At least if "they" mine your "life" it will be cheaper than paying Microsoft or whoever from the proprietary world for the privilege.
        zkiwi
        • I'm not paranoid

          I just don't think you're any safer with an open source product, unless you're able to decifer what the code is doing.
          bmonsterman
          • Study history then for a more reliable source

            With a PC jam packed full of spyware should be like the Gates wide open
            for the world to know what kind of data you have on your PC.

            I can't imagine a more insecure platform than a windows pc, why this
            whole discussion seem a bit silly, to say the least.
            Mikael_z
          • You're missing the point

            First of all, we're not talking about a windows pc. We're talking about a window server. CRM packages run on a server. Second of all we're not talking about security, we're talking about Microsoft mining your preferences for marketing purposed. So before you join our "silly" discussion, why don't you actually read the article...then read our posts.
            bmonsterman
    • No one cares about *YOU*

      Sorry to disappoint you, but no one actually cares about you - the purpose of the tool provided by Microsoft is to test to see whether a marketing approach is working; are people talking about the product? is it positive or negative? do they can about you specifically or a user specifically? no.

      Btw, you truly are pathetic; really shows the type of person you are - high on your own illusion of self importance.
      Macintoshtoffy
  • Microsoft, the Kings of Bloatware!!

    M$, the king of bloated software, still integrating whatever features someone else has blindly in the hopes of looking innovative and cutting edge when they are anything but. The real problem I see here is that while twitter is one social networking component, it is hardly a viable source for marketing information in many industries; and there are just so many others that would be immensely more valuable. One might get the impression they even integrated Twitter specifically for no other reason then they saw Salesforce and CoTweet do it.
    Socratesfoot
    • Twitter? Facebook? UNIMs

      Hmm, everybody knows something about somebody. There have been information leaks from Mortgage Companies, Doctors, Lawyers, Insurance Companies, Face it big companies want to know it all about you the consumer and what they do with that information will wreck your lives. I heard on the news a girl partied at her friends house it got out of control and of course people had to twitter about it, two monthes later that same girl tried to apply for a job at a company and the employer mentioned the party of which she attended. Needless to say she won't be working there last i heard she was moving away from her so called twit like friends. I think I would too.
      JimiB
    • Microsoft, the Kings of Bloatware!! (Agreed)

      You've hit the nail on the head w/ this post. Moreover, whatever the implementation, it will be incomplete, difficult to set up and most likely buggy. Plus, there's no way that MS will match the velocity of updates/functionality, etc. of all the Twitter clients that currently support that platform (not that this is trying to be a Twitter client).

      Point solutions almost always 'bite'.

      It would have been more interesting to hear/read how MS CRM is thinking about changing the desktop metaphor from a file system, to a contact-based system where information relates to all the people that one deals with, personal and professional -- and encompassing oneself as a special type of person called a 'user' who has a set of special associated attributes in terms of applications, settings, bookmarks, etc. on the desktop, not just rolodex/biz card info, emails, events and documents, which are part of the profile of the _other_ people that user typically tracks.

      Everyone is missing the oppty for innovation: Google/Facebook/Twitter and CRM apps and the current major desktop and mobile Operating Systems -- I want a totally integrated and holistic view of information, based on the real-world objects that matter to me, i.e., people and interest areas.
      nataliehb
  • Tired Of Twitter

    Tired of our jackass mainstream media's fetish with the word twitter and all of its variations. These dopes really have nothing better to do with their on-air time than to whore that absurd social networking crap - which serves no purpose to the common man whatsoever.
    VoiceOfLogic
  • A Twitter client.

    Is pretty easy to create a twitter client, a novice developer can take a couple of weeks, while a seasoned in web service can do in a day.

    So, may be the point of MS is not how much useful can be but how quick and dirt cheap can be to add a new service to their crm, just for for the good of increase their features.
    magallanes
  • AX/Twitter Tool

    We just developed a Twitter/Dynamics AX intergration tool, and as magallanes correctly pointed out - it took a day!

    It allows users the ability to tweet straight from Dynamics - manually or in an automated way. It requires just 4 lines of code to start Tweeting.

    Get it here:
    http://axtweet.com
    AXtweet