Upon arriving at the event, Microsoft wasn’t subtle in spelling out the themes that would run through the sessions to follow in the coming days. From the off, it was clear that Microsoft had brought their answers to the big questions currently buzzing around the world of business technology. From the internet of things and big data to the cloud, mobile and machine learning; while none of these by themselves broke new ground, it was the union of the technologies that would really pique my interest.
Take, for example, the Keynote given by Eric Boocock, the Director of Product Marketing for Dynamics CRM. Eric took to the stage to demo some of the capabilities available as part of the Sales Productivity Pack (https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/dynamics/sales-productivity-promo.aspx).
Starting with Power BI running on Azure, and using the natural language capabilities of Power BI Q&A, an opportunity in CRM was quickly identified as offering a high chance of closing, given that the marketing campaign it was associated to showed a high win rate for the closed opportunities associated to it.
With this insight and a couple of clicks, an appointment was created for the opportunity owner to meet with the client, to try and close the deal.
Now, playing the part of the opportunity owner, Eric lifts his wrist to the camera to give Microsoft’s new wearable band a cameo appearance. The appointment, created only moments before in CRM had synchronised out to his mobile device and was appearing as an alert on his Microsoft Band, Time to head to the meeting and close that deal!”
It must have gone well because only seconds later, it’s time to create a follow-up action to send the contract documents to the client for signing. You can do that in CRM, right? While on the road, using the mobile app? Sure you can. But that’s so 2013:
“Cortana, create a CRM task to send the contract documents to the client”.
I’ll admit, it was a little hammy, but seeing the Microsoft technologies working together was pretty impressive, the developer in me can’t wait to get their hands on the technology.
So with 2 out of the 3 components of the Sales Productivity Pack covered (with a little help from Mobile and the Cloud), the prospect of sending a contract document to the client using Office 365 seemed a little anti-climactic… Microsoft’s partner network to the rescue.
Okay, so we can open up our sales documents in SharePoint Online, surely we aren’t going to print the contract and sign it with a pen? Of course not! Enter stage left, DocuSign (www.docusign.co.uk). Let’s send our contract via DocuSign and add our John Hancock to it, right on our mobile device, to seal the deal.
With the demo over, the tone that Microsoft had struck was not just that they had offerings for cloud, mobile and BI, but that their power, was in the convergence of their platforms, productivity and business applications.