Microsoft using IT to connect with customers, co-workers
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Microsoft using IT to connect with customers, co-workers

Today, IT is as much about the consumer as it is about the technology. Many leading companies in the IT industry have been pushing to improve organizations' relationships with consumers through connectivity and business intelligence tools, and increasingly, executives are listening. Recently, Microsoft Business Solutions President Kirill Tatarinov spoke at the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013 conference to how businesses can harness IT to ramp up success.

According to Tatarinov, using IT innovations in the realm of customer relationship management (CRM) can enhance overall business function. Some of the biggest current trends for improving operations by staying in tune with client bases are integrated marketing and social capabilities, as well as cloud and mobile solutions. While Microsoft does use many of these tools to create customer-facing initiatives, it also sees the value in improving relationships with consumers by strengthening their own organization from the inside.

"To realize the promises and possibilities of a world ahead, organizations must be united," Tatarinov said. "Microsoft Dynamics solutions re-imagine what's possible for businesses, helping them unite to unlock innovation and creativity in people and to enable more meaningful experiences for their customers. When a business is truly united, great things happen."

At the conference, Microsoft announced updates to its Dynamics suite that are aimed at supporting better client relationships. Solutions such as those offered by Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 may help companies operate more efficiently. When a business runs well internally, it is easier for professionals to focus their efforts on pleasing clientele. To reach this end, the tool provides advanced expense management, time tracking and approval solutions. The tech company claims that the applications will help keep employees engaged, encouraging innovation.

With its integrated marketing tools, the updated Microsoft Dynamics CRM will continue to enable businesses to engage in social monitoring practices to gain insight into meeting client expectations. For instance, companies can analyze data gathered from Twitter or Facebook to determine what products their demographic may be interested in, and then also use information gleaned from those interactions to effectively market the items or services.

During the conference, customer intelligence firm InsideView explained that Microsoft's Dynamics CRM has made a tangible difference in its success. In the past year, the company achieved 25 percent growth in its Microsoft partner ecosystem. InsideView's services allow salespeople to experience enhanced productivity by spending fewer hours doing basic client research, such as finding contact information. As a result, businesses are likely to see higher rates of sales and lead conversions as their employees focus more time on addressing customer needs, rather than just trying to find them.