Microsof company launches new Mechanics 365 offerings like cloud-powered marketing, provide chain insights, watching how people move around in retail spaces, and much more (Kyle Wiggers/VentureBeat)

Find the Right CRM Software Now. It's Free, Easy & QuickFollow our CRM News page for breaking articles on Customer Relationship Management software. Find useful articles like How to Choose a CRM System, CRM 101, the CRM Method and CRM and the Cloud. And when you're ready let us help you find the right Customer Relationship Management software.


Beyond updates across Azure , this week at its Ignite 2021 conference, Microsoft has announced additions to its Dynamics 365 business app and industry portfolio,   including Microsoft Customer Experience Platform, a marketing solution that is aimed at helping customers personalize, automate, and orchestrate customer journeys. Another — Microsoft Connected Spaces — is designed to let organizations leverage observational data to produce predictive insights, while Supply Chain Insights aims to proactively mitigate supply chain problems.

“[W]e are announcing innovation over the Microsoft Cloud that may allow every organization to build a hyperconnected business, providing the agility and flexibility for organizations and employees to thrive now and to the future, ” Microsoft’s corporate VP of industry, apps, and data marketing Alysa Taylor said in a blog post. “In order to be successful given these trends, every organization must move beyond ‘business as usual’ and toward a new model of hyperconnected business. ”

Microsoft Customer Experience

Microsoft pitches its Customer Experience Platform as a service to “deliver personalized and connected experiences from awareness to purchase. ” Leveraging assets from the existing Microsoft Customer Insights and Dynamics 365 Marketing products and services, the goal is to understand and predict intent to supply the right content on the right channel and at the right moment, the company says.

To the company’s point, Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to create a purchase from a brand providing you with personalized experiences — marketing or otherwise. Furthermore, according to a Smart Insights survey, 63% of consumers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics.

Customer Experience Platform’s Consent-enabled Consumer Data Platform (CDP) feature, currently in preview, enables chief data officers to use consent data to build customer profiles, manage known and pseudonymous aliases, ensure consumer data methods are compliant and protect the data with privacy and security controls. The complementary business-to-business CDP combines customer data from all sources — including customer relationship management software, email, websites, point-of-sales, partner systems, and internet sites — and performs identity resolution at the contract and account level to build profiles for people and companies. The AI-suggested content creation and delivery tool automatically generates a set of “content snippers” to serve as inspiration for customer emails.

Taylor says that customers including Home Depot, Chipotle, and agency partners like VMLY& R and Kin+Carta are already using Customer Experience Platform in their organizations. “Many [businesses] struggle to manage, organize, and gain insight from the vast quantity of data offered to them, and for marketers that challenge is even more acute, ” she added. “[C]ustomer data is the key to personalized, relevant, timely customer experiences. ”

Connected Spaces

Another new service joining Dynamics 365, Connected Spaces, lets organizations “gain a new perspective” in the manner people move and interact in very nearly any space, Microsoft claims. With it, companies can monitor safety in high-risk areas and observe queue management, ranging in environments from retail stores to factory floors.

“With Connected Spaces … organization[s] can harness observational data effortlessly, [using] AI-powered models to unlock insights about [their] environment and respond in real-time to trends and patterns, ” Taylor added.

At a high level, Connected Spaces provides analytics and trend details about people, places, and much more. For example , in a store, Connected Spaces can monitor foot traffic patterns, cashier queue lengths, dwell times, and product display engagement. Microsoft says that Mattress Firm has piloted the technology to measure the effectiveness of its in-store promotions.

Whilst the purported goal of products like Connected Spaces includes health, safety, and analytics, the technology might be co-opted for other, less humanitarian intents. Many privacy experts worry that they’ll normalize greater levels of surveillance, capturing data about workers’ movements and allowing managers to chastise employees in the name of productivity.

Microsoft did not detail the steps it’s taken to prevent the potential misuse of Connected Spaces. Once the service comes to preview, further details regarding this are likely to be disclosed.

Supply Chain Insights

The launch of the aforementioned Supply Chain Insights (in preview) comes as organizations face historic supply challenges. According to one source, only 6% report full visibility on the supply chain. And 38. 8% of U. S. -based small businesses experienced supply chain delays because of the pandemic.

“Customers like Daimler Trucks North America can gain new visibility into their supply chains across multiple tiers of suppliers. They could get data in near real-time, letting them assess risks and mitigate problems before a massive disruption does occur, ” Taylor continued. “Supply Chain Insights also enables clients to enrich their very own supply chain data with external signals like global weather data to predict its impact on shipments, putting increased intelligence and predictive power at their fingertips. ”

With Supply Chain Insights, companies can reconcile data from third-party data providers, logistics partners, clients, and multi-tier suppliers and create a “ digital twin ” simulation of the supply chain — generating insights powered by AI. Digital twin approaches to simulation have gained currency in many domains, for example helping SenSat   clients in construction, mining, energy, and other industries create models of locations for projects they’re focusing on.

Supply Chain Insights also enriches signals with external constraints like environmental disasters or geopolitical events that may affect the supply chain. Beyond this, the service can automate and execute actions through existing enterprise resource planning and supply chain execution systems, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft Cloud


Building on the release of Supply Chain Insights, Microsoft is introducing Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing, the newest entry in the company’s Industry Cloud lineup. Announced in February now available in preview, Cloud for Manufacturing includes new and existing capabilities across the Microsoft Cloud portfolio along with partner solutions to connect people, assets, workflows, and business processes.

In accordance with a 2020 PricewaterhouseCoopers  survey , companies in manufacturing expect efficiency gains over the next five years attributable to  digital transformations . McKinsey’s  research with the World Economic Forum puts the worthiness creation potential of manufacturers implementing “Industry 4. 0” — the automation of traditional industrial techniques — at $3. 7 trillion in 2025.

“Cloud for Manufacturing … connects experiences across the end-to-end product and service lifecycle and lighting up the whole Microsoft Cloud with capabilities specifically tailored to manufacturing, ” Taylor said. “Customers including Johnson & Johnson are working with Microsoft on their digital manufacturing transformation with tools like Azure, AI, and Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing capabilities. ”

Nonprofit, Sustainability, Financial Services, and Healthcare

Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit, a collection of tools, apps, cloud services, and infrastructure aimed toward nonprofit scenarios, is currently generally available adhering to a preview earlier in 2010. Built for fundraisers, volunteer managers, and program managers, as well as other roles unique to the nonprofit segment, it’s designed to help address challenges including constituent and supporter engagement to program design and delivery.

The closely related Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability , previously in private preview now in public preview, aims to bring greater transparency and data sharing, agreement on common taxonomy and ways of measurement, and standard practices for tracking and reporting data on carbon emissions. The solution uses a common format to connect data from various sources and get a company’s carbon footprint along with provide insights to know data, measure progress, meet regulatory and reporting requirements, and identify actions needed seriously to reduce the footprint.

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services — its number of solutions for the financial industry — is generally available, with new capabilities across Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 , Dynamics 365, and Power Platform to help enable retail banks to “enhance customer and employee experiences. ” Alongside this, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare — which launched a year ago — has received several updates, including:

  • An enhanced patient view that allows providers to associate one patient record with other patient records (in preview)
  • A new waiting room for Microsoft Teams (in preview).
  • Integration of Microsoft Forms with Microsoft Bookings (in preview)
  • A scheduled queue for virtual visits in Microsoft Bookings (in preview)
  • Virtual Visits Manager, a standalone Teams app to facilitate reporting about virtual consults (in preview)


VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain understanding of transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential info on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date info on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as for instance Transform 2021 : Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Are a member

Find the Right CRM Software Now. It's Free, Easy & Quick

Follow our CRM News page for breaking articles on Customer Relationship Management software. Find useful articles like How to Choose a CRM System, CRM 101, the CRM Method and CRM and the Cloud. And when you're ready let us help you find the right Customer Relationship Management software.

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.