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Microsoft + Skype = CRM?

Posted on | June 13, 2011 | Comments Off

We have heard a great deal of speculation over what Microsoft plans to do with Skype.  Mobile phones, Xbox communication, etc.  A recent article over at Forbes provides the most interesting idea yet for what Microsoft can and should do with Skype, and that is integrate phone into CRM.

Very interesting insight into how CRM solutions are too disconnected from phone - for example, automatically linking phone calls to contacts within a CRM solution.  Microsoft’s Dynamics product coupled with Outlook provides a nice CRM solution, but adding Skype into the mix would set it a part big time.

Check out the following excerpt from the article:

There are over a hundred million people using Outlook.  Microsoft claims there are 22,000 customers and over 1.1 million users of its Dynamics CRM product (which is built inside of Outlook in addition to having a web interface).  And it’s growing.  Why not make Skype integration with these two products a priority?   You own the software now.   Making a call from Outlook by clicking on a button?  Recording the call and linking to the contact?  Linking incoming calls to contact records?  Incorporating Skype’s video into the picture? This seems pretty easy.  And the big advantage is that you can do this so your customers don’t have to involve a third party middleman.  And that’ll make companies like Thinking Phones happier because really, do you think those guys want to be spending their own limited resources on supporting a bunch of connectors to CRM systems?

Microsoft I’m sure has its plans for Skype.  And I know that tying this technology into games and mobile apps is fun for the masses.  But what about the business community?  What’s going to keep us using Outlook over the next ten years?  Why should we choose Microsoft’s enterprise applications, like Dynamics CRM, over competing products like Salesforce.com?

I’ll tell you why:  Skype’s technology, if it’s part of Outlook and Dynamics CRM out of the box, will make it quicker and easier for us to communicate with our customers.  And that will increase our sales.  And that’s what’s fun for me.  And my clients too.  Buying Skype could be Microsoft’s best acquisition ever.

Investors want to know how Microsoft is going to grow its product mix and continue its stranglehold on the enterprise market.  This would be a clear way to continue its dominance in the enterprise market.  CRM is very important to business and isn’t going anywhere.  If Microsoft can offer a new, innovative, easy-to-use solution as described here, it would be a home run.  I hope Microsoft is reading this!

More on this topic (What's this?) Read more on Microsoft at Wikinvest