Microsoft, the world’s largest software producer, has spent over 15 years trying to catch up to Salesforce, the market leader in the $56 billion sector for customer-relations management software (CRM). Though, Microsoft has recently found new ways to take on its biggest rival.
In October, it was announced that Microsoft teamed up with Adobe and C3.ai, the company of customer-software pioneer Tom Siebel, in an attempt to better compete with market leader, Salesforce.
This partnership will see C3.ai release a new customer-relations management software program that combines its AI tools with Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 CRM software and Adobe’s marketing and customer-targeting cloud. This pulls data from a client’s internal systems and outside information, such as social media sentiment and regulatory filings, and has the ability to predict, things like future revenue, and which customers might be looking to take their business elsewhere.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained how the C3.ai CRM can aid organizations in their digital transformation efforts while also unlocking real-time insights. “This year has made clear that businesses fortified by digital technology are more resilient and more capable of transforming when faced with sweeping changes like those we are experiencing,” he said. “Together with C3.ai and Adobe, we are bringing to market a new class of industry-specific AI solutions, powered by Dynamics 365, to help organizations digitize their operations and unlock real-time insights across their business.”
Sources say Microsoft is also advising its salespeople to target and direct existing clients to adopt its Dynamics products, which includes its business management software, PowerApps, and CRM software. Reportedly, Microsoft senior management personnel have to validate all enterprise license renewals that leave out the Dynamic 365 and PowerApps.
Microsoft’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings in July reported a 38% year-over-year revenue growth from Dynamics 365, and Microsoft’s strategy certainly reflects an increased focus on growing these solutions further. While Salesforce is still the market leader with close to 19% market share according to CRM.org, Microsoft Dynamic 365 ranks fifth with a market share between 3% to 4% and may be aiming to further close that gap.