It’s not exactly clear why Microsoft’s upcoming release of CRM Dynamics 2011 did not provide out-of-the-box social media monitoring, but it didn’t. In response, Siddhartha Rai, program manager of business intelligence with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is showing the way it could be done.

In a post on the Dynamics CRM blog, Rai takes the viewpoint of the manager in a retail business and suggests a list of four things that could be monitored across social media networks. They include:

  • Latest updates on brands
  • Social media around those brands
  • Biggest conversation topics in social media around those brands
  • What is currently being discussed

Although these issues are not the core focus of CRM systems, they would be useful indicators.

CRM 2011 and Social Media Monitoring

According to the blog post, there are a number of websites that will provide easy HTML code and Java Script that can be placed in Dynamics CRM Web resource.

In fact, Twitter provides downloadable widgets for monitoring activity, providing real-time updates into profile pages and search keywords.

A further requirement, basic analytics, will search for any keywords being used in relation to brands. For this, Microsoft itself provides Fuse Labs gadgets that offer a rich set of aggregation capabilities.

The widgets from Twitter and Microsoft Fuse Labs allow the HTML code to be downloaded and embedded into custom applications. After creating the web resources, creating the dashboard is easy.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Beta

Details of what is to be contained in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 were released in July when it finally went into pubic beta. Generally known as CRM5, it was designed to provide a response to’s hold on the CRM market.

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There was a lot of new functionality with it. Deeper integration with Outlook, which provided users access to their email accounts directly from CRM 5, is just one example. 

According to Microsoft, it also received a new Office interface and a context sensitive ribbon that intelligently organizes and presents the most relevant commands depending on the action users are taking. 

Microsoft, in some of the many explanatory videos that accompany the beta release, has also highlighted the 'flat' interface, which lets users scroll down and see all the components of a form.

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Dynamics CRM 2011 business intelligence tools

Dynamics CRM and Webfortis

It’s probably a good thing for Dynamics CRM that someone is starting to look at social media tracking, because if they don't, others will.

For example, Webfortis announced this week the general availability of Parrot, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM product extension for managing social networks.

Parrot is a cloud-based computing application designed to search and participate in multiple social media conversations simultaneously in one consol. Fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Parrot enables users to track and publish conversations across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

All interactions are pulled into a single viewer that enables enterprises to track conversations across the most popular social media sites in a single interface. It eliminates the need to manage social media, one site at a time.

Built on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, Parrot is now generally available as a fully hosted, cloud computing application from Webfortis. The application is compatible on both CRM 4.0 and CMR 2011.

Dynamics CRM Online service is available in eight languages and 36 markets. The final version of the service will be available by the end of this year in 40 different markets and 41 languages.

The beta of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for on-premises and partner-hosted deployments is available in all 40 markets in eight languages. It is still not clear when CRM 2011 will go on general release, although there is some speculation that it could be early next year.