There has been lots of talk in the blogosphere lately about Microsoft’s recent $8.5b acquisition of the VoIP service Skype, with many people speculating over what use the software giant will put its new technology to. With gamers gunning for enhancements to the Xbox experience, Windows Phone 7 users hoping for better calling experiences and business users hoping for a corporate application, there is no end to the possibilities for this popular technology used by millions around the world.
In an article for Forbes, Gene Marks has speculated that despite its hefty price tag, Skype could be Microsoft’s best acquisition ever. The secret is applying the technology to its CRM offering, Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
As Marks points out, CRM already has the ability to track the communications between a company and anyone else who communicates with that company, but Skype could be used to enhance these communications to include online video conferencing, call tracking and the ability to make VoIP calls, all from within the CRM environment and without the need for third party add ons. Microsoft Dynamics CRM prides itself on seamless integration with other Microsoft products, such as Outlook and ERP systems, and should the Skype technology be applied to the CRM product, this seamless integration would naturally extend to Skype’s facilities as well.
And not only would CRM users benefit from this technology, but users of ISV add ons such as IPM Global’s project management software would also. Being able to currently tap into all the features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM means project managers and other IPM users would be able to access any Skype features that become integrated with CRM. The benefits of this type of technology for a project management team could be huge, from online video conferencing for project meetings, to tracking all the calls made to and from clients, suppliers and subcontractors.
Not only that, the call costs of project management firms could be greatly reduced by managing all phone communication through CRM, which is something CRM users have been hankering after for years. With this kind of technology, communication between project managers and their teams could become so much more efficient, all encompassing and simple, and project team members would be more accountable for their communication with phone call tracking and logging.
This is of course all speculation at this stage as no one is quite sure yet exactly what Microsoft’s plans for Skype are. But given the $8.5b price tag, it is highly likely that Microsoft will want to take advantage of as many situations as possible to integrate the technology with its current offerings. And that means that for project managers using the IPM/Microsoft Dynamics CRM combination the future does indeed look bright.
Please contact us if you’ve like to jump on board CRM and IPM now and possibly take advantage of the Skype technology on your project in the future.