MSD 365 Customer Insights Partnerships

Microsoft rolled out a set of enhancements to its Customer Insights CDP earlier this month, including a set of technology and data partnerships. I covered the functional enhancements yesterday.

“Organizations can automatically augment profiles with survey responses to truly uncover sentiment and drive detailed segmentation of customers, empowering agile actions that build brand loyalty and driving detailed understanding of customers,” said James Phillips, President of Microsoft Business Applications.  “Furthermore, organizations can enrich customer profiles with proprietary audience intelligence on brand affinity and user interests or by using third-party enrichments such as Experian and Leadspace.”

Leadspace supports B2B firmographic enrichment use cases, including industry codes, discrete and ranged sizing variables, geocodes, social media links, URLs, and standardized addresses.  Leadspace plans to include more advanced account-level insights such as company hierarchy and site-level details, as well as lead and intent scores, in future releases.  Firmographic updates may be processed daily or weekly with company matching performed by Leadspace.

The Leadspace data license is written on Leadspace paper and based upon the number of records under management.  Volume discounts apply.  When additional content sets are available, tiered pricing will be employed.

“We’ve been really honored to collaborate closely with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights team as their first B2B data enrichment partner and excited about the value it’ll bring our joint customers who want a single source of truth to fuel their sales and marketing efforts.  This offering goes a long way to helping them improve their ability to segment, prioritize, and personalize engagement across the customer lifecycle.”

Leadspace CTO Amnon Mishor

Experian supports consumer data enrichment spanning lifestyle segmentation, demographics, purchasing habits, brand preferences, life-event triggers, and mobile location data.  

Microsoft also rolled out a set of new Customer Insights integrations that “drive meaningful actions across the customer journey.”  Customer Insights is vendor-agnostic, “from ingesting data from any source to activating insights on multiple destinations.”  New partners include AutopilotHQ, Bing ads, dotdigital, Facebook, Google Ads, HubSpot, LiveRamp, Marketo, Mailchimp, and SendGrid (Twilio).

Phillips emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to data privacy and security “by enabling organizations to better control and secure sensitive data with data classification and permissions from Microsoft Information Protection.”  Organization can “configure policies to classify, label, and protect data based on its sensitivity.”

Customer Insights pricing begins at $1,500 per tenant per month for up to 100,000 profiles.

MSD 365 Customer Insights Enhancements

Microsoft has begun beta testing a set of enhancements to its Dynamics 365 Customer Insights CDP.  The upgrades focus on extending CDP capabilities into deeper insights and AI capabilities.  The new functionality will GA during the first half of 2021.

Engagement Insights, currently in preview, provides cross-channel analytics that assess customer behavior and intent across the web, mobile, connected devices, and other touchpoints.  Engagement Insights combines behavioral analytics with transactional, demographic, survey, and other data sets “to create interactive and rich insights that help drive the next best actions and personalized experiences.”

Engagement Insights begins with standard analytics around web site visitors, pages viewed, and visit duration.  A custom report builder lets marketers “curate the exact views to answer the business questions at hand.”  Funnel reports track customer journeys, identify gaps and opportunities, and inform next best actions.

“Engagement Insights is about directly funneling web, mobile and connected product data back into Customer Insights to help continue to enrich that understanding of the customer in order to better serve them.

James Phillips, President of Microsoft Business Applications.

Insights are deployed across the customer lifecycle and assist with personalizing offers, including presenting new product or services that better match customer needs.

“As everything’s gone digital, the need to deeply understand your customer and to increase the efficacy of those engagements has really been heightened through this pandemic,” said Phillips.

AI enhancements focus on better customer predictions.  The AI functionality employs Azure Synapse Analytics and includes a set of pre-built templates for predicting customer churn, automating product recommendations, and evaluating customer lifetime value.  The templates help marketers gather customer insights without requiring data science or IT professional support.

A new integration with Dynamics 365 Customer Voice captures customer sentiment and feedback.

According to Phillips, Customer Insights is the “fastest-growing application in the Dynamics 365 portfolio.”


Part II covers Customer Insights partnerships.

Microsoft Strong Q3 Led by Dynamics 365, Teams, and the Cloud

Microsoft posted another strong quarter, with revenue up 15% (16% in constant currency) to $35 billion.  Operating income rose 25% to $13.0 billion and EPS rose 23% to $1.40.  The pandemic has slowed some revenue streams such as LinkedIn advertising, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Bing Search advertising, and SMB transactional licensing; however, accelerated digital adoption resulted in little overall impact on quarterly revenues.

“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.  From remote teamwork and learning, to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security – we are working alongside customers every day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything,” said CEO Satya Nadella.  “There is both immediate surge demand and systemic structural changes across all of our solution areas that will define the way we live and work going forward.  Our diverse portfolio, durable business models, and differentiated technology stack across the cloud and the edge position us well for what’s ahead.”

Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased by 17% (up 20% in constant currency), driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 47% (49% in constant currency).

“Dynamics 365 is helping thousands of organizations accelerate digital transformation as they remote every part of their operations from manufacturing to supply chain management to sales and customer service, inclusive of new scenarios like curbside pickup, contactless shopping, remote customer assistance, and operations,” said Nadella.  “Patagonia is using Dynamics 365 Commerce to rapidly move to new, more intelligent distribution and fulfillment models, including contactless shopping.  And we are working with card issuers like American Express so merchants who use Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection can reduce fraudulent activity as they process more transactions online.”

In the Productivity and Business Processes and Intelligent Cloud segments, there was an uptick in cloud usage, “particularly in Microsoft 365 including Teams, Azure, Windows Virtual Desktop, advanced security solutions, and Power Platform, as customers shifted to work and learn from home.”

“We are empowering people and organizations for a world of secure remote work and learning with Microsoft 365 and Teams.  As work norms evolve, organizations are realizing they need a comprehensive solution that brings together communications, collaboration, and business process, built on a foundation of security and privacy.  Microsoft Teams supports multiple communications modalities in a shared workspace.  It’s the only solution with meetings, calls, chat, collaboration, and with the power of Office and business process workflows in a single integrated user experience with the highest security as well as compliance.

Teams keeps all your work and communication, conversations, documents, whiteboards, and meeting notes in context.  It helps people collaborate inside and outside meetings, making them more efficient and effective while reducing fatigue.  We’re accelerating Teams innovation, adding new capabilities each week, and now support meetings of all sizes, meetings that scale from 250 active participants to live events for up to 100,000 attendees to streaming broadcasts.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Teams usage has exploded during the pandemic, with more than 200 million meeting participants in a single day.  The platform has over 75 million active users, with two-thirds of them sharing, collaborating, or interacting with files on Teams.  The number of organizations integrating their third-party and Line Of Business apps with Teams has tripled in the past two months.

Teams now has over 20 organizations with at least 100,000 deployed employees, including Accenture, Continental AG, Ernst & Young, Pfizer, and SAP.  It is also being widely deployed in medicine and education.

Nadella argued that Microsoft is “not immune” to the broad economic downturn, but that the accelerated shift to digital solutions is to its benefit.  “I would claim that digital as a component of that economic activity is going to increase.  And specifically, the full stack we have from infrastructure to our SaaS applications are going to be very competitive in that context.”

“In our commercial business, our strong position in durable growth markets means we expect consistent execution on a large annuity base, with continued usage and consumption growth across our cloud offerings,” said CFO Amy Hood.  “However, we expect the sales dynamics from March to continue, including a significant impact in LinkedIn from the weak job market and increased volatility in new longer lead time deal closures.”