Microsoft now hosts Dynamics 365 in its UK data centres

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Microsoft's Dynamics 365 now runs out of the company's UK data centres, in a bid to woo more financial and public sector organisations to adopt the cloud.

The CRM joins Azure and Office 365 as services Microsoft can host in its London, Cardiff and Durham facilities, and Redmond hopes the expanded set of services will persuade some cloud latecomers to try it out.

"Some customers have either regulatory reasons or prefer to have their data in the UK and so it's great to be able to offer that," Chris Rothwell, Dynamics 365 product manager at Microsoft UK, told Cloud Pro. "It will be an additional benefit for customers who have maybe looked at moving to the cloud in the past and decided it's not quite for them."

Citing finance and public sector as particular targets, Rothwell identified Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust as a new Dynamics 365 user, deploying it to help doctors and nurses provide aftercare to patients with broken bones via a "virtual fracture clinic", easing pressure on beds.

"The moment the service receives a referral, the patient is provided with relevant information on how to manage their injury and we are able to measure the progress of their rehabilitation," said Lucy Cassidy, an advance practice physiotherapist at Brighton Hospital.

Rothwell said: "Knowing that the data's staying in the UK, particularly for patient records, is definitely going to be encouraging for that sort of organisation."

LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365

Redmond is busy beefing up Dynamics with LinkedIn data, allowing salespeople to feed data from LinkedIn Sales Navigator into the CRM tool, as well as hooking it up to email.

Sales staff were already using LinkedIn with a CRM and their email, Rothwell said, but Microsoft decided to integrate them to make it easier for customers - as well as, of course, to give Dynamics an advantage over rival CRM vendors like Salesforce.

"The three tools you're most likely to use are your CRM system, LinkedIn as some way of accessing data and insight, and then email," he told Cloud Pro.

"We want to make it so that organisations can make the most of the data they have access to and it works the hardest for them," he added. "But we also know that if you make your employees constantly switch between different applications, that's just a horrible thing for productivity - you have to change focus and change application and you lose the thread of whatever you were working on."

From July, salespeople will be able to find their leads in Dynamics but go to LinkedIn Sales Navigator to look those people up, or to search for certain job titles. Additionally, if they spot that a colleague has a connection to their lead, they can request an introduction.

"Increasingly it's not just about getting through on a phone call or getting a face to face meeting, it's about building relationships over time," said Rothwell. "You now need your software and tools to reflect, that's a reality of how you sell effectively today."