Microsoft Rolls Out Parature Self-Service CRM [update]

The self-service customer Relevant Products/Services relationship management package bought last year by Microsoft got an upgrade this week. The new version of Parature, to be released this spring, includes more than 30 high-priority customer capabilities, according to Microsoft.

The [update] emphasizes productivity for customer service professionals by delivering insights designed to help agents quickly understand, diagnose and resolve issues that customers might face. With the new release, Parature will be available via Microsoft Online Services in 50 markets and 10 languages worldwide.

In developing the [update], Microsoft worked on user interface and under-the-hood enhancements aimed at improving agent productivity, especially in the area of working with bulk data and search.

"More and more, people are choosing the brands that give them unique, tailored and fulfilling customer service experiences," said Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Relevant Products/Services. "Parature’s customer-centric capabilities enable organizations to deliver personalized customer care and, when combined with the clear business processes and intelligence of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, give our customers the high-quality solutions their businesses demand."

Access to More Channels

The [update] offers support for more social channels. Existing support for Twitter and Facebook will be joined by Parature support for YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn. The latter might indicate that Microsoft wants to expand Parature’s reach from being mostly consumer-oriented to having a business-to-business presence as well.

Users will also be able to manage related articles through the Parature API. With that feature, knowledgebase authors can use automated processes and third-party tools to create lists of related articles. These processes can also add knowledgebase articles to - or remove articles from - lists of related articles when creating or updating knowledgebase content.

Parature users also will be able to retrieve, add and edit knowledgebase article keywords via automated processes using the Parature API. Agents will be able to use background processes, integrated content, and third-party applications to create and edit keywords, helping employees and customers as they perform searches on support portals and search engines.

Search Information

Microsoft bought Parature in February 2014. The company specializes in customer service knowledge management and software that delivers contextual, self-service Web and social customer care for consumers.

The new version of Parature delivers insights based on previously logged searches and interactions. Microsoft said this will help keep customers and agents on the same page so they can resolve problems more quickly.

Now users can also create and manage Parature environments through the Microsoft Online Commerce platform. Microsoft said that feature will send integrated purchasing and billing capabilities with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other Office 365 applications through the Microsoft Online Portal, an online management portal that lets customers and administrators configure and manage products within Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Office 365.

The company said that it plans to release another [update] to Parature in the second quarter of 2015. The last major Dynamics CRM release, Dynamics CRM 2015, was released in December.