Microsoft boosts IoT services with moves in CRM, 3D printing

Microsoft boosts IoT services with moves in CRM, 3D printing

Microsoft partners with Renault-Nissan
Microsoft partners with Renault-Nissan

Microsoft has launched two Internet of Things (IoT) services as the Redmond software giant expands its capabilities across the world of connected devices.

The first is network 3D printing support for its Raspberry Pi 3, which will allow users to send print jobs from remote locations to a connected printer. The new feature, ‘Network 3D Printer’, adds a level of network support for 3D printing that has been lacking up until now, and will work with a number of the most commonly used desktop 3D printers.

The move will make it a whole lot easier for users to share 3D printer access and monitor prints from afar. To gain access to this new feature, users will need to download the Windows 10 IoT Core app, and install it on a Raspberry Pi 3.

The second service launched by Microsoft this week is an update on its customer relationship management solution, Microsoft Dynamics. The update comes with a new tool designed to help companies harness the IoT in their customer-service efforts.

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The Spring 2016 Wave of Dynamics CRM, announced earlier this week, will add ‘Connected Field Service’, a new tool that will soon be available to companies seeking to leverage the potential of predictive maintenance via IoT devices.

Customer engagement at the core of digital transformation for Microsoft

Connected Field Service will continuously keep track of IoT devices and produce alerts in response to anomalies. These alerts will be able to trigger automated actions and workflows according to prior settings. In the case of a problem, the relevant technicians can then be matched against the issue at hand, and sent out to customer locations to provide a solution.

“For many service-oriented businesses, this represents a truly revolutionary shift from more of a reactive break-fix posture to a model that is built on predictive service,” explained Param Kahlon, general manager of program management for Dynamics CRM.

The two moves this week are aimed at expanding Microsoft’s reach across the Internet of Things. Both go hand in hand with recent news of the acquisition of Italian IoT firm Solair, and an intelligent aircraft engine partnership with Rolls Royce last month.

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