Nimble 2018 — The Story continues
The year 2018 is coming to an end, which means it is high time for some interesting product and roadmap news.
Here’s some Nimble news (ok, not THAT fresh anymore, I have been incredibly busy recently).
For starters, Nimble released its long awaited Mobile 3.0 for Android, complementing the iOS version that got released earlier this year.
Nimble unifies contacts from teams’ mobile, cloud-based, and desktop records into an all-in-one relationship manager. With minimal taps, sales and marketing professionals can prepare for meetings by quickly scanning social insights, sales intelligence, and contact engagement history from their portal device. To keep the momentum going, Office 365 and G Suite users can send personalized responses using template, trackable emails, and monitor opportunities across all deal stages from their portable devices.
“People buy from the people they know, like, and trust,” said Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara. “We therefore designed Nimble Mobile to give users the insights they need to build confidence, engage in productive discussions, and follow through promptly anytime, anywhere.”
With this milestone, Nimble has now truly achieved a vision of being a simple, smart ‘CRM’ for MS Office and G-Suite users that works for the user. I put the CRM into quotes as this term for me and most other people relates to a stragegy or system that includes marketing, sales and service capabilities and not only Sales Force Automation (SFA). And SFA, particularly contact management, is what is at the core of Nimble.
Still, Nimble combines key ingredients of the digital workplace that a mobile, sales person needs, into one single place. It provides the user with vital information about the next person to interact with.
The ongoing redesign around the contact person and the Nimble Today page, that makes Nimble more enterprise ready helps, too. It is targeted at making it even easier to view, edit, enter, and report on data.
All this is recognized by a good number of well-reputed analysts.
The re-hosting from AWS to Azure is completed and Nimble now embeds PowerBI and PowerApps as well as the ability to significantly customize the various screens using PowerApps. This is an important capability for enterprise support.
So, what comes next, Jon?
In brief: A lot! And it is mainly geared towards enterprise support.
Nimble did already offer some marketing and campaign management elements, which will be extended into offering more marketing automation. There will be automation capability on segments/profiles that enables triggering workflows on entering or leaving defined segments. This allows for real-time interaction that works in the customer’s or prospect’s context. This has become an extremely important capability in the past years. As this is also necessary to support multi step campaigns it would be interesting to see this in detail.
Nimble is also slated for scaling into larger teams, therefore closing the gap between Nimble’s SMB focus and Microsoft’s enterprise focus. The goal here is to allow customers a seamless growth from small to enterprise, while using the same CRM tool that grows together with them.
Further, Nimble will be fully ported to the Azure stack. That way the app will be able to take full advantage of the power of Microsoft’s extensibility capabilities and later on also the full power of it’s AI stack.
Additionally, there is an ambitious plan of adding more Microsoft resellers to the ones that are selling Nimble as part of their Microsoft reselling agreement.
The for me most fascinating news is that there finally will be an embedded version of MSDynamics that adds Nimble functionality to the MS Dynamics contact person and puts the Nimble UI on top of MS Dynamics.
MyPoV and Analysis
Founder Jon Ferrara has continuously and skillfully evolved Nimble from a simple contact management application to a serious SFA application with enterprise ambitions. Doing this he followed the blueprint he created himself during his Goldmine days: He embeds Nimble deeper and deeper into the Microsoft ecosystem with the goal of offering an integral value proposition for both, resale partners and Microsoft. Being of value for other parties increases the value of Nimble. This outside-in approach creates a virtuous circle.
One of the key strengths of Nimble is that it can be run as a layer on top of other business applications as well as inside a larger, already existing social sales and marketing application itself. That makes it extremely versatile and almost the perfect tool to start off with and grow.
Both, Microsoft and Nimble have an MS Outlook add-in that gathers and provides users with additional information about persons they are interacting with: Microsoft’s Outlook Smart Contact add in and Nimble’s Sidebar. Given the strength of Nimble and the strength of the Nimble — Microsoft partnership I suggest replacing the Outlook Smart Contact add-in with the Nimble Sidebar. Two tools are one too many and the Nimble sidebar seems to be far more powerful than Microsoft’s own Smart Contacts add in. In addition the Nimble Sidebar is available for more platforms than just Outlook.
Using Nimble here would also increase the probability of getting more customers as a great user experience, as the Nimble side bar offers it, is always convincing. By using Nimble this way Microsoft, with the help of Nimble, can cover the entry levels of CRM up to enterprise class CRM. This is a very powerful value proposition that none of the other tier one players can or does offer. Neither can the other ones. Having said this, it might be interesting for at least SAP, Salesforce, and Oracle to have a closer look at Nimble as they also cannot offer (yet) the power of Nimble’s integration into Outlook.
I have said times and again that Nimble needs more marketing capabilities. In times of account-based marketing this becomes even more crucial. So, here we are. Adding some lead-scoring mechanisms that assures a smooth handover from marketing qualified leads to sales out of the box will be a good next step.
I have also said a couple of times that Microsoft should acquire Nimble, e.g. here and I cannot but repeat this assessment. Nimble is the perfect complement for Microsoft to cover the small business end of the SFA market.
This also makes Nimble a perfect target for the other (aspiring) tier one vendors. Looking at it this way, it is paramount for Microsoft to cover its flank.
Just a thought from Down Under, of course.