Exciting new updates coming soon for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011


Microsoft just announced their Release Preview Guide for the Q2 2012 Service Update. Read about all the goodness from here: http://bit.ly/A67Py4

The highlights that are most awesome are:

Mobility

Woohoo! Microsoft will be offering a full featured mobile solution. Microsoft has always offered Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile Express, but it’s a fairly limited option that requires an always on connection and doesn’t quite work for all customers. Fortunately, now you will have a more full featured option that includes:

  • Support for all major mobile platforms – iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android and Windows Phone 7. 
  • Works with both on-premise and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
  • Licensing that provides for a user to connect up to three devices (so, e.g. one user can have an iPad and a Windows Phone 7 connected without paying extra)
  • Works offline (sweet!)
  • Cloud subscription – list price of $30/per user per month which is less than half of what the competition charges.

Cross-Browser Support

Double Woohoo! While I love IE9, choice is a great thing. Microsoft is finally providing cross-browser support for Dynamics CRM users. This Q2 update will provide support for Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari running on PCs, Macs and iPads! Here’s a chart from the official announcement.

image 
(Click image to enlarge)

Enhanced Social

In the November 2011 Update Microsoft released Activity Feeds which introduced micro-blogging and social collaboration capabilities. The Q2 2012 service update will provide additional functionality to Activity Feeds making it look and feel even more like Facebook and/or Salesforce Chatter.

  • Improved filtering capabilities. A user can view a timeline wall of all posts that mention them (the @me filter).
  • Users can also filter posts relating to types of records they follow. E.g., a user can create a filter to only show posts related to the Accounts that they follow.
  • Finally, filters can be based on data views configured within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. E.g., ‘My Direct Reports’ view will show all posts related to anyone who reports to me regardless of whether I follow those team members or not.

If you are a Windows Phone 7.5 user (btw, I highly recommend it!) there will be an update to the Mobile Activity Feeds application that will take advantage of the new capabilities provided by Activity Feeds. This mobile version is already pretty cool and I look forward to this update.

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE (BI) – POWER VIEW

Microsoft SQL Server 2012, which is scheduled for release March 7, 2012, introduces a new  Reporting Services Add-in called Power View, (previously code-named Project Crescent). Power View  is a next-generation BI tool for interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation. With the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 2012  service update, Microsoft is releasing a set of Microsoft Excel workbooks with pre-defined PowerPivot models and Power View Report templates. These templates will be available in the Microsoft  Dynamics Marketplace as a Microsoft Dynamics Labs solution. This release will  include the following four templates:

  • Product Sales Analysis
  • Sales Pipeline Analysis
  • Customer Care Trends
  • Customer Demographics Analysis

Note that this update for Power View reports will be available for On-Premises customers only. Future service updates will expand the reach of Power View to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers.

There are a few other goodies outlined in the Release Preview Guide. I definitely recommend checking it out.

Overall this is going to be a pretty awesome release and I can’t wait to get my hands on it to see how we can use these new capabilities to solve even more business issues and challenges.

BTW, we have our upcoming Infinity i3 Event on February 27-28 where we Interact. Integrate. & Inspire. We’ll be covering some of these new capabilities as well as some other tips and tricks to help you be more productive and successful with your CRM implementations. Click here for more details and to register.  I hope to see you there!!

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Posted in Analytics, CRM, Mobility, Portals, Tips

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