Review Microsoft’s Fall CRM Release Features
As Microsoft moves into its faster update release schedule, they have scheduled both on-premises and cloud-only updates for Dynamics CRM for the end of year and 2015.
Early this month, details of the updates started appearing. We at Uncommon thought we would wrap all the rumors up in a single place to show the extent of what is coming.
The next major update is codenamed “Vega” (that name has been floating around for over a year) which is keeping with their naming conventions around constellations. Rumors have it that the Vega update will be for both Dynamics CRM on-premises and CRM Online, and it’s due in the fourth calendar quarter of 2014.
One update that should make international enterprises happy is added support for 29 new languages and support for "any device" which continues Microsoft’s goal to become device agnostic. The new features will be targeted at high-tech enterprise sales.
With MS’s other goal of cloud-based everything, there will be an "online first focus" with the release. This is reflected with faster self-service and multi-geo tenant functionality, simple sign-up and provisioning as an example of spotlighted upgrades. One rumor that continues to make its way around the blogosphere is that Microsoft will include “PowerBI” for the web client. Adding this Office 365 business intelligence service could create an entirely new way of maximizing your CRM knowledge database (especially since SSRS runs with CRM).
For users, the most anticipated update is a multi-entity search. Now when you search for an account name, you get not only the account record, but also any contact records where that account is related.
One diagram making its way around the internet show what the “post fall wave” landscape of CRM will be looking like. This image suggests some interesting hints about updates that users have been calling for including Excel integration, graphical designers for process flow, and improved navigation (hopefully not so many clicks). Microsoft is also moving to improve the marketing and “social listening” capabilities of CRM.
The first update of 2015 (due is Q2) is codenamed “Carina.” This is also rumored to have several core updates as well. It is not clear yet if that release will be for both on-premises and cloud environments, or if the leaked information will only apply to one platform. This release is rumored to have targeted support for Windows 7/8, Win Server 2012 (and R2), SQL Server 2012, and Outlook 2010/2013. However, the tradeoff for including this new support may be the ending of support for Win Server 2008 (and R2), Windows SBS, Vista, IE 8/9, SQL Server 2008 (and R2), and Office 2007.
This release is also targeting the social networking features native to CRM. Microsoft is continuing its expansion of these features using the Azure hosted Social Listening (based on social-analytics technology created by Netbreeze which Microsoft bought in March 2013) and marketing technology based on MarketingPilot technology (which Microsoft bought in October 2012). Parature (purchased in January 2014) has also made its way into the infographics circulating… this "customer care" functionality added to the existing process flows in Microsoft CRM should delight any customer support users.
There are many more rumors floating around, but many of them appear for a minute and then are never heard of again. The ones listed here have been persistent and we believe have some legs to them. We at Uncommon are extremely happy with Microsoft’s new, faster release cycle for updates. Core updates twice a year and fractional updates more often than that will continue to propel Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM to the front of the class.