I have been spending this week in Houston at Microsoft's 2013 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), along with about 30,000 other Microsoft partners who are participating either in person or remotely. With all of the product updates and new product releases this year, it is a little overwhelming! Naturally, most of my time has been spent getting a deeper look at Dynamics CRM 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Office 365. In this post, I'll be focusing more on Dynamics CRM 2013 updates.
First of all, the upcoming release presents significant new functionality, thus CRM will now officially become Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. This release will be available both online and on-premise, and is expected to be delivered in late 3rd Quarter or early 4th Quarter (October/November timeframe). If history is any indication, I expect Dynamics CRM 2013 to appear online 30-60 days prior to the time it is available on-premise. This release will look quite a bit different from your father's Oldsmobile CRM system, so be sure to allow time to get your users trained as a part of the upgrade.
Let's dig in a little deeper to see what this ground-breaking release of Dynamics CRM will entail. Before I do so, here's my disclaimer: Microsoft has still not finished the product. Some of the information I am posting here was covered by Microsoft during WPC sessions, and some of it was gleaned by getting a few minutes of hands-on time in Dynamics CRM 2013/Orion at the demo booth. Any of this may change by the final release. Based on earlier releases of Dynamics CRM, I expect 10 to 20 percent of the information contained herein will change by time of final release. So please consider this information to be directional but not final.
In the new release of Dynamics CRM, you will see a major (and much needed) overhaul of the navigation system. Rather than menus appearing down the left-hand side of the application, they will now be built into a fairly thin ribbon at the top of the screen.
Why is this exciting? I see two huge benefits here:
With that said, there are still unanswered questions about the menus:
The new Flow UI has been available in Dynamics CRM Online since around the first of 2013, but is not yet available for CRM On Premise. Dynamics CRM 2013 will extend this new UI to the on-premise version, while also significantly enhancing the rather limited functionality that was available in the online version up until now.
What does the new UI mean to you?
If you want to see a basic demo of the Flow UI, register for our next webcast: Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com Side-by-Side Comparison.
Some other items to note about the new design of forms in Dynamics CRM 2013:
The layout of the configuration area of Dynamics CRM 2013 remains largely unchanged. But if you look under the hood, there are some exciting new options:
Microsoft already has Mobile Express and Dynamics CRM for iPad. With the rollout of Dynamics CRM 2013, they will be rolling out a mobile client for Windows 8 tablets and an enhanced CRM mobile client for iPads. Both looked quite impressive. It wasn't made clear, but I suspect that they will also have a mobile client for Windows Phone and iPhone.
While waiting for these, however, it is worth downloading the free version of Resco Mobile CRM. Resco has Mobile CRM versions for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone and Android. The free version is quite powerful and may be the only mobile CRM that your business needs (it is quite a bit more powerful than the Mobile Express version of Dynamics CRM and comparable free mobile CRM applications for competing CRM systems). You should be able to go to the app store for whatever device you are using and search for "Resco CRM" to find it.
One of my colleagues will soon be doing a much more detailed blog on mobile Dynamics CRM options where you can learn more about all the options for accessing Dynamics CRM from your mobile device. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or Facebook so you'll know when this blog comes out.
There are a few items/features, below, that I hoped to learn about during WPC. Some of these items have been on my long-standing wish list, however, I did not hear about them from Microsoft or see them in my hands-on preview. Please comment on any of these items if you are aware of them. I will post follow-up entries as I learn more about these items.
While I didn't get answers on every aspect of the upcoming release of Dynamics CRM 2013, I got way more information than I can cover in one blog post. Here are some of the other perks and highlights worth mentioning:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is ground-breaking. It presents a new interface like nothing available in any other product. It is not only easier to navigate and more intuitive, it is also touch-friendly and can be used in browsers on virtually any modern device. With all of this new functionality, we expect to see the price of the full version of CRM go up in with this release. If you're considering moving to Dynamics CRM, now is the time to jump on it and get at least your first year at the current pricing.
If you're already using Dynamics CRM, now is the time to begin planning your upgrade. It will undoubtedly accelerate the performance of your team. Keep in mind, however, that this new release is not something you just want to "turn on." There are major changes in the user interface, in the process flow that your team will follow, and in the way you configure the system. You will want to carefully plan your upgrade and treat it more like a "new product" than just a "new version."
The good news is that you can move forward incrementally – continuing to use the classic UI for many parts of the application until your users are ready to make the leap into the new world! If you'd like more information on Dynamics CRM 2013 or the upgrade process, please contact us.
I believe the other form you may be remembering was the "Quick View Form"? There was a leaked dev screenshot out a few weeks ago that was summarily retracted, but it appeared to be a configuration point to allow views and editing of related entities without leaving the parent form. (Similar functionality to the right Customer panel on the Polaris Case form.) Unclear whether the Quick View Form will allow exposure of lookup targets only (1:N) or child records as well (N:1).
@Joe - Thanks for sharing that intel Joe. That sounds like a great option and I hope it makes it to final release!
How does this release effect the xRM portion of CRM. Will custom entities have all the same benefits. Without this, it's once again another huge disconnect.
thanks for sharing information great content
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