By –Stephen Rizzo, Senior Associate and CRM Product Specialist – Business Solutions Practice, GraVoc Associates
The introduction of new features and integrations with CRM at Convergence revealed that Microsoft has invested a significant amount of time and energy into this product to make it “Best in Class”. A FY 2015 roadmap confirms that Microsoft will continue its path of Spring releases for CRM Online, and Fall releases for CRM on premise.
Included in the 2015 releases are:
Changes to the Site map
Users have developed a strong dislike for having to scroll through the menus to find their entity, records and data. A revised consolidated view will make navigation much more efficient.
Moving between CRM and Outlook will become more fluid. Tracking email functionality will be extended to non-licensed user. Limited email functionality will be extended to non-Windows users as well.
Commonly used products like Excel and OneNote will be integrated into CRM, allowing the user to make inline changes to spreadsheets and notes. No longer do we have to export and import data to make changes. With the integration of One Note, users can enter notes directly into CRM.
demonstrations of Microsoft’s Power BI allows users to incorporate multi-sourced data such as GP and CRM into a dashboard component. Power BI is included in the mobile application as well.
Speaking of the Mobile application, some changes are headed that way as well. A single version of CRM will be supported across all devices, and the mobile app will be expanded to allow extended mobile applications.
Recently rebranded as Social Engagement, will now allow for creation of CRM records directly from posts made on several social networking services, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. The focus is still on the listening aspect, as companies can “listen” for real-time chatter regarding their products and services, and take immediate action if necessary.
Other Microsoft products that work with CRM were presented as well, some have been released and are slated for upgrades, while other are soon to be released.
Unified Service Desk
Provides Sales and Customer Service Reps with a single interface connecting them to several internal systems (CRM, KB, etc.) This was presented a tool for call centers that handle customer support for multiple companies.
Can be integrated with CRM or used as a stand-alone product. This product provides advanced customer care when compared to the Case management in CRM, including Knowledge Management, Support Ticketing and a Self-service Portal.
Can also be integrated with CRM or used as a stand-alone product. This product compliments the delivered CRM Marketing module with lead scoring, integration with Power BI, and the inclusion of text messaging in campaigns. Surveys are also being introduced as Microsoft acquired Fusion Software, allowing users to build their own questionnaires inside of CRM. With new rule-based, multi-channel enterprise feedback management capabilities, companies can include customer feedback into service, sales and marketing engagements.
The future in Dynamics CRM is full of changes so we can interact with our customers, access business critical data, with increased efficiency and from virtually any device. The key will be determining which tools help you best.
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